Reading Aloud from Picture Books for Children

Reading to young children is one of the very best things that parents can do for them. Infants will delight in being cuddled and hearing the calming voices of their parents even though they don’t understand the words. Soon they will associate reading with attention, love, and pretty pictures.

As children get older, parents can introduce them to picture books and nursery rhymes. Even at a young age, they will be starting to learn a lot about reading. They will discover that books are read from front to back and that pictures stand for real objects. As you continue to read to them and introduce them to stories, they will find out that the print on the pages stands for words and that pages are read from top-to-bottom and left-to-right. Reading to young children is excellent preparation for formal reading instruction in school.

Try these read-aloud tips:

  • Introduce the book: read the title, author, and illustrator; look at the cover; talk about what the book might be about; suggest things to look and listen for.
  • Run your finger under the text, while reading.
  • Answer questions related to the book; save other questions for later.
  • Talk about the story during and after a read-aloud session.
  • Use information and reference books to answer children’s questions.
  • Ask children to look closely at the pictures to help them understand the story and make predictions about what might happen next.
  • Repeat interesting words and rhymes while reading a book and at a later time.
  • Stop to ask thinking questions: “What might happen next? Where did he go? Why did she do that?”


Read Aloud Picture Books for Infants

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. 

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. 

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss 

Read Aloud Picture Books for Toddlers

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen 

Toes, Ears, & Nose!: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Marion Dane Bauer

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. 


Read Aloud Picture Books for Preschoolers

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss 

The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone 

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister 

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton 


A Bear Called Paddington (Paddington, #1) by Michael Bond

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson



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