10 Free Read Alouds ~ PreK–2

Reading aloud develops skills and creates a storehouse of knowledge — among other things. So the question remains: What to read aloud? Where do you start? Creating a personalized reading list can be challenging but also fun! They key is to start with someone else’s list and then add and subtract books that appeal to you and your family. With that in mind, here are 10 free read alouds that will fit the PreK–2 crowd to get you started:

1. Mother Goose

The Real Mother Goose illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright
Published in 1916, The Real Mother Goose contains over two hundred nursery rhymes that many of us grew up with.

Another option:
Mother Goose Illust. by Kate Greenaway

2. Poetry

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Sweet poems about childhood and a wonderful introduction to poetry for the young child.

Other poetry options:
4 Ways to Incorporate Poetry

3. Folk Tales

The Little Red Hen by Florence White Williams
This folk tale, passed down through the generations, tells the story of the little red hen that works hard for her bread. At each stage of the bread making, no one offers to help. Of course, after the bread is baked, all of the farm animals offer to help the little red hen eat the bread.

Another favorite:
Stone Soup

4. Animal Character Stories

Old Mother West Wind by Thornton Burgess
Awesome. Approachable. A childhood favorite no one should miss. And an introduction to some of our favorite characters. Dover Thrift Edition is our preferred paperback version.

Other options:
The other Thornton Burgess books

5. The Peter Rabbit Stories

Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales
Beatrix Potter’s tales began when Peter Rabbit first made his appearance in The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1902, followed by 22 other tales that you will find in Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales.

All of the stories are in the public domain.

6. Nature Stories

The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess
Stories are told via characters such as Fidget the Myrtle Warbler, Carol the Meadow Lark, Hairy the Woodpecker, and Mourner the Dove. Beautiful illustrations of the real birds help with identification.

Another option:
Christian Liberty Nature Readers 1 & 2 ~ Free

7. Childhood Classics

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
One evening when the boy couldn’t find the toy he usually slept with, his nurse grabbed the Velveteen Rabbit. And so starts the rabbit’s journey to becoming Real.

Another option:
Pinocchio {Free eBook & Activities}

8. Aesop’s Fables

The Aesop for Children by Milo Winter
Milo Winter’s full-color, timeless illustrations bring over one hundred selected fables to life.

Another option:
The Baby’s Own Aesop {Free eBook}

9. Modern Childhood Favorites

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Originally copyrighted in 1924, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner went through several changes before being republished as the version most of us are familiar with. In other words, this is NOT the same as the version copyrighted in 1942, although the storyline is the same.

Another option:
Books by Robert McCloskey

10. Bible Stories

Story of the Bible by Jesse Hurlbut
A favorite in our home. It is set up such that it is very easy to read a small section each day. For more on how we approached Bible studies, check our our Bible Notebooking section.

Additional Resources

Reading Lists
Lists and books of books to help you craft your own read-aloud list!

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