The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents read aloud to their children from birth, and studies have shown that doing so in early childhood has a multitude of benefits. The following are six must-read children’s books that will engage, educate, and entertain your little ones from birth to five years old.
Goodnight Moon (Reading Aloud Age: Birth+)
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is a children’s book that has been enjoyed by readers since 1947. The story follows a little bunny who says goodnight to everything in his room before going to bed. The book is simple but charming, and its rhythmic language makes it a pleasure to read aloud. It’s no wonder that it has been translated into at least a dozen languages.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Reading Aloud Age: 1+)
Written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle in 1967, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a picture book about a bear who asks other animals what they see. It uses a repetitive structure to help children learn colors and animals. This beloved classic is widely used in elementary schools across the U.S. and has been translated into many languages.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Reading Aloud Age: 2+)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written and illustrated by Eric Carle, is of the bestselling children’s books of all time. The book has been translated into over 62 languages since it was first published in 1969 and on average, a copy is sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. The story follows the life cycle of a caterpillar as it emerges from an egg and eats its way through a very large quantity of food until it forms a cocoon to become a butterfly. With its repetitive language, children will have a fun time as parents read this story aloud to them.
Where The Wild Things Are (Reading Aloud Age: 3+)
Where the Wild Things Are is a Caldecott Medal-winning picture book first published by American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak in 1963. It ranked number four on the list of “Top Check Outs of All Time” by the New York Public Library. Where the Wild Things Are concerns a mischievous young boy named Max who is sent to his room without dinner for being naughty. He imagines a world of fantastic creatures who crown him as their king. The story—simple but packs an emotional punch—has inspired stage productions and a feature film.
The Cat in the Hat (Reading Aloud Age: 4+)
One of the most popular and well-known Dr. Seuss books is The Cat in the Hat, which was first published in 1957. Involving concepts such as trust and responsibility, it tells the story of a cat dressed in a red and white striped top hat and a red bow tie as he visits two children, Sally and Sam, while their mother is out.
The Velveteen Rabbit (Read Aloud Age: 5+)
Written by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson, The Velveteen Rabbit has delighted readers since it was first published in 1922. It chronicles the heartwarming story of a stuffed rabbit who is given to a young boy as a Christmas present and later on realizes that he wants to become a real rabbit. In 2007, this timeless tale about the magic of friendship and love was named one of “Teacher’s Top 100 Books for Childen” by the National Education Association.
As a parent, you want to provide your children with the best possible start in life. Reading to them is one way to do this as it develops language and literacy skills which child learning centers like Celebree School champion for the holistic growth of children. These books are just a few recommendations, but there are plenty more great books out there for early childhood education that will spark a lifelong love of reading in your children. Go ahead and read a book aloud to your children today!