If you plan to celebrate World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 5, you're going to want a list of some classic books to read aloud to your kids. This list features classic picture books to entertain young kids as well as more advanced chapter books with charming, memorable characters that both you and your kids can enjoy.
Started by LitWorld in 2010 in order to celebrate the joy of reading, as well as advocate for literacy worldwide, World Read Aloud Day has morphed into a worldwide phenomenon over the past 11 years. You can celebrate on Feb. 5 by reading aloud to and with your kids.
You will likely remember many of these titles from your own childhood, and sharing them with your children is likely to stir up many memories that you can share with your kids. Even if you are reading them for the first time, they will delight your soul and warm your heart as you read them out loud with your children.
Whether you opt for one of these 20 classics or decide to go with a more modern tale, you can't go wrong cuddling up and enjoying the benefits of reading aloud with your kids.
1. 'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak
This beloved children's book is a staple in our house, and one that my boys knew by heart even before they could read on their own. Reading the imaginative adventures of Max in Where the Wild Things Are aloud with your kids is the perfect way to celebrate World Read Aloud Day.
2. 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle
3. 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' by Roald Dahl
If your kids love watching the movies about the fantasy candy-themed world of Willy Wonka, they will surely enjoy hearing you read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory aloud on World Read Aloud Day. The descriptive scenes in the story will truly come alive for your kids as they hear your voice reading to them.
4. 'Beezus and Ramona' by Beverly Cleary
Celebrate sisterly love when you read Beverly Cleary's timeless classic Beezus and Ramona aloud to your kids. You and your kids will enjoy laugh-out-loud moments as Ramona pesters her sister Beezus, as well as tender moments that siblings of any age can relate to and learn from.
5. 'Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing' by Judy Blume
If you haven't re-read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing as an adult, you can take advantage of the opportunity to do just that on World Read Aloud Day. Best suited for kids who are in the thick of elementary school antics, Judy Blume takes readers inside the world of Peter and his little brother Fudge, and you can experience all of the laughter and joy of reading this classic aloud with your kids.
6. 'Charlotte's Web' by E.B. White
When you read Charlotte's Web aloud with your children, you will undoubtedly be just as enamored with the characters as you were as a child yourself. E.B. White's classic story of Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, Fern, and all of their barnyard friends is as endearing and heartwarming as it gets.
7. 'Goodnight Moon' by Margaret Wise Brown
Although you might have read Goodnight Moon exactly one million times when your kids were babies, the sweet story about telling everything in the "great green room" goodnight likely still holds the ability to put them immediately to sleep — a theory you can test at bedtime on World Read Aloud Day.
8. 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' by Beatrix Potter
9. 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' by J.K. Rowling
What better day to introduce your kids to a magical world full of wizardry than on World Read Aloud Day? Whether you're reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the first time or the hundredth, J.K. Rowling's imaginative characters and mythical places will literally jump off the page and set up shop in your heart.
10. 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis
I still remember reading this book for the first time as a kid and being absolutely enchanted by the story. If your kids love The Chronicles of Narnia movies, they will surely love hearing you read the book that started it all — The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — aloud on World Read Aloud Day.
11. 'Little House on the Prairie' by Laura Ingalls Wilder
My kids love when I read Little House on the Prairie to them. They get wrapped up in the descriptions of life on the rural plains as the Ingalls family travels to their new home and begins to settle in. There is just something about the pioneer life that kids love to hear about over and over again.
12. 'The Cat in the Hat' by Dr. Seuss
Is there a better choice to read aloud with your kids on World Read Aloud Day than the iconic Dr. Seuss classic The Cat in the Hat? Probably not. Your kids might know this one by heart, but hearing the rhyming adventures of the mischievous title character never gets old.
13. 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' by Crockett Johnson
14. 'Madeline' by Ludwig Bemelmans
15. 'Anne of Green Gables' by L.M. Montgomery
16. 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' by Jeff Kinney
Although Diary of a Wimpy Kid was first published in 2004, it has quickly become a modern classic and is beloved by kids and parents alike all over the world thanks to the relate-ability of Greg and the entire Heffley family as they wade through typical family dynamics with plenty of hilarious antics.
17. 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeline L'Engle
If your kids enjoyed the Disney adaptation of A Winkle in Time, it may be time to introduce them to the classic novel by Madeline L'Engle that inspired the film. Reading this beloved adventure tale aloud with your kids can open their eyes to the story in an entirely new way.
18. 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll
Your kids may be familiar with the storyline of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland thanks to a plethora of movies and picture books, but hearing Lewis Carroll's original tale read aloud by mom or dad is a unique experience that kids will surely enjoy on World Read Aloud Day.
19. 'The Snowy Day' by Ezra Jack Keats
Written and gorgeously illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, the 1962 picture book The Snowy Day follows a young boy as he explores his neighborhood after the season's first snowfall. This classic book is one cherished by so many children and you can enjoy reading it together with your kids on World Read Aloud Day.
20. 'Love You Forever' by Robert Munsch
This book was likely a mainstay in your child's nighttime book rotation when they were a baby. Celebrate World Read Aloud Day by remembering all of the incredible moments you spent reading the heartwarming words of Love You Forever to your child by reading it to them again.