Thematic Reading List: 20 Storytime Read-Alouds
Twenty great picture books that make fun storytime reads. Many have repetition, rhyme, and provide plenty of opportunity for listener engagement.
|Are You My Mother?
By: P.D. Eastman
A classic read aloud about a baby bird that is born while his mother is away. He sets out to look for her, and asks everyone he meets including a dog, a cow, and a plane –“Are you my mother?”.
By: Jules Feiffer
Only after he is examined by a veterinarian can George the dog’s mother figure out why George can meow, moo, quack and oink but not bark. A twist on what sound does this animal make.
|Children Make Terrible Pets
By: Peter Brown
When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy lost in the woods, she asks her mother if she can have him as a pet, only to find him impossible to train. Listeners will find the role reversal hilarious.
|Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed?
By: Barney Saltzberg
When Cornelius is asked if he knows what time it is, he says Yes! He also answers Yes! to the series of questions familiar to parents and kids. Yes! he says; he has put his toys away, fed his fish, used the bathroom, brushed his teeth, put on his pajamas, chosen a book. But each question and answer across a double page is matched by an illustration telling a different story: his toys are in the refrigerator, the fish have received a cookie, etc. A good question-and-answer story for storytellers to ask listeners if Cornelius is doing what he is asked.
|The Day the Crayons Quit
By: Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by: Oliver Jeffers
When Duncan wants to use his crayons, he finds a list of complaints from each color. Red is overworked with valentines and Santa, and Grey is tired of being used for big animals such as elephants and whales. Duncan answers all their complaints with a solution sure to amuse and perhaps inspire young listeners.
|Don’t Fidget a Feather
By: Erica Silverman
Illustrated by: S. D. Schindler
Their contest to decide who is the champion of champions almost has disastrous consequences for Gander and Duck. Storytellers can ask listeners to play along with the story by trying not to fidget during the story.
|Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
By: Mo Willems
When the bus driver decides to take a break from driving, a wild and wacky pigeon pleads and begs to take his place, capturing the antics of a preschooler’s temper tantrum. Willems stories are loved by many preschoolers and will be a funny read for Storytime.
|Froggy Gets Dressed
By: Jonathan London
Illustrated by: Frank Remkiewicz
Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing. Listeners can be a part of the story by helping play the role of Froggy’s mother.
|How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
By: Jane Yolen
Illustrated by: Mark Teague
Mother and child ponder the different ways a dinosaur can say goodnight, from slamming his tail and pouting to giving a big hug and kiss. After the story, be sure to ask each child how they say goodnight to parents.
|I Like Myself
By: Karen Beaumont
Illustrated by: David Catrow
In rhyming text, a little girl expresses confidence and joy in her uniqueness, no matter her outward appearance.
|If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
By: Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by: Felicia Bond
This circular tale of a mouse who keeps asking for more after you give him a cookie provides Storytime listeners a chance to predict what the mouse will ask for next.
By: Bruce Degen
Fun word play and rhyme fill this story of a little boy walking in the forest who meets a big lovable bear that takes him on a delicious berry-picking adventure.
|Llama, Llama Red Pajama
By: Anna Dewdney
Told in four-line rhymes, this story conveys all the emotions of baby waiting for mama to bring a glass of water to him while he also waits for sleep to come.
|The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
By: Don Wood and Audrey Wood
Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.
|Monkey and Me
By: Emily Gravett
Excited about their trip to the zoo, a young girl and her stuffed monkey delight in mimicking all the animals they see, such as a hopping kangaroo and stomping elephant, during their wonderful outing together.
|Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!
By: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
After planting the garden he has dreamed of for years, Mr. McGreely tries to find a way to keep three persistent bunnies from eating all his vegetables.
|Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
By: Eric Litwin
Illustrated by: James Dean
Pete the cat loves the buttons on his shirt so much that he makes up a song about them, and even as the buttons pop off, one by one, he still finds a reason to sing.
|Rhyming Dust Bunnies
By: Jan Thomas
As three dust bunnies, Ed, Ned, and Ted, are demonstrating how much they love to rhyme, a fourth, Bob, is trying to warn them of approaching danger.
|The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By: Eric Carle
Follow the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days and can be used to emphasize recall.
|Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?
By: Karen Beaumont
Illustrated by: Eugene Yelchin
Kanga and her friends try to discover who ate all her cookie dough. Fun rhymes form the text and each begins with the bouncy refrain: Eeny, meeny, miney moe! / Who ate all the cookie dough?