By Emily Buckley, editor in chief
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
The cover doesn’t scream “read me aloud,” but kids go crazy over this book. The author designed it be read aloud with silly songs and sound effects that no grown up should ever have to make — and that’s the point. Stumble your way through “Blork,” “Blurff,” and “Blaggity Blaggity,” and you’ll have your kids in hysterics.
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen
This picture book will blow you away. It’s a story about a circus ship that carries 15 animals, but runs aground off the coast of Maine. The poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. Staggering onto a nearby island, they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. The gorgeous caricature artwork (that is both amazingly cute and realistic) along with the masterful rhyming text will hold your children’s interest and beg to be read (and looked at) again and again.
Stuart Little by E.B. White
The story of a mouse, born into a human family, who loves adventure, is easy to follow with young children and exposes them to vocabulary that isn’t typically included in children’s books. After reading the book, you may consider watching the movie together — kids like to point out what’s missing from the book or what’s different about the movie.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. It is a short, mid-grade book about a girl named Wanda who tells some other girls in her class that she has 100 beautiful dresses at home, “all lined up in her closet,” even though she wears the same, faded blue dress to school every day. It is a moving story with an important message and beautiful illustrations. It is one we reread nearly every school year.
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Just one of the fantastic novels by Roald Dahl, The BFG is a playful and entertaining story about an orphan named Sophie who is kidnapped by a giant who turns out to be eccentric and charming. The story includes plot and adventure, but the real highlight is the Big Friendly Giant’s mixed-up, funny lingo that comes off even sillier when read aloud.