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30 Greatest Read Aloud Books For Kindergarten That Students Love

Check out the greatest read aloud books for Kindergarten that your kids will love and you will too! Lesson plans and activities too!

Looking for some of the best read aloud books for Kindergarten? These amazing read aloud books for kindergarteners will have them asking you to read them again and again! Diverse books, funny books, and books for every season of the year that every kindergartener should hear.

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Kindergarten Read Aloud Stories

Good read aloud books for Kindergarten need to be engaging. Length and wordiness also need to be considerations when choosing kindergarten read aloud stories or you’ll lose the students as you’re reading aloud to them. In my opinion, that is the worst possible thing to happen! Reading is supposed to be fun and interesting! These books take all of these elements into consideration including diverse books for kindergarten students!

Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.”

Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. Also one of my favorite children’s books about space and space exploration as well!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Mae Among the Stars HERE

You can try a free lesson and activities for Mae Among the Stars here:

Looking for the best read aloud books for Kindergarten? These fun picture books for elementary students are engaging for kindergarteners. Fiction and nonfiction books with lesson plans and activities linked. These are the best diverse picture book read alouds for Kindergarten students. Many of these are award winning children's books about diverse characters, friendships, relationships, and for the whole year!
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Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend. With light-footed rhymes and high-stepping illustrations, this tale is gentle inspiration for every child with dreams of greatness.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Giraffes Can’t Dance HERE

Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett

You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can’t even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo’s efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin. In addition to being one of my favorite read aloud books for Kindergarten, this is also one of my favorite Halloween books for kids!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Leo: A Ghost Story HERE

Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd

What is happening outside today? Peek through the window to find out. What is happening inside? Peek again! Whimsical die-cuts throughout lead to charming and surprising reveals with every turn of the page. Filled with fun details (can you find the two mice playing throughout?), this deceptively simple book is one readers will visit again and again.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Inside Outside HERE

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Are you bored with being so proper? Do you want to have more fun? Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. So he decides to go wild. But does he go too far? What happens when he goes wild? Will his friends accept him and his wildness?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild HERE

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Blue crayon needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. Black crayon wants to be used for more than just outlining. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Day the Crayons Quit HERE

Olivia by Ian Falconer

Olivia is a really active and busy young piglet. She often tires her mother out, but her she tries to keep her busy by going everywhere from the beach to the museum. Her mother, though, has her limits. What happens when her mother can’t take it anymore?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Olivia HERE

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry

Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene. One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them.

When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Swashby and the Sea HERE

Lost in the Library by Josh Funk

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude is the first picture book about Patience and Fortitude, the two lion statues that faithfully guard the New York Public Library. When Patience goes missing, Fortitude realizes the secret to Patience’s disappearance may be within the Library itself. This is a great book about library and friendship.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Lost in the Library HERE

Field Trip to the Moon by John Hare

Climb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon! Once their bright yellow ship lands, students debark and set out with their teacher to explore. They jump over trenches and see craters and mountains on the moon’s surface and even Earth in the faraway distance.

But when one student takes a break to draw some pictures and falls asleep, they wake up to discover that the rest of the class and the spaceship are gone. How the student passes the time waiting to be rescued makes for a funny and unexpected adventure that will enchant children all over the galaxy. This is one of my favorite wordless books for kids! Certainly one of the best read aloud books for Kindergarten even though you can’t actually “read” it.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Field Trip to the Moon HERE

Friends Stick Together by Hannah Harrison

Rupert is a rhinoceros of refined sensibilities. Levi, the new tickbird in class, is not. He burps the alphabet, tells corny jokes, and does really embarrassing air guitar solos. Worse, he lands right on Rupert and is determined to be Rupert’s symbiotic best pal! Rupert wants him gone. But when Levi finally does bug off, Rupert finds the peace and quiet a little boring. It turns out, Rupert could really use a friend like Levi.

This book has a really great message of acceptance for all of the Levis and Ruperts in your class. Certainly one of my favorite children’s books about friendship!

Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

There is only one way for Chester to do things—his own way. “You definitely have a mind of your own,” said Chester’s mother. “That’s one way to put it,” said Chester’s father. Luckily Chester’s best friend, Wilson, likes doing things just the same way as Chester. When they cut their sandwiches, it’s always diagonally. When they ride their bikes, they always use hand signals. If Chester is hungry, Wilson is too. They’re two of a kind—until indomitable Lilly, who has her own way of doing things, moves into the neighborhood. Because Lilly has her own way of doing things!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Chester’s Way HERE

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again? This classic Henkes book is perfect for back to school and I am sure is on everyone’s list of favorite children’s books about names.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Chrysanthemum HERE

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Lilly loves all sorts of things. She loves school, she loves dressing up, she even grows to love her stinky baby brother, Julius. In fact, Lilly loves everything! But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse to school and can’t wait until sharing time to show off the purse and her movie star sunglasses, her teacher, Mr. Slinger, has to take away her prized possessions.

Lilly’s fury leads her to draw a mean picture of her favorite teacher. It isn’t until Mr. Slinger gives her belongings back to her with a kind note and snacks that Lilly realizes she owes Mr. Slinger an apology.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse HERE

Lilly’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes

Lilly’s favorite teacher, Mr. Slinger, is getting married, and Lilly is going to be his flower girl! Well, Lilly, thinks she is going to be his flower girl. It turns out that Mr. Slinger’s niece Ginger is the official flower girl. But Lilly rises to the occasion as only Lilly can, turning heartbreak into wedding cake (a delicious three-tiered frosted Swiss cheese, no less), and disappointment into friendship!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Lilly’s Big Day HERE

Owen by Kevin Henkes

“Fuzzy goes where I go.” Owen’s fuzzy yellow blanket is his favorite possession. Everywhere Owen goes, his blanket goes with him. Upstairs, downstairs, in-between. Inside, outside, upside down. Everywhere! Owen’s parents are in despair—soon Owen will begin school, and he can’t take Fuzzy with him then. Whatever can be done?

This is a great book to read to any student who has a hard time parting with something on that first day of school.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Owen HERE

Weekend With Wendell by Kevin Henkes

Wendell was spending the weekend at Sophie’s house. Playing house, Wendell was the father, the mother, and the children; Sophie was the dog. Playing bakery, Wendell was the baker; Sophie got to be the sweet roll. But when Wendell gave her a new hairdo with shaving cream, it was the last straw, and Sophie made up a game that left Wendell speechless for a time—and won the day for friendship.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . .This book is one of my favorite children’s books for back to school!

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning. A great book about problem-solving!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Stuck HERE

The Bad Seed by John Jory

This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy?

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Bad Seed HERE

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Students will argue about the ending and it provides a great opportunity to discuss inferring!

Frederick by Leo Lionni

Frederick’s brothers and sisters are busy preparing for winter gathering things they will need, but it appears that Frederick is doing nothing. His family tells him as much, but he replies that he is gathering for winter. When the winter is cold and food is running short, Frederick’s poem about the memories he gathered turns out to be just what everyone needed. This is also one of my favorite children’s books of poetry for Kindergarteners.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.

Me…Jane by Patrick Mcdonnell

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. This is an amazing book to read during Women’s History Month or as a read aloud for Earth Day!

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

Blizzard by John Rocco

Blizzard is based on John Rocco’s childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy’s excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood’s immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In addition to being one of my favorite read aloud books for Kindergarten, it’s also one of my favorite children’s books about winter!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Blizzard HERE

Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin

How does Racoon love pizza? Oh, let him count the ways. He loves the gooey cheesy-ness, salty pepperoni-ness, sweet sweet tomato-ness, and of course the crispity crunchity crust. But someone is always chasing poor Raccoon away from his favorite food with a broom! What’s a hungry raccoon to do? Plan an elaborate secret pizza party, of course!
But shhh! It’s a secret! A hilarious picture book ideal for Kindergartners.

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.

Small in the City by Sydney Smith

It can be a little scary to be small in a big city, but it helps to know you’re not alone. When you’re small in the city, people don’t see you, and loud sounds can scare you, and knowing what to do is sometimes hard. But this little kid knows what it’s like, and knows the neighborhood. And a little friendly advice can go a long way. A great book about seeing a things in another’s eyes as the child attempts to find her lost cat.

Yoko by Rosemary Wells

Mmm, Yoko’s mom has packed her favorite for lunch today–sushi! But her classmates don’t think it looks quite so yummy. “Ick!” says one of the Franks. “It’s seaweed!” They’re not even impressed by her red bean ice cream dessert. Of course, Mrs. Jenkins has a plan that might solve Yoko’s problem. But will it work with the other children in class?

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright

B-R-R-R-R! AH-CHOO! Sneezy the Snowman is cold, cold, cold. To warm up, he drinks cocoa, sits in a hot tub, stands near a warm fire–and melts! But the children know just what to do to build him up again–and make him feel “just right”. Hilarity chills the air with playful mixed-media illustrations by Stephen Gilpin as Sneezy attempts to warm himself with some silly results

Get the lesson plan and activities for Sneezy the Snowman HERE

Best Books For Kindergarten

What are some of your favorite read aloud books for Kindergarten? Are there any must read read aloud books for Kindergarteners that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

Remember: I’ll send you a free lesson and activities for one of my favorite read aloud books for Kindergarten: Mae Among the Stars! Where should I send it? Let me know here:

Looking for the best read aloud books for Kindergarten? These fun picture books for elementary students are engaging for kindergarteners. Fiction and nonfiction books with lesson plans and activities linked. These are the best diverse picture book read alouds for Kindergarten students. Many of these are award winning children's books about diverse characters, friendships, relationships, and for the whole year!
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Other Great Kindergarten Read Aloud Stories

Looking for other great read alouds for Kindergarten? Here are a few more to explore chocked full of award winning books to help kids develop a love for reading:

Narrative Nonfiction Books for Kindergarten

Black History Month Books For Kindergarten

Back to School Books for Kindergarten

Black History Month Kindergarten Books

Summer Reading List For Kindergarten

Earth Day Kindergarten Books

Realistic Fiction Books For Kindergarten

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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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