One of our favorite requests in the kids section is for exciting, engaging illustrated books to read to young kids. So here’s a quick list of some of my favorite read aloud books that will have the kids laughing along – and will maybe make adults laugh as well.
Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
This is a gentle counting book with a great rhythm, but what sets it apart for me is that the reader and the main character, Baby, share a sweet inside joke. No spoilers, but this is bound to get little readers giggling.
Chester Van Chime Forgot How to Rhyme by Avery Monson
Just like the title suggests, Chester Van Chime forgot how to …combine words with corresponding sounds. This book sets up perfect rhyming couplets and then ruins them at the last second, which is the perfect way to get kids squirming and shouting along.
Bathe the Cat by Alice McGinty, illustrated by David Roberts
Grandma’s coming so it’s time to do some chores! Dad writes the chore list in fridge magnets, but the last task is bathing the cat, and the cat can’t have that. So the cat takes matters into its own paws and rearranges the chore list. Now instead of vacuuming the rug, we’re vacuuming the lawn, and instead of bathing the cat, we’re vacuuming him – and that’s even worse! So the cat rearranges the list again to more and more nonsensical chores. I love this book – the art is stunning, the family is charming, and the cat is getting bathed!
Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan, illustrated by Mercè López
This book has it all: repetition, rhythm and rhyme, a fun, wholesome concept, and bright, beautiful illustrations. The bus is going to the beach, but can it fit everyone they come across along the way? I mean, I don’t want to spoil it, but the title pretty much gives it away. This is one of my favorites of the last year or so, I can’t recommend it enough.
Does a Bulldozer Have a Butt? by Derick Wilder, illustrated by K-Fai Steele
Excellent rhythm and rhyme, and of course, lots of jokes about butts. What more can we ask for really?
Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall, illustrated by Vera Brusgol
Is this my favorite book of the year? It’s definitely in the running. Follow this witch as she tries to demonstrate how to make soup for her cooking show. Problem is, she can’t get the frogs into the soup. This book is laugh out loud funny, and it’s the perfect Halloween book, too!
Berry Song by Michaela Goade
For the most part I chose funny books for this list, but this one is so lovely that I couldn’t resist adding it. From the illustrator who brought us Water Protectors comes this beautiful book about learning to forage and the generational knowledge that connects us.
Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton
This is an oldie but a goodie. The littles in my life love exclaiming oh no George! as sweet George the dog succumbs repeatedly to temptation.
The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears by Alastaire Chisholm, illustrated by Jez Tuya
Dad is making up a bedtime story for his son, who interjects some of his own ideas, changing the illustrations as they go. I was totally delighted by this meta bedtime story, and kids will love it too!
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
This has a simple set up – a bear is looking for his hat – but the payoff is so well executed. I make everyone I know read this book, the end is too good.
High Five by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
If you like Don’t Press the Button, or Press Here this book might be for you. Enter the infamous high five competition, with your personal trainer Sasquatch. You’ll be high-fiving all sorts of cool creatures, like a kangaroo or an octopus – and by high-fiving, I do mean slapping the page. This is great fun for kids who want to participate in story time!
Kitty by Rebecca Jordan-Glum
Grandma agrees to babysit the family cat. Unfortunately, she loses her glasses and instead of letting the cat in, she lets in a raccoon instead. Chaos ensues. This was one of the kid’s departments’ favorite books of the year.
Knight Owl by Christopher Denise
This is another kids-crew favorite. Using all of the skills he learned in order to become a knight, this little owl protects all his friends from a dragon. This little owl stole all our hearts, and he'll win yours, too!
I’m a Unicorn by Helen Yoon
Is this one-horned cow a unicorn? According to the available information… maybe! Or maybe not. This book features very beautiful, inclusive unicorns, and a rainbow poop joke for the ages – it’ll definitely get the kids giggling!
These are just a few of our favorite read aloud books! What are some we missed? We'd love to hear all about your favorites in comments, or on social media, and as always, let us know if you're looking for a more personalized recommendation!