Choosing Family-Favorite Read Alouds

Consignment sales, yard sales, and homeschool conventions are underway with treasure troves of beautiful children’s reading books. Rarely do I purchase new books, choosing instead to look for older tried-and-true favorites, especially those I enjoyed as a child.

To find the perfect books for family read alouds, here’s what I keep in mind:
* Intriguing storyline.
* Beautiful or unique artwork.
* Words that lend themselves to being read aloud.
* A book to spark interest, invite questions, and activate imaginations.
* A book my children and I will want to read aloud over and over again.

Two family classics my younger boys and I enjoying reading again and again are:

The Giant Jam Sandwich (affiliate link)
(affiliate link by John Vernon Lord with verses by Janet Burroway
Published in 1972, it is the first storybook I recall reading-a-loud to my pretend schoolroom of Barbie and baby dolls as a little girl.

The Giant Jam Sandwich is about a horde of wasps invading a village. The baker comes up with a fool-proof plan to bake a giant jam sandwich to trap those rascally wasps. His plan succeeds, the village is saved all in a fun to read rhyming story. It will hold the attention of boys and girls — and may even make them hungry!

Andrew Henry’s Meadow (affiliate link)
by Doris Burn

I found this gem of a storybook at either a consignment or yard sale. Published in 1965, the black and white drawings are not boring to children, in fact mine were intrigued and wanted to immediately draw their own meadow.

Set in the small town of Stubbsville, Andrew Henry is a middle child who loves to invent. Feeling there is no place at home to create, he strikes out with supplies to a meadow where he builds a house. Town children soon begin showing up wanting Andrew Henry to build a variety of special playhouses. A tree house for Alice the bird lover, a wooden castle for a friend who loves to play dress-up and even a boathouse. Before long the meadow is filled with Andrew Henry’s creations while parents are searching for their missing children. It doesn’t take long for parents and children to joyously reunite in the peaceful meadow. My boys loved the meadow of children’s playhouses and discussed what and how they could build one of their own.

Family favorite read-a-loud books can easily become a growing collection to enjoy for generations. Both Andrew Henry’s Meadow and The Giant Jam Sandwich have been read to all four of my children over the years. Even as I read The Giant Jam Sandwich the last time, I caught my 19 year-old out of the corner of my eyes stopping to listen.

The beauty of good books is they never grow old, only better with each reading.

What are your family favorite read-a-loud books? I’d like to make a list and keep an eye out for them at the sales this spring.

Free Books for Kindle ~ If you enjoy free books I share my picks daily on Citizen Mama’s Facebook page. Links are time sensitive–if you see a book of interest, get it.


A Few Favorite Reading Lists

Some women collect shoes. I collect books.

My heart sings at the announcement of a used book sale (check this upcoming one out) or the opening of a new bookstore. Right up there with perusing book stores is checking out the reading lists of others. Finding an interesting book to read on a book list is like finding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses in the back of the fridge and no one is home but me!

Here are four recent book lists I have gleaned from for my to-be-read list:

10 Classic Books You Read in High School You Should ReRead
I probably do need to go back and reread Tess of the d’Urbervilles as it is the only book I recall not finishing and using Cliff Notes for in college. Maybe this time around it won’t put me to sleep.

Marriage Books for 2013 Reading
Not a book list of new books, it is however, the favorite books of the staff of Mentoring Moments for Christian Women.

10 Great Books for Soul Growth
Family, faith, and books to challenge. A great list–all of them are on my TBR list now.

Tim Elmore’s Favorite Books of 2012
Several titles from here are now on my 2013 list.

Do you keep a TBR list?

Baum’s Classic Wizard of Oz Series Free

Today the much anticipated (at least to my family!) Oz, the Great and Powerful opens in theaters across the country. L. Frank Baum’s classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is still my favorite movie from childhood. As a child it was scary, thrilling, and magical all at the same time.

If you are a Kindle user and Oz fan, the entire series can be downloaded for free.
(If you do not have a Kindle, simple download the free app to your smart phone or computer. You can download Kindle books and read from there.)

Baum was a prolific children’s writer, the Oz series alone contains fourteen books. The Oz books are said to be perfect for young readers and of course, family read aloud.

Have a great time visiting the land of Oz again or introducing your children to this imaginative series. Following are direct links to the free books:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Marvelous Land of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The Road to Oz
The Emerald City of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Little Wizard Stories of Oz
Tik-Tok of Oz
The Scarecrow of Oz
Rinkitink in Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz
The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Magic of Oz
Glinda of Oz

Enjoy free Kindle books? I’m sharing free books daily over on Citizen Mama’s Facebook page. Click over and ‘like’ to see what’s free daily. Citizen Mama Facebook.