Chapter books read aloud in 2012

Stefan is not quite five and this was our first year to really get into read aloud chapter books. We thoroughly enjoyed our read aloud times and I am looking forward to making this an even more important part of our day in this coming year.

We’ve experimented a lot in how we do it. Changed the time of day, setting, etc. I’d love to hear your thoughts on when and how you include read aloud times. So far, we have loved it, but I am still in experimental stage when it comes to the details of making it happen during the day. So bring on the ideas!

Here is what we read this year.

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White that doesn’t need a description. What child doesn’t love a talking pig, spider, and of course the rat? This is a fun story that definitely engaged my children.




Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater was a hilarious read. We laughed a lot while reading this book, and my kids will forever love Penguins I think! The silly Penguins, and the somewhat crazy Mr. Popper is a winner for any child!





Two Times the Fun by Beverly Cleary was not our favorite read aloud, but it was fairly easy to read as it was four individual stories, rather than one long story. The kids enjoyed the funny stories,but I think I was more in classic mode so it didn’t quite meet that level. However, if you are wanting something lighter and fun, this will do the trick!


Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne was a hit this year. I was actually surprised at how much both kids got into the original stories. It definitely gave us all a love for dear old Pooh, and he will forever have a special spot in our hearts. We can’t wait to read Pooh’s other adventures!



James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl was a favorite! Dahl has an exceptional imagination and from the very first page drew Stefan into the story. It was funny, engaging, and completely unrealistic. A perfect story for kids. We also learned quite a bit about insects as he cleverly included real facts about the insects as part of the story. It is difficult to tell you how much Stefan loved this book. He frequently asked me to read a little longer, and would bring it to me at different times in the day to read another chapter.  There is a little language in the book that I didn’t want being repeated, but it was easy to switch some words out as I was reading aloud.


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. I was surprised how into this Stefan got. I didn’t know if he was too young, but nobody is too young for a good story, I think. He could not wait for Aslan to appear on the scene and while he mostly just enjoyed the story, I was surprised at some of the underlying themes he pulled out himself. The other factor that contributed to him loving this story was that this was a story Daddy read to us. Most read alouds I read during the day, but this was our family one and it made it very special. This particular read-aloud edition our library had was a really nice one.


The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White was a winner in Stefan’s book. Whether it was because it was about a boy out in the wilderness, the sweetness of the swan, or just the fact the E. B. White knows how to write for children, I don’t know. But he loved this and was taken with the story. It also caused us to search online for recordings of how the trumpet swan sounds!



A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond. You will be endeared to the little bear from page one. We have laughed so much through all the antics Paddington gets himself into. It has also inspired some reenacting of some of our favorite scenes. A fun book full of silliness that we all loved. WE are excited to read the rest of his adventures!

In addition to these, we listened to lots of stories (some of which I told you about in the gift guide for children), and read hundreds of picture books.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for great read alouds. I’m making plans for next year!

What books have you enjoyed with your kids this year?

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 Linking up to Read Aloud Thursday


  1. Reminds me of some fun memories of reading books aloud –especially in Africa before you were born! But even later when you would remember. I can’t believe you got through all those books this year. Keep it up!

  2. I am so glad you linked up to Read Aloud Thursday! With the exception of the Beverly Cleary title, I believe we’ve either read aloud every one of these or, in the case of a couple, listened to the audiobook. Another series we enjoyed when my girls were very young is the My Father’s Dragon series.

    We usually do our reading aloud at mealtimes, right after I finish eating and the children are finishing up. This helps somewhat because the toddler is still in his high chair.

    I hope you’ll begins a RAT regular!

    • I’ll have to check out the My Father’s Dragon series! thanks! Was excited to find another children’s book enthusiast. :-)

      • Ditto to “My Father’s Dragon”!!!! Martin LOVED this one. Actually, we bought the trilogy in one… It’s got three separate stories that can be bought separately – or as one volume. He wanted it read from cover to cover. :) And then wanted me to start over from the beginning and read it again. :) Really delightful story.

  3. I love all of these suggestions. We have read most of these, too. (We are two chapters from finishing Prince Caspian right now.) I tried reading Winnie the Pooh a few years ago, but I think my boys were too young. I need to pull it out again.

    • I tried WtP once before and he was too young. But this was just a couple of months ago and he LOVED it. We also had been given a Pooh stuffed bear who came along to each read aloud time, so that helped. 😉

  4. We just finished a couple of Patricia St. John’s books, and the kids (6, 8 and 10) loved them! (The Tanglewood’s Secret and Star of Light) We’re going to start on Little House on the Prairie tonight, I think.

    • I remember enjoying the St. John’s books when I was a girl! Thanks for reminding me about them! And I looove Little House. Can’t wait to read those to my kids!

  5. Thanks for these ideas! We’ve not done many chapter books yet, but I currently have two read aloud “guide books” checked out from the library, planning for next year. (The timing of your posts never ceases to amaze me. 😉 There are other read-aloud guides out there, but the two I’m currently perusing are:

    – The Read Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease
    – What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child–and All the Best Times to Read Them

    I was inspired by the fact that Stefan sat through that much chapter reading! My son is about 6 months younger than Stefan (though a very personality I think), and he is just getting to the point maturation-wise that he can enjoy chapter read-alouds. Thanks for the suggestions and inspiration!

    • Oops! Sorry for the typos:

      the second book is by Pam Allyn

      “though with a very *different* personality”

      • I have the Trelease book and I have also used Honey for a Child’s Heart. I hadn’t heard of the Allyn book though, but I already put it on hold at the library! Thanks :)

        As to starting, I would go slow. Stefan is fairly calm, but he’s still a boy and needs to move around after a few minutes. Slowly, though, he has lengthened his attention span. And I’ve found that when they get fidgety to just stop. I’d rather stop on a ‘high’ than wait until they are begging me to stop. My main objective with chapter books is to help them start connecting from time to time and holding together a bigger picture story. Details, etc that aren’t in a picture book.

        We can sit for a long time reading tons of different picture books, but a chapter book requires them to keep a continual log in their mind so to speak of what’s going on. So it doesn’t really matter if it’s just a couple of pages. The key is that it will continue on tomorrow.

        Also, just a note that might save you some frustrating reading moments. Another commenter mentioned meal time. I’ve heard that suggested a lot. I tried that and it didn’t work for us. I think my kids are all still too young that they constantly needed something. Water, more food, something cut up, etc… I felt like I would read a couple of sentences and have to jump up and take care of something. Someday, though, I can see that working.

  6. Rebecca L. says:

    Not to be bragging, but I have read 62 chapter books to my daughter this year. She is 5 years old and she loves it! You must read the Magic Tree House books. She loved them. And you can usually read one book in a sitting. We would read at night before she went to bed.

    Keep up the reading though. I believe it’s a big part of the fact that she is now reading herself.

    • That’s awesome!

      I’ve considered the MTH books, but I haven’t decided yet if I want to wait for him to just be able to read them himself. That’s great that your daughter loved them!

  7. I have to tell you about a wonderful, laugh-out-loud book! It’s called Owls in the Family by Farley Mowatt. It’s the true story from his life growing up in Canada and raising two Great Horned Owls. Each owl has a distinct personality, and your kids will love reading about their antics! Aside from Honey for a Child’s Heart, two of my go-to book lists come from the Sonlight Curriculum catalog and from Drawn Into the Heart of Reading at

    • Thank you, Suzanne! Putting it on my list to read very soon. I do use Sonlight lists (forgot to mention that), but I haven’t used heartofdakota’s. Thanks for the recommendation!


  1. […] ended up reading 47 books. I also read 8 chapter book read alouds with the kids. I do count those because well written kid lit is a beautiful thing to read–even […]

  2. […] I have a 5 year old boy, a 3 year old girl, and a 2 year old boy that sometimes listens in while he is playing, sometimes not. If you are interested, you can find what we read aloud in 2012 here. […]

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