Two of the great and beautiful aspects of picture books are the size and shape. The picture book seems to be a perfect art form as it is.  

Kevin Henkes

We're all about having fun with books

Three steps to a rollicking read!

To have fun with books you need to do three things:

1.  Find high-interest books 

High-interest books are simply books to which kids are attracted.  You may not have thought of these selections are kid charmers.  Give them a try -- you'll be pleasantly surprised.

  • Highly visual books.  Look for books with lots of photos or bold illustrations and small blocks of text.  DK is a leader in this kind of publishing. 
  • Choose your own ending books.  Kids LOVE the idea that more than one narrative path is possible and that they can make the choice.
  • Popular themes.  What's hot?  Soccer World Cup?  Snow storms?  Exotic bugs? Ask the kids what they are interested in and seek out books on those topics.
  • Silly books.  Wacky is good.  Zany antics, fractured fairy tales, misadventures of all kinds keep the kids coming back for more.  Ask your favorite children's librarian to help or check out some of our Reading Resources.

2.  Interact with the kids

Encourage the kids to respond to the books you are reading with them.

  • Ask questions.  "Why do you think Madeline did that?"
  • Prompt predictions.  "What will the caterpillar eat next?"
  • Explore the illustrations.  "Look at how the pictures get bigger as Max visits the Wild Things!"
  • Think out loud about the story or structure of the book.  "Hmm.   The Little Red Hen always responds, "I'll do it myself!" when none of the other animals will help her."

3.  Be silly or dramatic

  • Bring the book to life with your expression and enthusiasm. Sound worried, excited, scared or bossy, at the story requires.
  • Change your voice and your speed.  Slow down to build suspense, use a quiet or squeeky voice for a small character and a booming voice for a big one.
  • Make mistakes on purpose.  "And the third little pig built his house out of banana peels!"  The kids will love correcting you.

TRC's Top 12 Read-Aloud Books


What makes a great Read-Aloud book?  Large, colorful illustrations, memorable characters, a satisfying story, writing that begs to be heard, that's meant to be whispered, bellowed, sung, rhymed, repeated.  Here are some tried and true picture books that kids will love!

 1. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema

 2. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

 3. The Neighborhood Mother Goose, illustrated by Nina Crews

 4. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

 5. Cuckoo/Cucu by Lois Ehlert

 6. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

 7. The Snowy Day by Ezra jack Keats

 8. This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

 9. The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney

10. Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka

11. Hello Ocean/Hola Mar by Pam Munoz Ryan

12. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak


TRC Volunteer Blog


Stay up-to-date with the happenings at Read-Aloud sites and find tips and suggestions about reading with kids on the TRC Read to Kids Blog.