Friday, February 27, 2015

Best Audiobooks for Kindergarteners...or read alouds! (updated monthly as we read more!!)

We are a couple years into our plunge deep into reading aloud and audiobooks with Quinn.  I would guess she hears 2 hours+ a day, in combination from Matt and I reading aloud to her and listening to books on cd at rest time and bedtime.

This could easily become a soapbox for me....I could rant on and on the wonderful benefits of reading aloud to young (and older!) children, and this has become a topic I've delved into--research wise--both professionally and personally for many years now.  But most of all, if I wanted to share something, it would be the list of books we've loved.

I share this list--our list--which I carefully cultivated from books I was familiar with, those recommended by read-aloud professionals (Jim Weiss, Jim Trelease, etc.) and from booklists recommended for kindergarteners--not for them to read themselves, but to hear.  These books are well above what a kindergartener can typically read (especially mine, as we are letting her slowly emerge on her own as a reader) but perfect for their comprehension level.  And I'd just about guarantee you are going to love them, too!  They are beautiful classics....timeless and perfect for developing little minds into lovers of words and stories and all-things literature.

I have to tell you I don't pay money for books.  Well, not directly.  I think the public library system is just about the best place in the world and the only place my taxes go that makes me smile.  We check out all our books from the library--books and cd's.  I max out the online request function, where you can reserve up to 15 books ahead of time, in our huge county, they can come from any of the numerous library branches and will be waiting for us on the reserve shelf, under the L section, in a glorious golden manilla envelope, complete with a lovely reminder in my email box.

So I would encourage you to mine your library.  Figure out how to use the reserve/request system.  get all these books for free!

These books are a mixture of ones we read aloud or that Quinn listened to.  Often I will first read these novels aloud and then check out the cd, so she can re-listen at her leisure.  I can't stand for her to listen to them without me because I don't want to miss these beautiful stories, so the first time we share these books it is usually with me reading them to her.  Then she relistens at bedtime and naptime.  I can't tell you what that does for reading fluency, comprehension.....I could go on and on.  But most of all, it is so immensely pleasurable.

(HERE is an article I wrote previously on the power of audiobooks......)

I would guess at this point she has heard over 200 novels since she turned 4 and we started novels with her.  I haven't done a great job of keeping up here on my education blog, though I have done photos on my personal blog, so I am going to be in the process of adding title recommendations over the course of the next few months, so check back often for updates!

And go to your library!!!!

Here they are.....our most recommended stories to hear aloud via CD or Mama/Daddy!

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Elliot's Park series by Patrick Carman

Nate the Great Series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Peter Pan by JM Barrie

Princess Posey books by Stephanie Greene

Story of the World Series by Susan Wise Bauer

Wonder Horse by Emily Arnold McCully

Paddington by Michael Bond (any of the series....A Bear Called Paddington, More About Paddington...)

My Father's Dragon (any of the series) by Ruth Stiles Gannett

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Charlotte's Web by EB White

Stuart Little by EB White

Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows

Three Little Robbers by Christine Graham

Fat Bat and Swoop by Leo Landry

The Littles (series) by John Peterson

The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White

Sable by Karen Hesse

Lafcadio The Lion Who Shot Back by Shel Silverstein

Chomps, Flea, Grey Cat and Me by Bill Wallace (or any of this series)

The Magic Treehouse Series....ALL OF THEM!  by Mary Pope Osborne

Maybelle In the Soup by Katie Speck

The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Nate the Great Series by Marjorie Sharmat

Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, Double Fudge, Superfudge, Fudge-a-mania, any from this series by Judy Blume

Freckle Juice by Judy Blume

Animal Rescue Team Series by Sue Stauffacher

The McBroom books (all of them!) by Sid Fleisch

Gooney Bird Jones Collection by Lois Lowry

The Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker

Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park

Fancy Nancy Series by Jane O' Connor

*The Best Christmas Pageant Ever By Barbara Parks (with some editing of the language)

Winnie the Pooh Series by A.A. Milne

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

*The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindren

Tumtum and Nutmeg Series by Emily Bearn

Dick King-Smith Books (Aristotle, Babe, Ace, The Lollypop Series (SOOO GOOD), George Speaks, The Water Horse (perfect for boys, especially!), Funny Frank, The Twin Giants)

Bed and Biscuit Series by Joan Carris

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater

The Buddy Files Series by Dori Hillestad Butler

Little Horse by Betsy Byars

A to Z Mysteries (26 total!) by Ron Roy

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Series by Betty MacDonald

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Egg's Surprise by Betsy Byars

Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson

Tales from Cultures Near And Far by Jim Weiss (cd only)

Mole Music by David McPhail

Arthur Chapter Books by Mark Linn-Baker

Geronimo Stilton Series by Geronimo Stilton

Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins

The Little Match Girls by Marina Orsini

The Little Moose Who Couldn't Go to Sleep by Willy Claflin (or any of his audiobooks!)

Magic Schoolbus Series Audiobooks by Joanna Cole

William Steig stories (all of them!)

More Perfect Than the Moon by Patricia MacLachlan (any in this series--they go in order)

Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowlry

The Twits; The Minpins; The Magic Finger or any other Roald Dahl books

Cam Jansen series by David Adler

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Starring Prima!: The Mouse of the Ballet Jolie by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Alice in Wonderland Series by Lewis Carroll

The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin

Ralph the Magic Rabbit by Adam Frost

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

Lulubelle and Her Bones by Vashti Farrer

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate Dicamillo

Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Racoon by Kate Dicamillo

Bink and Gollie, Best Friends Forever by Kate Dicamillo

Any of the Mercy Watson series by Kate Dicamillo

American Girl Series (some people shy away from these because they don't want to get into the whole doll crazy....the books are pretty fabulous historical fiction that we learn so much from, so we chose to just not tell Quinn the dolls exist...and if she discovers them, she is most welcome to save her money up to buy one!)

*Good Christmas Reads