List of books to read aloud to children, which have a fairly high success rate (keep the kid’s attention) and don’t make you want to strangle yourself after the third reading. They are in no particular order.
Archie Comics: Because the stories are clean, varied, easy to follow, and usually really funny. The kids can follow along with the pictures and most adults enjoy the story-lines as well. Best for Ages 3 and Up.
Look Out, Said the Elephant, I’m Going to Sneeze: An oldie and goodie. All the animals in the jungle are terrified of what happens when an elephant sneezes, but is their cure any better? Even little children can appreciate the irony. The big cover makes it easy for little hands and the artwork is charming. Ages 2 and Up
Classic Fairy Tales: Not the re-tellings from the Disney versions but the stories as cleaned by the Grimm’s brothers. There are a lot more fairy tales than Disney has movies and what you will find in any fairy-tale book (whether it be in the Color series or other) has a lot of variety and life-lessons. Easy to embellish and discuss, along with providing a life-long affinity for the tales and their subsequent variations in modern literature. All Ages!
Aesop’s Fables: Fairly similar to Classic Fairy Tales, but shorter and with more obvious lessons. All Ages!
The Hungry Caterpillar: Classic. The main draw for this one is the artwork. Good for small children.
If Wishes Were Horses: An Old West story based on the first half of the phrase “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride.” Too many wishes mean…too many horses?? The illustrations are charming and will engage any little horse-lover. Ages 4 and Up.
12 Brave Explorers – A triangular pop-up book telling, in rhyme, what happens to 12 brave explorers traveling through Egypt. Bright colors and exotic animals make this a fascinating story, although the explorers do get picked off one by one through a variety of poor choices. “One brave explorer finally used his head. He headed straight home and safely stayed in bed.”
Velveteen Rabbit : An old story based on a toy rabbit wanting to be Real. Children can relate to this one as they see their toys as Real and having individual personalities. It’s rather long and depending on the version there may or may not be sufficient pictures. Ages 6 and Up.
That’s Good, That’s Bad: A little boy goes to the zoo and gets carried off to Africa by a balloon bigger than he is. What’s good has a downside and what’s bad has an upside – nothing is as it first appears until he finally gets home.
Mama, Do You Love Me?: Illustrated by renowned Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee. This short book has a little girl asking her mother if she’d love her no matter what – even is she put ermine in her mukluks or ran away with the wolves or turned into a polar bear. But even if the puffin bays at the moon and the stars turn to fish in the sky, Mama will always love her little girl.