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.