If you’re a parent of a school-aged child then you know that last week was Read Across America Week. For those of you who don’t have school-aged kiddos, Read Across America Week coincides with Dr. Suess’ birthday every year. It’s a reading initiative created by the National Education Association. Schools usually have a spirit week with literary themed days and there’s usually a big celebration at the end of the week. The goal is to celebrate books, authors, and reading and to bring awareness to the importance of reading early and often.
If you’re looking for something to keep up the momentum from last week or you’re needing a break from Dr. Suess overload, here are some of my favorite read alouds to share with your kiddos at home!
By William Joyce
I’m not going to lie, I totally cried the first time I read this book. If you love books then you probably will too. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is about the power of words, stories, and books. How they can bring us joy or sorrow and ultimately even change our lives. This book is sentimental and feels somewhat nostalgic. It’s whimsical and introduces some excellent vocabulary, like “squadron” and “happenstance”. One of my favorite quotes ever even comes from this book, “Everyone’s story matters.” This is the perfect book to continue the celebration of reading.
By B.J. Novak
The Book With No Pictures is a unique and silly book that proves to kids that books don’t NEED pictures to be funny or interesting. B.J. Novak uses fun words and onomatopoeia to “force” the reader to say things that the listeners might find humorous … like “Boo Boo Butt” and “I am a Robot Monkey”. Break out your silliest voices (and be prepared to sing) and show your kiddo that while pictures are nice … words alone can be just as much fun.
By Leo Lionni
I am a huge fan of Leo Lionni and if you haven’t read any of his other books I highly recommend them. Fish is Fish is about a minnow who befriends a tadpole, but as Tadpole becomes Frog his world expands beyond the pond. Minnow grows up into a full-fledged fish and becomes envious of Frog and all the things he has seen. He daydreams of all the amazing things he sees on his adventures and wishes to join him. This is a sweet story about friendship and the importance of being true to who you are.
By Mo Willems
Who doesn’t LOVE Mo Willems? Knuffle Bunny, Pigeon, and Elephant & Piggie. So much perfection! Mo Willems has created some seriously beloved stories and characters. We Are in a Book is perfect for post Read Across America Week reading because it celebrates the absolute awesomeness of books. I also love that Elephant & Piggie have no problem breaking the fourth wall and interacting with the reader. It creates a different kind of experience for the reader and listener alike.
By Matt De La Pena
A classic! Most kids have probably heard this book in class before, but I just couldn’t leave it off of my list of favorite read alouds. Last Stop On Market Street documents the beautiful intricacies of a bus ride that CJ and his Nana take after church one day. This book always reminds me of the importance of community and appreciating the little things in life. I also love that this book features a diverse cast of characters.