Thematic Reading List: 20 Storytime Read-Alouds


Twenty great picture books that make fun storytime reads. Many have repetition, rhyme, and provide plenty of opportunity for listener engagement.








9780679890478 Are You My Mother?
By: P.D. Eastman

A classic read aloud about a baby bird that is born while his mother is away. He sets out to look for her, and asks everyone he meets including a dog, a cow, and a plane –“Are you my mother?”.

0062051857 Bark, George 
By: Jules Feiffer

Only after he is examined by a veterinarian can George the dog’s mother figure out why George can meow, moo, quack and oink but not bark. A twist on what sound does this animal make.

0316015482 Children Make Terrible Pets
By: Peter Brown

When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy lost in the woods, she asks her mother if she can have him as a pet, only to find him impossible to train. Listeners will find the role reversal hilarious.

9780763633035 Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed?
By: Barney Saltzberg

When Cornelius is asked if he knows what time it is, he says Yes! He also answers Yes! to the series of questions familiar to parents and kids. Yes! he says; he has put his toys away, fed his fish, used the bathroom, brushed his teeth, put on his pajamas, chosen a book. But each question and answer across a double page is matched by an illustration telling a different story: his toys are in the refrigerator, the fish have received a cookie, etc. A good question-and-answer story for storytellers to ask listeners if Cornelius is doing what he is asked.

9780399255373 The Day the Crayons Quit
By: Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by: Oliver Jeffers

When Duncan wants to use his crayons, he finds a list of complaints from each color. Red is overworked with valentines and Santa, and Grey is tired of being used for big animals such as elephants and whales. Duncan answers all their complaints with a solution sure to amuse and perhaps inspire young listeners.

51BZgvbtVcL._SX376_BO1,204,203,200_ Don’t Fidget a Feather
By: Erica Silverman
Illustrated by: S. D. Schindler

Their contest to decide who is the champion of champions almost has disastrous consequences for Gander and Duck. Storytellers can ask listeners to play along with the story by trying not to fidget during the story.

9781423145141 Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
By: Mo Willems

When the bus driver decides to take a break from driving, a wild and wacky pigeon pleads and begs to take his place, capturing the antics of a preschooler’s temper tantrum. Willems stories are loved by many preschoolers and will be a funny read for Storytime.

0140954090 Froggy Gets Dressed
By: Jonathan London
Illustrated by: Frank Remkiewicz

Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing. Listeners can be a part of the story by helping play the role of Froggy’s mother.

0590316818 How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
By: Jane Yolen
Illustrated by: Mark Teague

Mother and child ponder the different ways a dinosaur can say goodnight, from slamming his tail and pouting to giving a big hug and kiss. After the story, be sure to ask each child how they say goodnight to parents.

9780547401638 I Like Myself
By: Karen Beaumont
Illustrated by: David Catrow

In rhyming text, a little girl expresses confidence and joy in her uniqueness, no matter her outward appearance.

0062305948 If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
By: Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by: Felicia Bond

This circular tale of a mouse who keeps asking for more after you give him a cookie provides Storytime listeners a chance to predict what the mouse will ask for next.

0064430685 Jamberry 
By: Bruce Degen

Fun word play and rhyme fill this story of a little boy walking in the forest who meets a big lovable bear that takes him on a delicious berry-picking adventure.

0670059838 Llama, Llama Red Pajama
By: Anna Dewdney

Told in four-line rhymes, this story conveys all the emotions of baby waiting for mama to bring a glass of water to him while he also waits for sleep to come.

0590225618 The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
By: Don Wood and Audrey Wood

Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.

0230015832 Monkey and Me
By: Emily Gravett

Excited about their trip to the zoo, a young girl and her stuffed monkey delight in mimicking all the animals they see, such as a hopping kangaroo and stomping elephant, during their wonderful outing together.

9781591129240 Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! 
By: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas

After planting the garden he has dreamed of for years, Mr. McGreely tries to find a way to keep three persistent bunnies from eating all his vegetables.

9780062110619 Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
By: Eric Litwin
Illustrated by: James Dean

Pete the cat loves the buttons on his shirt so much that he makes up a song about them, and even as the buttons pop off, one by one, he still finds a reason to sing.

9781416985280 Rhyming Dust Bunnies 
By: Jan Thomas

As three dust bunnies, Ed, Ned, and Ted, are demonstrating how much they love to rhyme, a fourth, Bob, is trying to warn them of approaching danger.

039925045X The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By: Eric Carle

Follow the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days and can be used to emphasize recall.

9780805082678 Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?  
By: Karen Beaumont
Illustrated by: Eugene Yelchin

Kanga and her friends try to discover who ate all her cookie dough. Fun rhymes form the text and each begins with the bouncy refrain: Eeny, meeny, miney moe! / Who ate all the cookie dough?


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