Outside, it’s snowing and gray and so very cold. It’s also a Sunday morning, and it would be too wonderful to stay in your socks and pajamas and quilts, and cuddle up together on the couch. Think of that scene in Cat in the Hat when the children stare out the window longingly – except in your case, the adults are home and you do have something to do. You can have a winter chapter book readaloud!
So many of us think about bringing books to the beach over summer, but the living room sofa in winter is an equally perfect place to lose yourselves in a book and build a reading routine. In fact, more and more families are discovering how great it is, especially in the colder months, to read chapter books aloud together – just like some teachers do with the class.
Chapter book ‘readalouds’ are done best in any way that suits your family: a few minutes here and there during the busy week or on cold weather afternoons – or longer stretches at the same time every week, like those snowy Sunday mornings. Take your time. Enjoy the story and these moments together.
Remember that reading a chapter book as a family is great for children of all ages – even those who can and love to read on their own as well. Depending on your child’s reading level and interest, you may want to take turns reading aloud or mix reading together and reading separately.
Tips for reading chapter books as a family
Great chapter books to read together
Pax and Pax Journey Home by Sarah Pennypacker
With beautiful illustrations, two moving voices and a heartwarming, contemporary tale of what it means to be a friend, this is a terrific book for children of all ages. Pax was nominated for the National Book Award.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
A favorite film for many of us adults, it’s an equally touching novel that can take your children on a fairytale adventure like no other. With so many funny, loveable and courageous characters, The Princess Bride is even better read aloud.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Your family can spend the winter in Florida with Opal, a girl who leaves the supermarket with a dog, and so begins a summer vacation making friends and collecting stories. A funny and heartwarming story about forgiveness and finding a way through loss, this is a New York Times bestseller sure to be a keeper. Look for DiCamillo’s other books!
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
If you loved the story of Elmer Elevator’s journey to Wild Island to rescue a baby dragon – and the delightful retro illustrations – your children are sure to love My Father’s Dragon too. A cherished story that keeps even the youngest listeners engaged, this is a Newberry Prize winner sure to become a childhood favorite. Gannett has a whole series!
Little Red Reading House is a magical storybook home in Inglewood that helps families discover the joy of reading together. Visit their website to learn more about family reading visits, free resources, events and more at littleredreading.house.
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