Gift Guide for Keepsake Read Alouds
I try to read one chapter book out loud to my kids each month as part of our homeschool day. Oftentimes my husband reads another one aloud to them before bed since they enjoy it so much and we've found it to be such wonderful family bonding time. Something that I've found to make it more special is to buy a nice version of the book. They have loved looking at the illustrations as I read and it really adds to the whole experience. These are some of our favorite editions of our favorite family reads (of course these are delightful for your favorite reader to enjoy independently as well):
1. Roald Dahl is a wonderful way to transition to reading chapter books out loud to a younger child. The boys' unanimous favorite is Danny the Champion of the World, but it's hard to go wrong with this fun set, illustrated by the author.
2. All three of my boys (at the time, ages 5, 9 and 11) enjoyed The Secret Garden more than I could possibly have hoped. It's difficult to find a hardcover edition with the timeless Tasha Tudor illustrations, but luckily the paperback is readily available.
3. This full color version of E.B. White's classic The Trumpet of the Swan is sure to capture your little one's attention. I still remember how tickled we all were when Louis' father flew threw the window of a music store to get a trumpet for him. Such a great illustration to go with a memorable passage.
4. My older boys just adored Ralph S. Mouse around the time when they were 5-6 years old. This fun set will keep them entertained for read aloud time, and later serve as great independent reads.
5. This series doesn't seem to come in a beautiful set, but the individual hardbacks are quite lovely. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place had my kids howling along with the trio of children raised by wolves and taken to the manor under the care of a young governess. My guess is that your children will beg for the next six books after you read this. Awhoooooo!
6. The Hobbit can be more challenging to read aloud. My husband actually read this to the boys, and they were on edge for most of the story. And of course, now that they know the ways of the hobbits, they request second breakfast and elevenses all the time! Editions of this classic abound, but the one linked above has the original illustrations, cover art and maps as Tolkien intended.
7. The Chronicles of Narnia are a perennial favorite in our household. We currently have the paperback set, but I'm ogling this beautiful hardback collection as we prepare to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe again this winter. It is the perfect winter read aloud.
8. And finally, the ultimate read aloud! The illustrated editions of the Harry Potter books are truly works of art. I have been buying them one at a time at their releases, but I just started reading them aloud from them this fall ( the older boys have read them many times). The boys have marveled at the details and even recreated some of the pictures on their own. The first four books are now out: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Of course, options abound for Potter fans from the full seven book set of hardbacks in a cool trunk to the paperback set.
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