Kindergarten Read Alouds

This is a list of books I read to my daughter starting January 2010 through July 2011.  Our Kindergarten Read Aloud list was compiled from the Sonlight K Read Aloud list, the Hillsdale Academy kindergarten book recommendations, and books we had yet to read from the Ambleside Online Year 0 list (we had already read many of them prior to me planning our K year).  If our library didn't have it, it didn't make the cut.  Other books I included because I liked them as a kid or Red or I were interested in reading them. Starred books are ones I would want to read again to Tom Thumb.

I taught my daughter to read at age 5 using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.  I cannot recommend that book enough!  It's 231 lessons that are short, scripted, and so easy to use.  I tell everyone I know whose child is struggling with reading to buy it.  I plan to use it with Tom Thumb when he is old enough too!

Completed Read Alouds in 2010-2011
Not an exhaustive list (the list would never end if I listed all the books we read), but includes all the chapter books and the picture books we planned in advance to read.  Also listed are any books that we read without planning that were exceptional:
*The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - a huge hit! We read it in less than two weeks!
*Little House on the Prairie - completed 3/22/2010.  Red said, "It was good!"
*Carolinda Clatter - LOVED this one
Betsy-Tacy - completed 4/2010. Loved it!
Betsy-Tacy and Tib - completed 4/2010. Loved!
Through the Looking Glass - completed 5/6/2010.  Difficult read and hard to understand but she still liked it.
*The Tale of Despereaux - completed 5/12/2010. Best read aloud yet!
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill -  completed 5/2010. Good!  :-)
*The Boxcar Children - completed 5/28/2010. We liked it.
*May I Bring A Friend? -  completed 5/2010
*Imogene's Antlers - completed 6/1/2010- Red laughed and laughed.
*James and the Giant Peach - completed 6/7/2010. Great read.
Each Peach Pear Plum - completed 6/8/2010. Delightful eye spy book.
The Hundred Dresses - completed 6/9/2010. I didn't care for it. Red liked it okay.
*On Market Street - completed 6/9/2010. Alphabet book with great illustrations.
Owl Babies - completed 6/9/2010. Cute!
*Matilda - completed 6/21/2010.  Really magical and Red loved. Required some editing by me while reading aloud. The adults in the book sure have mouths on them (i.e. lots of "Shut up!" and other colorful insults I don't want her using.  Did the same for James and the Giant Peach)
*I Love You Purplest - completed 6/23/2010. Sweet book about a mom explaining to her boys she loves them both in different ways.
*Miss Rumphius - completed 6/27/2010.  Lovely illustrations.  A main message of the story is to leave the world more beautiful than we found it.
*Doctor De Soto - completed 6/27/2010.  A mouse dentist helps a fox with his teeth, but not without teaching him a lesson about not eating your dentist!
On Mother's Lap - completed 6/27/2010. Sweet story about how there's always room on mother's lap.
Two by Two - completed 6/27/2010. Noah's ark book with fun illustrations and a song to go with the rhymes in the back.
A Tree is Nice - completed 6/27/2010 - About the joys of having and planting trees. I thought it was just okay. Red seemed to like it.
The Biggest Bear - completed 6/27/2010.  I didn't care for it so much because there were a lot of guns in it, and the parents allow the boy to bring the bear home and then don't understand why it's wreaking havoc in the neighborhood.  In the end, the boy even takes his pet bear to the woods, intending to shoot it (where are the parents in all this when the kid is walking around in the forest with a full grown bear and a gun???), before he gets caught in a zoo trap with the bear.  It all ends well with the bear off in the zoo and the kid visiting him, but geez!  I wouldn't recommend this one.
*Crictor - completed 6/29/2010.  Short cute picture book about a helpful pet snake who does everything from doing knots with the Boy Scouts to foiling burglars.
*Joseph Had A Little Overcoat - completed 6/30/2010.  I love this book!  As Joseph's overcoat gets worn out, it gets made into smaller and smaller garments.  The illustrator does this by using a hole in a page to turn the overcoat into a vest, for example.  Great!  There's a song to go with it too.
*Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh - completed 7/6/2010.  Absolutely fabulous.  So much better than the animated movie.  I could read it over and over.
*The BFG - completed 8/10/2010 - Red really enjoyed it. Reading the giant voice (he speaks with very poor English) was sometimes difficult, but it was fun.
Stuart Little - completed 8/12/2010 - Didn't care for it.  The movie was far better.  Read my blog post about it here.
*The Trumpet of the Swan - completed 8/31/2010.  Really liked it.  A big improvement over Stuart Little.
*How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World - completed 8/2010.  We liked it.  Cute illustrations.
*A New Coat for Anna -completed 9/17/2010.  Anna's mom barters with local craftspeople for each component and service required to make Anna a new winter coat.  Great illustrations.
Andy and the Lion - completed 9/17/2010.  Andy checks out a book on lions from the library, and then meets a real one.  After removing a thorn from the lion's paw, the two new friends reunite at the circus.  There was a cliffhanger on every page.  Both kids liked it.
Doctor De Soto Goes to Africa - completed 9/17/2010.  Not the best.  Very soap opera like in that Doctor DeSoto gets kidnapped by a monkey as revenge against the elephant whose tooth he's supposed to be fixing in Africa.  There's a long drawn out sequence of all the elephant's friends searching for the doctor in the jungle while he is dying of hunger and thirst.  A tearful reunion follows.  Pretty lame in my book, but the kids seemed to like it.  It also gave us an opportunity to find Africa on the globe.
*Pippi Longstocking (second reading) - completed 9/17/2010.  Pippi is the neighborhood wild child who lives by herself in a house with a horse and monkey.  She proceeds to befriend the tight laced neighbor children and teaches them how to have fun and get dirty.  She's not always the most respectful or the best example, but it was amusing and gave Red and I a chance to talk about those issues.  Fun!
*Roxaboxen - completed 9/21/2010.  Great true story about kids who make their own imaginary town using rocks and boxes in a field across the street from their houses.
My Shadow and Prayer for a Child - completed 9/21/2010.  Both are books with a single poem in them.  Red didn't really enjoy either.
Paul Revere's Ride - completed 9/25/2010.  In this case, I don't really think she got it.  Yes, Longfellow is great, but I think the historic context was too hard for her to understand.  She did get the "one if by land, two if by sea" concept though.  Should revisit this one when studying the Revolutionary War.
*Charlotte's Web - completed 10/1/2010.  Beautiful, moving story of a friendship between a pig and a spider.  I'm so glad we read this one.
Scruffy the Tugboat and His Adventures Down the River - completed 10/3/2010.  Cute story about a toy tugboat that goes down a river in search of adventure, but learns there's no place like home.
The Church Mice in Action and Diary of a Church Mouse -  completed 10/5/2010.  Beautiful illustrations.  The Diary of a Church Mouse was a little sluggish in its pacing, but both were mildly amusing.
Twenty and Ten - completed 10/4/2010.  Action packed book about a group of 20 French children who aid in hiding 10 Jewish children from the Nazis in World War II.  I tried my best to explain it on Red's level, but I think the subject matter was a bit mature for her age.  Especially when we're trying to teach her the virtue of honesty, this book shows children deceiving adults.  Granted, the adults they were deceiving were Nazi soldiers, but it was difficult to explain so she could understand why some soldiers would be bad and why it was okay for the French children to not be truthful to protect the Jewish children.
Lentil - completed 10/5/2010.  Completely acceptable.  Just not very memorable.
*Jeremy: The Tale of an Honest Bunny - completed 10/2010.  The Cobbler read it to her and they both seemed to enjoy it.
*Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? - completed 10/2010.  This series is so great.  We just read What a Scare, Jesse Bear in honor of Halloween too.
*The Church Mice and the Ring - completed 10/2010.  Another Church Mice book, but we liked the story in this one better than the other two we read previously.  Again, the illustrations are outstanding.
*The Color Kittens - completed 10/29/2010.  Great book about color written in verse by the author of Goodnight, Moon.  Red had me read it to her twice back to back!  A keeper.
*The Crane Maiden - completed 10/30/2010.  Red loved it.  She's had me read it to her everyday since then.  She loves fairy tales and folk tales.  It's a Japanese folk tale about a man who saves a crane from a trap.  A girl then mysteriously arrives at their house to help he and his wife. 
Nurse Matilda - completed Part 1 in 10/2010.  It was good and were those children ever naughty, even Red was properly stunned; however she wasn't interested in reading more after that.  We went on to watch the movie (Nanny McPhee), which character development and plot wise (a lot of the bumps were smoothed out) was actually superior to the book.  Might read more later.  Might not.
The Light at Tern Rock - completed 12/22/2010. Yes, it is a Christmas book in that it takes place at Christmas time.  But seriously, I don't think Red really understood anything from this book other than Mr. Flagg tricked them into trapping them at the lighthouse for Christmas.  Quite frankly that didn't seem very Christmasy to either of us no matter how you cut it.
*Edith and Mr. Bear - completed 12/26/2010.  This story was just great.  The book has black and white photos instead of illustrations of Edith (the doll) and Mr. Bear and Little Bear.  Edith lies about breaking Mr. Bear's new clock and then learns the pain of not telling the truth.  I think it really drove home the importance of being truthful to Red.
*When I Was Young in the Mountains - completed 12/26/2010.  Soothing picture book tale of a young girl's childhood living in mountains with her grandparents.  I enjoyed the calming tone, and Red asked for it again immediately after we finished reading it the first time.
*Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm - completed 1/9/2011.  This book makes me smile.  It was written by a husband and wife about the inhabitants of their farm.  The cat section alone makes it worth buying (yes, I'm thinking about buying it!).  It just cracked me up how honest it was.  My daughter kept reading the passage about "Gooseberry and Max are spitting at each other!" Gooseberry and Max are two of their four cats, of course.  I'm sure we'll read it again and again.
*The Story of Holly and Ivy - completed 1/14/2011.  A magical Christmas story about an orphan girl and Christmas doll finding a home together.  I just adored it and Red did too.
*The Magician's Nephew - completed 1/31/2011.  The first book in the Chronicles of Narnia.  A little heavy and bumpy initially, but turned out to be a good one.  Red asked today to check out The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe next time we go to the library.
*The Three Billy Goats Gruff - completed 1/2011.  We all really enjoyed this version of the story.  Red asked for it over and over.  A keeper.
The Spiderwick Chronicles - completed 2/4/2011.  We read all five and enjoyed them.  Red is really into fantasy so it was a perfect fit for her.  I did some creative language editing (the kids in the book tend to say "Crap!" and "Shut up!" a lot) to suit our family.  There was some violence in the book, but she seemed untroubled and not scared.  We will save the movie for a few years down the road.  This was more fun reading that was geared to Red's interest in faeries so I don't know if we'll read it to Tom Thumb or not.
*My Father's Dragon - completed 2/20/2011.  A tale of a boy who goes on an adventure to free a dragon held captive by the animals on Wild Island.  It really was a delightful read (and I don't say delightful unless I mean it :-)  Red was actually able to read part of it to me herself.  We'll be checking out the sequels next.
The Chocolate Touch - completed 2/22/2011.  A modern King Midas tale with a boy who turns everything he eats into chocolate.  Red enjoyed it.
*The Fool and the Flying Ship -  completed 3/14/2011.  Red and Tom Thumb listened to the audio version read by Robin Williams.  It was a hoot!  I'm going to be getting checking out more of this series from the library.
*The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - completed 3/2011.  I love this book more and more every time I read it.  Great characters, great character development, magic, talking animals---what more could you ask for?  Red's reading skills have improved so much she even read some of the chapters on her own!
The Princess and the Pea - completed 4/2/2011.  A simplified version of the story, but the illustrations of animals as the characters make this edition great.  If you're looking for the real Hans Christian Andersen, this isn't it, but the princess as a tiger took the cake!
Johnny Appleseed - completed 4/3/2011.  For a first foray into biographies, it wasn't bad.  It was short and easy to read.  The illustrations were not great.  When it was over, Red said that she thought it was nice that he liked animals and helped people so at least she got something out of it.  
*Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book - completed 4/7/2011.  A series of short stories about having good manners.  The stories were cute.  Some were very direct.  My favorite was the story about Pig Will and Pig Won't (who eventually became Pig Me Too!).  I expect Red will want to read it again.
*Ask Mr. Bear - completed 4/7/2011.  A book about a boy in search of a birthday gift for his mother.  He asks a series of animals for assistance and finally finds the perfect gift with the help of Mr. Bear.  A short sweet tale.
*The Doorbell Rang - completed 4/13/2011.  A fun repetitive book about a mom who bakes cookies and one after the other all the neighborhood kids come over to have one.  And the doorbell keeps ringing.  Red was able to read this one to me.
The Apple and the Arrow - didn't complete.  We gave up on this one.  The protagonist was a boy and Red just wasn't that interested.  Not to mention there was a lot of war and related talk in the book which was making the book very stop and go so I could explain things.  I doubt we'll try this one again.
*A Fly Went By - completed 4/2011.  An amusing easy reader about a whole line of animals who appear to be chasing each other but really aren't.  Red was able to read this one to me.
*The Little Red Hen - completed 5/2011.  I read this to both Red and Tom Thumb.  The illustrations in this edition were adorable.  The kids pointed out that the cat resembled our cat Pumpkin.  This tale and its lesson is always current.
Rosie's Walk - completed 5/2011.  A simple tale of a Rosie the hen who is out for a walk being stalked by a fox (who is eventually chased off by a swarm of bees, unbeknown to Rosie).  The illustrations are what make the story understandable and cute.
One Monday Morning - completed 5/2011.  A funny tale about a boy who imagines that an entire royal entourage (king, queen, and little prince included) comes to visit him at his city apartment day after day when he's not home.  Cute illustrations.  Both Red and Tom Thumb like it and have asked for it multiple times.  I'm sure the yellow cover is helping with Tom Thumb.
Hattie and the Fox - completed 5/2011.  Red read this story about a chicken trying to warn her fellow farm animals about the arrival of a fox.  I read it to Tom Thumb too.  Repetitive and enjoyable.
M is for Mitten - I checked this out and Red said, "That's a good book.  I already read it at school."
Mushroom in the Rain - completed 6/2011.  Tom Thumb and Red really enjoyed this story and I did too!  The book is about a bunch of animals who get caught outside in a rainstorm and successively all manage to fit under a mushroom.  Super cute and unique illustrations.  I like it so much that I would recommend this one as a gift for the K and younger set too.
The Twits - completed 6/2011.  Another Roald Dahl book where bad adults get punished.  Mr. and Mrs. Twit are simply awful, and their awful behavior to each other and animals (e.g. putting glue on the dead tree outside and eating the birds that stick to it in a bird pie and forcing their caged pet monkeys to stand on their heads all day) is eventually avenged with their rather grotesque deaths from standing on their heads too long.  I thought it was a little yucky, but Red liked it.  We both realize that Dahl's books are completely over the top and so far removed from reality that we can laugh at them.  We alternated reading chapters to each other.
Honest Abe - completed 6/2011.  I read this one to Red and Tom Thumb.  They liked it.  The illustrations were a little odd (i.e. extremely colorful and kind of abstract), but the story itself was a good introduction to Abraham Lincoln.
*The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin - completed 7/2011.  Red read this one on her own and liked it well enough that she checked out another book about Ben Franklin on our next trip to the library.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - completed 7/2011.  Cool book written by the guy who came up with James Bond about a flying car and an eccentric family that defeats a group of gangsters.  Great fun!
Paul Bunyan - completed 7/31/2011.  I read this tall tale to Red and Tom Thumb and they seemed to like it.  The illustrations were very entertaining.


blondeviolin said...

What an AWESOME resource! You've inspired me to do the same on our school blog. Thanks so much!

Sherri said...

Thank you for such an awesome list! There are definitely some books on here I hadn't thought about. My children are right behind yours in age so I'm very glad to have found your website.

Robyn said...

Great list! I'm always looking for books to read to my 4 year old son. It can be tricky to find just the right level for comprehension and interest when you have a small town library and often need to order a booki in - so no chance to preview. Appreciate the comments!