Must-read-aloud books for little kids and parents

Mike Petrilli suggests the kindergarten canon, must-read-aloud books for little kids.

One of the great joys of parenthood is reading to my two young sons. Partly it’s the visceral experience: Little guys curled up on my lap, in their PJ’s, soft light overhead, the day winding down, sleep coming (well, one can hope). But it’s also about the books: An endless treasure trove of stories to share, pictures to enjoy, traditions to pass along.

Here’s his full list, which includes some of my old favorites: Goodnight Moon (I read this every night or recited it from memory), Corduroy and, from my childhood, Caps for Sale and Blueberries for Sal. And lots of others, of course.

About Joanne


  1. cranberry says:

    I wish the list encouraged parents to explore other books by the same authors.

    Other authors to explore:

    Chris van Allsburg
    Barbara Berger
    Allan Ahlberg
    David Wiesner
    Tedd Arnold
    David McPhail
    Carl Sandburg (esp. Rootabaga Stories)
    Ian Whybrow
    Jon Scieszka
    Jan Brett
    Edward Lear

  2. Eric Jablow says:

    “A CHild’s Garden of Verses,” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    “The Space Child’s Mother Goose,” by Fredrick Winsor and Marian Parry.
    Two examples:

    There was an old woman with notions quite new,
    She never told children the things they should do,
    She hoisted the covers up over her head
    When people explained where her theories led.


    Three jolly sailors from Blaydon-on-Tyne
    They went to sea in a bottle by Klein.
    Since the sea was entirely inside the hull
    The scenery seen was exceedingly dull.