jim alex_2 vinette2 Book Reviews For Category: Read-Aloud

These books are great to read aloud to a younger reader, and is an especially fun time for grandparents. It’s never too early to start!

Twelve Kinds of Ice

Children's Book: Twelve Kinds of Ice

Published: 2012
Theme: Ice Skating and Nature
Best for: 7 and up

“The first ice came on the sheep pails in the barn- a skim of ice so thin that it broke when we touched it.” Twelve Kinds of Ice is a small, inspiring ode to the beauty and simplicity of ice, ice-skating, children, nature, and simple living.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Cat Who Got Carried Away

Children's Book: The Cat Who Got Carried Away

Published: 2003
Theme: First Chapter Book
Best for: 6 to 9

“And the strange thing was – which Horace noticed- the strange thing was, the baby carriage…was barking.” This “first chapter book” is a treat – it has some humor, as well as unusual elements such as maps and timetables for the reader to follow. It has a simple plot, with an attempt for the story to be a mystery to be solved, but the clues are present on every page.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Dreamer

Children's Book - The Dreamer

Published: 2010
Theme: Live your dream
Best for: 8 and up

“He peeked out… and saw that the wind had also possessed his mittens. They looked like ghostly hands waving good-bye in the Chilean sky. Where were they headed? Whose hands would they cover next? ..’Where is the storehouse of lost and found?'” As I put this exquisite children’s book down, I wiped my eyes, and marveled at the quick journey I had just taken into the heart and mind of Pablo Neruda…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Biography, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Boxcar Children Beginning

Children's Book: Boxcar Children Beginning

Published: 2012
Theme: Boxcar Children prequel
Best for: 7 to 9

“They heard the sound of Papa’s old gray car in the driveway. Jessie and Henry climbed down the ladder and watched Papa walk up to the barn, carrying a cloth sack of nails and some boards for the stalls.” If you have children who are devoted to the Boxcar children series, and want to have a ‘prequel’, MacLachlan’s children’s book is just right.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Read-Aloud

A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Children's Book: A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Published: 2015
Theme: Friendship
Best for: 7 and up

“Dragons weren’t the only ones who were mistreated so the different magicals agreed to keep their powers secret or hide from humans altogether. We’ve done such a good job that most humans consider all magicals imaginary.” I smiled and often laughed out loud as I read this very silly fantasy book, peopled with all kinds of magical creatures, as well as a very admirable 10-year-old girl…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Most Magnificent Thing

Children's book

Published: 2014
Theme: Perseverance
Best for: 5 to 8

“This is a regular girl and her best friend in the whole wide world. They do all kinds of things together. They race. They eat. They explore. They relax…” Right from the opening lines, you fall in love with this nameless little girl and her best friend, a very quirky looking dog …

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Great Cake Mystery – A Precious Ramotswe Mystery

Children's Book: The Great Cake Mystery

Published: 2012
Theme: Light-hearted Mystery
Best for: 6 to 9

“Nice people smile a lot, and Precious Ramotswe was one of the nicest girls in Botswana. Everyone said so.” Oh joy! My favorite adult author, Alexander McCall Smith, has recreated his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency as a series for young children.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand

Children's Book: Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand

Published: 2007
Theme: Contentment
Best for: 5 to 8

“After drying her eyes on a leafkerchief, Rani kicked off her sensible walking shoes and slipped into the lagoon. of all the fairies, Rani was the only one who could swim, and that was because she had no wings to drag her under.” A true fairy tale about fairies, by a great children’s author, alas, co-opted by Disney, which means dreadful illustrations, but the story and writing are excellent.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud

Tatsinda

Children's Book - Tatsinda

Published: 1963
Theme: Diversity is Good
Best for: 5 to 8

“All the other Tatrajanni …had glittering white hair like snow crystals, and the eyes of every one of them, without exception, were the color of light shining through ice: a cool greenish hue.” This book steps out of the mold of Enright’s other books. It is pure fantasy, with an imaginary land, animals, and people…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The King’s Equal

Illustrated Children's Book: The King's Equal

Published: 1992
Theme: Equality in Relationships
Best for: 5 and up

“You will become ruler when I die,” the old king said, “for that is the ancient law that cannot be changed. But you will not wear my crown until the day you marry a woman who is your equal in beauty and intelligence and wealth.” This story has all the classical elements of a great fairy tale: an impoverished girl, tending her goats, who outsmarts a conceited prince, and in the end, rules happily ever after.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Smarty Marty’s Got Game

Children's Book - Smarty Marty's Got Game

Published: 2013
Theme: Baseball
Best for: 5 to 8

“Marty got her love of baseball from her Great Grandma Martha (Gigi), who loved baseball more than anything. Gigi followed the game faithfully and even kept her own scorebook. She taught Marty everything she knew.” This children’s book is all heart, even as it goes about its mission of explaining the rules of baseball to young boys and girls…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud

The Fortune Tellers

Children's Book: The Fortune Tellers

Published: 1992
Theme: Folk Tale
Best for: 5 to 8

“Rich you will surely be,” answered the fortune-teller, staring into the crystal ball on the table. “On one condition: that you earn large sums of money.” In this beautifully illustrated children’s book, we laugh aloud as a naive man becomes a fortune teller. The illustrations of Africa are superb.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Twig

Twig - Children's book

Published: 1942
Theme: Imagination
Best for: 5 to 8

“Why not use what you already have: your own i-ma-gi-na-tion? It can do any kind of magic – anywhere-at any time. All you have to do is use it.” From the very opening, where the author kindly addresses the reader, I knew I was in the hands of a master writer…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

A Mouse Called Wolf

A Mouse Called Wolf - A small children's book

Published: 1997
Theme: Imagination
Best for: 5 to 8

“Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse was the youngest of thirteen children. He was also the smallest. His mother had given the other twelve mouse pups quite ordinary names, like Bill or Jane.” A talented singing mouse is the hero of this small children’s book, written by the author of Babe. It’s a nice read-aloud book for young children..

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Emma and the Blue Genie

Emma and the Blue Genie: A Children's Book by Cornelia Funke

Published: 2014
Theme: Bravery
Best for: 6 to 10

“Before they took off, Emma quickly wrote a note to her parents: “Don’t worry. I’m off with a pretty big genie to find his nose ring. And I have Tristan with me…” The “pretty big” was of course an exaggeration…” In this small children’s book, Emma helps a genie regain his power. Great for young readers who are ready for easy chapter books, or as a read-aloud.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Miss Rumphius

Miss Rumphius - Children's book

Published: 1982
Theme: Beauty in Simplicity
Best for: ages 5 to 8

“There is still one more thing I have to do,” she said, “I have to do something to make the world more beautiful. But what?” How wonderful to find an illustrated children’s book where the story itself is as important as the pictures…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

We Need A Horse

We Need a Horse - children's book

Published: 2011
Theme: Value Yourself
Best for: 5 and up

“The horse already had a question prepared. He shuffled his feet on the ground and said, ‘What is the reason I was made a horse and not some other animal?” The light said, ‘Because we needed another horse.” In this exquisitely painted and carefully crafted children’s book, the essential question of life is asked and answered.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

My Father’s Dragon – Three Tales

My Father's Dragon - Children's Book

Published: 1948, republished 1998
Theme: Imagination, Kindness
Best for: 5 to 8

“He’s got a long tail and yellow and blue stripes. His horn and eyes and the bottoms of his feet are bright red, and he has gold-colored wings.” This children’s book is all about imagination, with a capital I. Just trying to picture the vividly-colored dragon takes all of my imaginative skills! There’s nothing scary about this book…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

No Fighting, No Biting

Children's Book - No Fighting No Biting

Published: 1958
Theme: Early Reader
Best for: 5 to 8

“If you can count,” said the big, hungry alligator, “maybe you will count my teeth. I have always wanted someone to count my teeth. I will open my mouth wide. Then you two can get in and count all my teeth. All the way to the back of my mouth.” In this easy reader, a young girl has the ideal way to deal with her two young cousins who are pinching, and fighting, and biting. Tell a tale about crocodiles…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Little Bear’s Visit

Little Bear's Visit - Children's book

Published: 1961
Theme: Early Reader Book
Best for: 5 to 8

“One spring day, when Mother Bear was little, she found a baby robin in the garden. A baby robin, too little to fly. “Oh how sweet you are,” she said, “Where did you come from?” “From my nest,” said the robin…” When a child can pick up a children’s book and read it on their own, it’s as big as learning to ride a bike. The “I Can Read” series is perfect for new readers…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Arrow Over the Door

Arrow Over the Door - Historical Fiction Children's Book

Published: 1998
Theme: Peace at all costs
Best for: 9 and up

“There they go,” a voice said. “There go the cowards.” Samuel Russsell clenched his fists so tightly his knuckles turned white but he did not look around…”Cowards”, that was what many people called him and his father and all his people.” This very informed historical fiction children’s book depicts an actual event involving the Quakers in New York State, and their encounter with French Canadian Indians, told through the eyes of two young boys.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Mother West Wind’s Children

Mother West Wind Children's Book

Published: 1911
Theme: Animal Myths
Best for: 3 to 5

“Danny Meadow Mouse sat in his doorway and looked down the Lone Little Path across the Green Meadows. Way, way over near the Smiling Pool he could see Old Mother West Wind’s Children, the Merry Little Breezes, at play.” Here’s a must-have children’s book for Waldorf parents of young children (3 to 5). Perfect short bed-time stories, this classic collection unfolds little stories about why the mouse has a short tale, or why the chipmunk has pockets in his cheeks…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Frindle

Frindle - Children's book

Published: 1996
Theme: Express Yourself
Best for: 8 and up

“But who says that d-o-g means the thing that goes ‘woof’ and wags its tail? Who says so?” And Mrs. Granger took the bait. “Who says dog means dog? You do, Nicholas. You and I and everyone in this class and this school and this town and this state and this country. We all agree.” Thumbs up to this fast-moving, easy reading children’s book that is sure to delight parents, teachers, and hopefully kids, about language, education, and self-confidence.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Kindred Souls

kindred souls

Published: 2012
Theme: Death of a grandparent
Best for: 6 to 9

“I sleep with Lucy [the dog] in Billy’s bed because I promised. She sleeps next to me, sometimes lifting her head to peer at me as if to say ‘You’re not the one I love. You’re all right. But not the one I love.'” In Kindred Souls, once again MacLachlan addresses the journey of a young child dealing with the death of an elder, offering humor and compassion..

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Like Pickle Juice On A Cookie

Children's Book - Like Pickle Juice

Published: 2011
Theme: Growing up
Best for: 7 – 9

“After her very important call my mom sat on the couch with me and read five whole chapters of a book to me… And when we got to the happy ending, my mom’s eyes got red…My mom always cries at happy endings.” Here’s one of the absolute best early readers/ first chapter books I’ve come across. The writing is simple, laid out with only a few words on a line for ease of reading…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey

Pigsticks and Harold - Children's Book

Published: 2014
Theme: First Chapter Book
Best for: 5 to 8

“Being an explorer’s assistant is hard work,” said Harold. “Being an explorer is even harder!” said Pigsticks. Harold wasn’t convinced. He hadn’t realized that The Ends of the Earth would be so far away.” Interspersed with delightful illustrations, filled with humor and jokes, this is a fabulous first chapter book…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Clementine and the Spring Trip

Clementine : Children's book

Published: 2014
Theme: Standing up for others
Best for: 6 to 10

“Our Pentagon is a surprise my dad and I are building to celebrate the new baby coming. Our Pentagon is a table, one that will be just right for our new family because it has five sides, one for everybody.” There’s a nice mix of humor, emotions, and easy reading that makes this a very attractive book for young children.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Emily Dickinson

Children's Book - Emily Dickinson

Published: 1994
Theme: Poetry
Best for: all ages

“Hope is the thing with feathers/ That perches in the soul,/ And sings the tune without the words,/ And never stops at all” Do our children today love poetry? Can they tune into the subtle way that the poetic verse touches something outside the mundane? This children’s book asserts an affirmative…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Miss Emily

Miss Emily - Children's Book

Published: 2014
Theme: Emily Dickinson
Best for: 7 to 9

“She needs our eyes to see these things for her, for –playful as she is with us– she isn’t part of the world’s hubbub anymore. She is getting old!” This poetic children’s book is a wonderful addition to bringing Emily Dickinson to young people, depicting her playful nature with children.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Biography, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Historical Fiction, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Miniature World of Marvin & James

Children's Book - Marvin & James

Published: 2014
Theme: Friendship, First Chapter Book
Best for: 5 to 8

“Under the kitchen sink, where the beetles live, there is an art studio just for Marvin. James gives him paper and ink. He can draw and draw. Marvin loves making pictures. But today he just doesn’t feel like it.” This children’s book succeeds on several counts – imagination (the world as seen by beetles), clear simple writing, and a single message: friendship.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned
Share this
Free Subscription to Book Reviews
Your email address will not be shared with anyone else. New book reviews are sent once a month.
Click Here to Subscribe

Click to view our newsletter archives.
Support Your Local Bookstores
Support your Local Bookstores
Advertisement
Social Media Sites
Follow Me on Pinterest
Literature for Kids