With many elementary schools and public libraries remaining closed for now, it might be a bit of a challenge getting fresh books in front of your kids and keeping them motivated to read. But there’s still a lot you can do to get your kids excited about reading and keeping up those literacy skills. Here’s one way we recommend: take story time online for digital read-alouds!
Read-alouds top the list of most effective ways to keep your kids reading, but not everyone’s always in the mood to be the designated reader. So if you want to jumpstart your kid’s daily reading habits and encourage more independent reading time, digital audiobooks and Read-To-Me books on Epic are a great way to go. We’ve got everything from picture books for younger readers to nonfiction books for older kids, and everything in between.
Read-alouds on Epic!
Our Read-To-Me books, also called read-aloud books, offer a world of learning benefits, including helping your kid master new words they might not be ready to grasp on their own, and gaining better listening comprehension and command of grammar. Being able to hear the story during an interactive read-aloud as they follow along, either in a Read-To-Me or physical book, is an easy way to boost learning while making reading fun.
We’ve got a huge variety of Read-To-Me books, audiobooks, read-aloud videos and animated picture books to give all kids a daily dose of reading practice without needing to rely on you to narrate the story.
Read-To-Me books in particular offer young children an extra advantage, as each word pops out, highlighted, as the narrator reads, making it easy to follow along visually while enjoying the narration. You can get them set up with a book or collection for a nice break for you, or you can use them as an interactive, engaging tool during at-home learning. You can even gather around a good book and follow along with the whole family.
Ready to step up your story time and improve literacy skills with Epic? Check out this book list by age group, all available on Epic Unlimited.
Dinosaur Bones (Audiobook)
By: Bob Barner
Kids will get a kick out of the fun rhyming text and vibrant paper collage illustrations in this cute, informative book. Author Bob Barner shakes the dust off the dinosaur bones at the museums and reminds us that they once belonged to living, breathing creatures. Filled with fun dinosaur facts (a T. Rex skull can weigh up to 750 pounds) and an informational ‘Dinometer,’ Dinosaur Bones is “sure to make young dinosaur enthusiasts roar with delight.”
Elmo’s Emojis (Read-To-Me)
By: Sesame Workshop
Why is Cookie Monster feeling worried? What makes Abby feel proud? Who sings when he feels joyful? This adorable picture book from the creators of Sesame Street will teach young readers how to identify emotions, express their own feelings and be more empathetic toward others—while also instilling valuable comprehension skills.
Goodnight Moon (Audiobook & Read-To-Me)
By: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by: Clement Hurd
In this classic picture book loved by generations of parents, a little rabbit is lulled to sleep surrounded by all that he knows and loves best in the great green room of his house—available in both audiobook and Read-To-Me formats!
Epic Originals: Once Before Time: Sleeping Brontie (Read-To-Me)
By: Christy Webster
Illustrated by: Gladys Jose
This series gives young readers a silly, prehistoric introduction to the world of fairy tales. In this playful take on the traditional Sleeping Beauty story, Sleeping Bronty and her friends defeat the selfish fairy, and as a result learn about the power of bravery.
Stars! Stars! Stars! (Audiobook)
By: Bob Barner
In another engaging book authored by Bob Barner, little ones can take a ride through outer space to visit and learn about distant planets and dazzling stars.
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table (Audiobook)
By: Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrated by: Eric-Shabazz Larkin
This is the first picture book in Martin’s “Food Heroes” series. In it, former basketball star Will Allen looks at an abandoned lot in Milwaukee and sees more: a table big enough to feed the whole world. This is the true story of how African American athlete-turned-innovator, educator and community builder Will Allen innovated new farming methods, and as a result was able to bring fresh, nutritious veggies and fish to inner-city neighborhoods.
Trombone Shorty (Read-To-Me)
By: Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
The upbeat jazzy music alone makes this read-aloud biography a hit. Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews narrates and plays his trumpet in this Read-To-Me that tells of childhood in New Orleans and transports young readers to this exciting city and the thrilling world of jazz.
Epic Originals: Unicorn Island (Audiobook)
By: Donna Galanti
Illustrated by: Bethany Stancliffe
When Sam arrives in Foggy Harbor for the summer, all she can see is a small, boring town. But when she discovers a hidden trapdoor leading to a room full of strange artifacts, she discovers an extraordinary secret beyond the fog: an island of unicorns!
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (Read-To-Me)
By: Traci Sorell
Illustrated by: Frané Lessac
In this fascinating nonfiction picture book, kids can follow along with the celebrations, traditions and experiences of the Cherokee community throughout the year, as well as their gratitude for the blessings and challenges that each season brings.
What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? (Audiobook)
By: Steve Jenkins, Robin Page
A nose for digging? Ears for seeing? Eyes that squirt blood (what?!)? Young readers can explore all the crazy, cool, weird things animals can do with their ears, eyes, mouths, noses and tails in this informative read-aloud.
Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates (Read-To-Me)
By: Bill Harley
Illustrated by: Adam Gustavson
Charlie Bumpers and his best friends Tommy and Hector can’t wait to try out the “stupific” offensive soccer plays they’ve perfected! However their hopes are crushed on when they meet their shrimpy teammates and a coach who won’t give them a chance. So they decide to win another way: selling the most candy bars for the school fundraiser! In addition to getting a kick out of Charlie’s hijinks, your young reader will learn valuable lessons about hard work, honesty and cooperation.
Epic Originals: Creature Campers (Read-To-Me)
By: Joe McGee
Illustrated by: Bea Tormo
Being the new kid at camp is never easy, especially for a bigfoot, a hyperactive jackalope, a fairy who can’t fly and the only human boy! Kids love this series filled with beloved characters showing that being different can be pretty cool.
Earth : A Shipmate’s Guide to Our Solar System (Read-To-Me)
By: Seymour Simon
Planet Earth moves through the vast reaches of the space like a ship sails through the waves at sea. Your kid will love this fresh take on the solar system in a fascinating read-aloud version of this informational text.
The Dream Jar (Read-To-Me)
By: Bonnie Pryor
Illustrated by: Mark Graham
As Valentina and her family are adjusting to their new life in America after immigrating from Russia, they keep a jar, putting money in it to fulfill their dream. Kids can get an intimate glimpse into the immigrant experience in this historical story book.
What To Do About Alice? (Audiobook)
By: Barbara Kerley
Theodore Roosevelt had a small problem. Her name was Alice! Let your kid follow the story of historic first daughter Alice Lee Roosevelt, and this young girl’s insatiable appetite to go places, meet people and do exciting things in this cheeky biographical picture book.
That’s our list! Whether homeschooling, trying to get your kid fired up to read or just looking for more activities to do as a family, we hope your young readers enjoy these, and many more read-aloud books and videos on our platform.