The 20 Best Read Alouds for Kindergarten (Beginner Books)

Children, especially kindergartners, are filled with curiosity. When learning to read, we often worry about the books being appropriate or exciting enough for the kids to learn from. The characters in these stories are kids themselves. They understand how to convey the emotions that grownups might miss. This list includes books on hope, vocabulary development, and constant laughter. When children read books from this list, we want them only to feel joy and ask the crucial questions these books might bring to mind.

The 20 Best Read Alouds for Kindergarten (Beginner Books)

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Hailed as one of the best books for kindergarteners, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a perfect beginning for a fun day of reading aloud with the kids. It is filled with beautiful anecdotes and perfect rhyming for an easy understanding of the story. 

The story opens with young Alexander, who, from the moment he opens his eyes to wake up from sleep, has been unfortunately plagued with the signs of a horrible day. First, he notices the bubble gum he ate the previous night is stuck to his hair on his first day of school. From there, he trips on his skateboard and soaks his favorite pink sweater. 

At school, his teacher scolds him, his mother forgets to include a dessert in his lunch box, and his best friend tells him at lunch that he is no longer his first-choice best friend. After school, his mother takes him to the dentist, and he discovers he has a cavity; he doesn’t get his favorite shoes, his brother calls him a crybaby, and it is a no-good day. His misfortunes continue throughout the story, and kids can relate to having one of those days, which makes it more fun as they read aloud or take turns with this story. 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince

The Little Prince is a classic story about a pilot who crashed in the desert and has only an eight-day supply of water and food. He encounters a little prince who asks him to draw a picture of a sheep. The prince recounts to the pilot all the people he met during his exploration and explains that the Fox was the most memorable. 

Though this is a children’s book, it heavily explores themes of friendship, loneliness, love, and, most importantly, loss. The beauty of the Little Prince is the way it also relies on the imagination of children to make it a fantastic story. 

Prince and Knight by Daniel Haak

Prince & Knight

Another way to stimulate the minds of kindergarteners, ensure they read a fun story and ask some crucial questions; Prince and Knight tell the story of a young prince who falls in love with a knight. This book establishes itself uniquely in this genre by using popular fairy tale tropes. Inclusivity and diversity are essential themes in this story that drives home that point. 

Kids are never too young to learn that the world may look unfamiliar and families may be different. In the end, the Prince and the Knight get married. This may spur questions that this book expertly navigates. 

Clara Caterpillar by Pamela Duncan 

Clara Caterpillar

Meet Clara, who is a cute cabbage caterpillar. She thrives as an ordinary caterpillar but still gets judged by other caterpillars, especially Catisha, who is colorful and crimson. When she becomes a full cream-colored butterfly, she encounters a crow, which proves that sometimes, life is about contentment. 

A great beginner’s book to teach kids about self-worth and contentment with oneself: this book, published in 2001, drives home the point that we can’t all be the same, which is fine. There is so much beauty if we only look inwards. 

The Complete Tales of Winnie The Pooh by A.A Miine

The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh

Winnie The Pooh is an endearing tale of a little-bellied bear who loves to sleep in and eat honey. A great addition to this list, as kindergarteners may have toys of the little bear. Chapter by chapter, we follow the adventures of Winnie and his crew as they attempt to bring joy to everyone they meet. 

Winnie The Pooh is a staple figure for many childhoods, and while we long to accompany the crew on their many ventures, we know the kids would love the adventures.

The Adventures of Beckle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat 

Adventures Of Beekle Unimaginary Friend

Kids’ imagination thrives with books like this — An award-winning book that helps to answer the question: where do imaginary friends come from? This sweet tale about finding your place in the world and having the courage to pursue what you want will resonate with children and open them up to a new world of possibilities.  

From the bright illustrations and the fantastic storyline of Beckle on his venture into the human world to find kids of his own, this book expertly gives readers a safety net illusion and a firsthand introduction to a world that only comes alive in the imagination. Guaranteed to make your kids ask essential questions while learning and understanding the value of being good people, The Adventures of Beckle: The Unimaginary Friend is a must-add.  

Zog and The Flying Doctors by Julia Donaldson  

Zog and the Flying Doctors

We meet Princess Pearl, who is exhausted from her daily life. All she does is wear silly gowns. She knows she can do more, like curing the sick animals in the Kingdom, but her father opposes her innocent dreams. In the act of rebellion, she vows to change his mind, which happens when they discover that only Princess Pearl can diagnose and heal him from his illness: serious girl power vibes and a solid message to always chase your dreams. 

With an underlying message for the kids that they can be more than one thing, Zog and The Flying Doctors is a perfect reminder. The illustrations are vivid and detail-oriented, which will keep the kids interested.  

Mae Among The Stars by Roda Ahmed 

Mae Among The Stars

“If you can dream it, if you believe it, and you work hard for it, anything is possible” is the message this book wants to teach kids. It is an outstanding book for kindergartners about the real-life story of Mae Jemison: readers will follow her story as a real-life astronaut in the present time.

The illustrations are aesthetically pleasing, and this story teaches children how to use their voices. The final message of self-belief and relentlessly pursuing your dreams are all lessons parents and teachers would want to teach the young ones. With an inspiring message of hope,  Mae Among The Stars is the perfect addition to the collection of read-aloud books.  

Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway 

Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship

A book that expertly navigates school bullying and an unlikely friendship with an apple and a worm. Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship has warm art, simple themes, and a beautiful underlying message. Mac, an apple, meets Will, who is a worm. From the first meeting, they become fast friends. They have fun, teach each other games and finish their sentences.  

Apples aren’t supposed to like worms, or so the story goes. When Mac spends a lonely day without his best bud, he has to decide between standing up to his bullies or protecting his friendship.  A complex question is also answered in this fantastic book. How does one stand up to bullies? These reasons make this book a tremendous addition to the read-aloud collection.

I Love You Like No Otter by Rose Rossner

I Love You Like No Otter: A Funny and Sweet Board Book for Babies and Toddlers (Punderland)

This ideal read-aloud book is a fitting addition to this list, a calming and perfect affirmation for kids who may be having a rough time. “I love you like no otter. You truly are the best. My special little squeak-heart, a step above the rest.” Words that everyone would love to hear. 

With a beautiful play on words, I Love You Like No Otter presents soft love. Accompanied by stunning illustrations and phrases that will leave you with fuzzy feelings, we highly recommend this. 

Mia Mayhem is a Superhero by Kara West 

Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero! (1)

Meet Mia, who happens to be a secret superhero. After finding out most of her misfortune isn’t happening because she is unlucky, she decides to join an after-school training for superheroes. When her parents also reveal that they are superheroes, the story gets exciting, and readers are hooked. 

Mia learns valuable lessons and realizes the importance of having her family, even as you fight crime. Mia Mayhem is a Superhero is a must-have for fun and educative read-aloud. 

Ah, Ha! By Jeff Mack

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack (2013-08-20)

A fun book that has two words doubled to make this an enjoyable book for kids. The frog is having a relaxing day at the pool. Other animals are in the pool, which bothers him since some are out to get him. Even though the Frog has the last laugh by the end of the book, it still makes up for a hilarious book.

Ah, Ha is an excellent beginner-level read-aloud for kindergarteners. Filled with bright illustrations and an enchanting story about a frog who wants a relaxing day, it will endear young readers as they roll and guess where the story is going. 

Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka

Daisy Gets Lost

When Daisy gets separated from her mistress after she leaves to chase a squirrel, this story and the feeling of losing a dog resonates deeply with dog lovers.  A primarily wordless book filled with illustrations and emotional intensity, Daisy Gets Lost explores fear. The unease of being lost in an unfamiliar place and the joy of being found is a feeling parents can relate to as they read this aloud to kids. 

A beautiful and touching story for all age groups, particularly young kindergarteners, this book will have the young ones and parents shedding a tear or two. 

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

How Rocket Learned to Read

One of the teachers’ favorites for teaching to read, How Rocket Learned to Read, is a fun picture book about Rocket and his teacher, a yellow bird. Rocket doesn’t know how to read and pleads with the bird to teach him. We watch Rocky as he starts with the alphabet, and the satisfaction when Rocky finally learns how to read on his own is beautiful. 

This book is ideal for kindergarteners who may be learning to read, as they can relate to and learn from this story. 

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters Big Book: A Caldecott Honor Award Winner (Mulberry Big Book)

A modern spin on the Cinderella tale set in Zimbabwe, this book introduces us to Mufaro’s daughters, Manyara and Nyasha. Manyara is described as arrogant and unkind, while Nyasha is kind and humble. Manyara bullies her sister whenever her father is not around. One day, the king decides to find a wife, and all the fathers, including Mufaro, send their daughters to the palace. The King places an unknown test to test the caliber of women. Nyasha passes the test and becomes the Queen.

This story is about being kind all the time. Nyasha became the Queen because she continuously showed her ability to be kind throughout the trip to the palace. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters is a book that encourages good character development. 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

An instant classic for kindergarteners, a family of four decides to go on a bear hunt, and on the way, they face numerous obstacles like mud, snow, grass, forest, and a river, before they finally find the bear in a cave. They manage to escape and go home safely. 

With each obstacle, it gets more interesting for kids as a read-aloud book. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is the perfect book for interactions with kids. An easy-to-follow story and a catchy refrain that they can sing along to. 

Yoko by Rosemary Wells

Yoko (A Yoko Book, 1)

A rich celebration of multi-diversity and Japanese culture, Yoko is brilliant in this regard. Yoko brings food that her classmates find icky. Her sushi or red bean ice cream dessert does not impress them, which makes her sad. Her mother plans to get her classmates to appreciate and learn about cultural differences. 

A perfect book to help kindergarteners learn about mutual respect and a deep appreciation for other cultures. Also, a pick by teachers to help with learning. 

The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Florence Heide

Day of Ahmed's Secret

Ahmed delivers butane gas all over the city. Readers notice that his happiness shines through as he goes about his day. Even when his customers ask him if he has a secret, Ahmed only smiles and reiterates that he doesn’t. 

Readers travel through the pages in the vibrant city of Cairo to discover Ahmed’s great secret. The Day of Ahmed’s Secret is a fantastic book and an excellent guide for kindergartners to learn about new regions.

8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie

8 Little Planets: A Solar System Book for Kids with Unique Planet Cutouts

The underlying message of 8 Little Planets is to ensure kindergarteners learn about the planets and enjoy each world’s adventures and uniqueness. Take your little ones around the eight planets with this book. This is why it is on this list as an excellent addition to read-aloud books. 

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck Big Book

Kids love to rhyme. Various teachers and children psychologists prove this. It gives a sense of repetition and familiarity that children love, which is why our last book is Little Blue Truck. We meet blue, who is adorable, as a country pick-up truck. Blue meets a muddy road and believes he can cross it until he gets stuck and his friends have to help. 

An excellent tale about the rewards of helping others and the beauty of having wholesome friendships, this book perfectly details the struggle of Blue until he gets help. A fantastic and delightful book that the kids will love.


Read-aloud is a great way to connect with kindergartners. They are just learning how to read, and this is the perfect way to ensure they cultivate a reading habit as they grow older. We hope this list helps you choose a book your child will benefit from. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What age ranges are these books targeted at?

These selections are for the ages of 3-7. While everyone can read books like The Little Prince, we have ensured to include books by known children’s authors mostly. These books explore and answer complex questions that kids may be burning to ask. Prince and Knight answer questions on the possibility of a different kind of love, while Mae Among The Stars helps kids to see that anything is possible if they work hard for it.

What messages do these books encourage?

These books encourage messages on diversity, the need for inclusion, self-awareness, the uniqueness of being yourself, how to approach bullying, emotional intelligence, honesty, courage, and joy.

What kind of books are these?

The books listed range from board books, picture books, and educational texts. They all have different functions for kids and are filled with exquisite storytelling. These books will not only elicit emotions and get the kindergartners curious, but they will learn all of the lessons as intended.

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Daniella Okorobie