Our first list of best read-alouds for kids was such a hit, we decided to add a few more great books! Take a look at these picks, refreshed with a few more titles to enjoy together with your kid.
There’s plenty of research showing that reading to children and encouraging them to practice out loud helps build vocab and comprehension than independent reading alone. But reading books together is also a great way to carve out bonding time with the kiddos, and introduce them to new books and your own childhood faves.
So grab your iPad (or other preferred device) and take a look at these high-quality books from our digital library that you can enjoy with kids of all reading levels, from preschool through elementary school.
Check out our list of best read-alouds for kids!
Best Read-Alouds for Kids on Epic
Do Unto Otters (Audiobook)
By: Laurie Keller
Smart, playful text makes this audiobook one of our best read-alouds for kids. The story begins when grouchy Mr. Rabbit suddenly has to get along with the otters who just moved into the neighborhood. Though he struggles with coping with his new neighbors at first, Mr. Rabbit comes to learn how to be kind to otters—er, others—while still respecting their differences.
This book teaches kids about the “golden rule” of treating people the way they would like to be treated, and what it means to be a good friend and neighbor.
The Little House (Audiobook)
By: Virginia Lee Burton
A man builds a sturdy little house and declares, “This little house shall never be sold for gold or silver and she will live to see our great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren living her.” Sure enough it stands the test of time, standing on a hill watching the days, nights and seasons pass by.
This enchanting story about a happy home has been capturing little ones’ hearts for over 75 years. The gentle tone makes it perfect for a bedtime story.
Where The Wild Things Are (Audiobook)
By: Maurice Sendak
Grab your copy of this gorgeously illustrated book and let your kids follow along with this audio version!
Adult fans of “Where the Wild Things Are” will remember Max, who’s transported far away to a magical forest filled with wild things after he threatens to eat his mother (eek!) and she sends him to bed without supper.
Fortunately, the wild things don’t eat Max, and instead make him their king. In the end Max realizes that king or not, he still needs the love of his parents. The story teaches kids about love, family and that it’s okay to have strong feelings and still treat others with love and respect.
Written by: Robert Munsch
Illustrated by: Sheila McGraw
Get the tissues handy and snuggle up with this nostalgic, long beloved picture book. At times filled with funny antics and at other times touching and sweet, this book tells the story of a mother’s love for her child from cradle to adulthood. It culminates in a gentle twist that reveals the enduring, lifelong and tenderly reciprocal bond between parents and their children. The soothing rhythmic prose makes this one of the best read-alouds for kids of all time, especially as you’re tucking your little one into bed.
Written by: Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter
Illustrated by: Bryce Gladfelter
Is it “Sir Francies Bacon” or “Sir, France is bakin?!” This “worst read-aloud book ever” is one of the most fun ones on this list.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “P IS FOR PTERODACTYL” comes yet another playful picture book reveling in the fun absurdities of the English language.
In this book, Ptolemy the pterodactyl is back to teach kids about language and grammar, with homophones, homonyms and tricky punctuation. “No Reading Allowed” will give your kid the silliest English lesson ever, and have you laughing out loud every time you read it.
Written by: Alli Brydon
Illustrated by: EG Keller
Walt the lobstah’s greatest dream is to win first place in the annual Swell Gahdens contest. But year after year the honor goes to his “chowdah-head” rival Milton. One day, when (“holy whale poop!”) heaps of gahbage show up in their yahds, the two must work together to save their gahdens.
As the title suggests, this cute picture book is a hilarious delight. It’s a silly and entertaining way for your kid to learn about sea life, conservation and the spirit of cooperation—as well as practical tips on how to help preserve our oceans.
Written by: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: Chris Van Dusen
The New York Times best-selling piggy heroine is back, this time behind the wheel of a car. Mr. and Mrs. Watson’s portly pig Mercy loves to hit the road in the backseat of the Watson’s convertible. But one day things go awry when their elderly neighbor Baby Lincoln plops down in the car, and Mercy ends up having to take the wheel. Soon there’s a policeman on her tail, a struggle for the brake, and other hilarious chaos. The silly illustrations and zany story make this early chapter book a great option for reading out loud together.
Rainbow Magic #4: Fern the Green Fairy (Audiobook)
By: Daisy Meadows
Fairyland is home to seven colorful fairy sisters, and together, they’re the Rainbow Fairies. In this fourth book in the magical Rainbow Magic series, Rachel and Kirsty must make their way through a garden maze to rescue the green fairy, Fern. If they make the right turns, will they find her? The gentle narrative of this audiobook makes it a great read-aloud for bedtime.
Written by: Rebecca Hickox
Illustrated by: Will Hillenbrand
The universal appeal of the Cinderella story makes it popular all over the world. In this middle-eastern version of the classic fairy tale, Maha is forced to do all the housework while her stepsister does nothing while her father is away fishing. But one day, she rescues a magical red fish, and in return it pledges to help her whenever she calls. One night, when she’s forbidden from attending a grand henna, the fish sets in motion a chain of rewarding events for Maha, with a golden sandal at the center of it all.
Written by: Ruth Stiles Gannett
Illustrated by: Ruth Chrisman Gannett
Young Elmer tells a stray cat about his his dream about flying, and in return he learns of a dragon held captive on an island and forced to shuttle its residents across a river. He decides to rescue the dragon, and in the process outwits hungry tigers, cranky crocodiles and other creatures. Your kid will love this charming adventure story, loved by generations of young readers, and among the best read-alouds for kids available on our platform.
The Boxcar Children: The Power Down Mystery (Audiobook)
Written by: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Parents everywhere can revel in nostalgia with this update to the classic series about four orphans who enter a world of freedom, adventure and self-reliance after discovering and moving into an abandoned boxcar. In this book a storm hits, leaving kid sleuths Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny with no power or internet, so they must figure out what’s going on—all while totally unplugged. Ranked among the all-time “Top 100 Chapter Books” in a School Library Journal survey, The Boxcar Children is also among the National Education Association’s “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”
By: Ranjani Larocco
Bring out the snacks and settle in with your older kid for a delicious chapter book full of magic, unexplained mysteries and mouth-watering treats!
Mimi comes from a big, successful Indian-American family. Her parents have important jobs, and even her siblings have tremendous talents of their own. But where does she fit in? What makes her special? All it takes is a town bakery contest, some magical ingredients and a mysterious new friend to help her find her time to shine.
Whether reading together or independently, your kid will love reading about the yummy desserts, magical entanglements and life lessons entwined in this fun read.
Written by: Cece Bell
Illustrated by: David Lasky
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? For Cece, her new magic ability is bionic hearing!
As a deaf student, Cece is afraid that the other kids in her class will stare at her and her hearing aid, AKA “Phonic Ear.” But her anxiety melts away as something miraculous begins to happen. Cece can not only hear her teacher in class, but in the hallway, from the restroom and in the teacher’s lounge!
Your kid will love this semi-autobiographical #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel about Cece’s wacky adventures navigating middle school, friendships and the experience of being different.
Looking for more of the best read-alouds for kids? Use Epic! Check out our huge selection of audiobooks, Read-To-Me books and animated picture books available on our platform. And while you’re here, check out a few more of the best read-alouds for kids available off of our platform. Most can be found on Amazon, and several as free audiobooks.
The Cat in the Hat
By: Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat is a timeless classic that appeals to both kids and adults. Kids will love the zany rhymes and nonsensical word play while adults will feel nostalgic over the familiar characters. If you aren’t familiar with the story, The Cat in the Hat is about a life-sized cat that can’t seem to help waltzing into seemingly mundane situations and turning them upside down. The cat wildly misbehaves as main characters Dick and Sally try to keep things under control. Through the cat’s erratic behavior, parents can use the book as a tool to help illustrate to their kids the importance of order and rules.
By: R.J. Palacio
Meet Auggie. He’s a typical kid who likes the same things other kids his age like: friends, ice cream and playing video games. But typical kids don’t get stared at wherever they go, and because of a facial abnormality, Auggie does. Homeschooled all his life, he now must go to an actual school for the first time, and all he wants is to be accepted. Will his new peers see past what makes him different and get to know and appreciate him for who he is?
This New York Times bestseller is really as good as everyone says it is. Also adapted into a popular motion picture, this touching book teaches kids about kindness, courage and resilience.
The Book with No Pictures
By: B.J. Novak
A picture book with no pictures?! That’s right! This unconventional “picture book” is perfect for the kid who isn’t wow’ed by traditional illustrations. It’s full of brightly colored pages with outlandish phrases, made-up songs about nothing, and whimsical sounds that make it another of the best read-alouds for kids. It’s clever, it’s ridiculous, and don’t be surprised if you want to read it over and over again.
Elephant & Piggie: There is a Bird on Your Head
By: Mo Willems
In this funny kids’ book series chock full of easy-to-grasp life lessons, Elephant and Piggie are the best of friends. They always find themselves in the silliest situations, but end up coming out stronger together. With Mo Willems’s witty writing style and fun illustrations this entire series is super entertaining for young readers.
The Monster at the End of This Book
By: Jon Stone
This book has a big furry blue monster waiting for you—oh no! Don’t worry. This adorable picture book from Sesame Street isn’t scary. Narrated by the lovable, furry monster Grover, he warns little ones that he’s learned there’s a monster at the end of the book and begs them not to turn the pages. But of course they can’t resist and are delighted by what actually awaits at the end.
By: E.B. White
Many will remember the titular web of the spider Charlotte, and the remarkable expressions she spins above the barn describing her best friend, Wilbur the pig. Saved as a runt by a little girl named Fern, Wilbur continues to face the danger of slaughter. But when word spreads of the “miracle,” visitors come from all over the county to witness “Zuckerman’s famous pig.” What follows is a touching, bittersweet ending to an enduring classic tale of friendship, life, death and love.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
By: J.K. Rowling
In this first book in the famed “Harry Potter” series, Harry discovers that he’s a wizard and finds his place in a world of witchcraft and wizardry. The audio versions of these books narrated by Jim Dale and Stephen Fry are amazingly fun to listen to and really bring the stories to life. Note that while the first few books are perfectly fine for younger listeners, the series does get darker as it progresses. Later books in the series may be more appropriate for 12-year olds.
James and the Giant Peach
By: Roald Dahl
From the famed author of “Matilda,” comes this imaginative gem. After a young boy named James Henry Trotter tragically loses his parents, he’s forced to live with two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life takes a fun turn when James drops magic crystals by an old peach tree. The peach at the top grows, and soon it’s as big as a house! With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and that’s when the real adventure begins.
By: Astrid Lindgren
Many grownups remember the red pig-tailed, freckle-faced young girl Pippi Longstocking, and how she turned little Tommy and Annika’s world upside down. When Pippi moves in next door, she has no parents, upside-down braids and takes the two kids on adventures with horses, monkeys, the circus and more.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
By: C.S. Lewis
If your child loved fairy tales when they were younger, fantasy series like “The Chronicles of Narnia” might be a perfect fit for their listening ears. Although it’s the second book in the series, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is a great starting point. It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story, but we recommend the other audiobooks in the series as well.
That’s our list of best read-alouds for kids on and off Epic! Want to find more fun, educational children’s books that kids of all ages can listen to? Check out our posts: “Best Audiobooks for Toddlers,” “Best Audiobooks for 5-Year Olds” and “Best Audiobooks for 10-Year Olds” on getepic.com/learn.