10 First Chapter Book Read Alouds

When your child reaches the age that they can sit and listen to a chapter book, it can be a bedtime game-changer. It's fun, magical and rewarding for you both. You will likely be looking forward to bedtime to see what happens with your favorite characters. Below are a few age-appropriate chapter books to get you started. You might remember some from your own childhood. These are appropriate for children ages 4 and up. Enjoy!

Amelia Bedelia by Herman Perish. With short and quick chapters, this series is a perfect fit for young children. Kids will laugh and it provides the opportunity for silly conversations about vocabulary words. A friend of mine recently made a lemon meringue pie with her kids just like Amelia Bedelia does in the first book after reading it. What a fun idea!


Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. With short chapters, engaging illustrations and an adorable pig named Mercy, these books are guaranteed to be a favorite with your kids. They act as a nice bridge between picture books and longer chapter books. 


The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly. The story of a curious and adventurous mouse, Ralph finds trouble and fun when he arises to the challenge of driving a toy motorcycle. 


Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. You will feel sentimental while reading this innocent and classic book. The characters provide lots of opportunities for conversations about emotions and friendships. Plus, that Pooh bear is pretty wise and can teach a thing or two to adults.

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Elmer Elevator runs away from his family to save a baby dragon. Kids love the boy's name, his goodhearted nature, and the adventurous storyline.


Stuart Little by E.B. White. We are currently in the middle of reading this book with my four-year-old. A mouse is born into a family of humans in New York City. The story is one of adventure and family bonding. Children will probably love Stuart's endearing character most of all. 


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonaldMrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a way with children. She is able to help parents in the neighborhood when they don't know what to do with their child's behavior. Kids love the idea that a parent doesn't know what to do all of the time and you will both have a laugh at some typical preschool-aged problems like not wanting to go to bed or take a bath. Be aware that the book was written over fifty years ago and contains stark gender stereotypes. In order to get past the gender roles, I simply interchanged Mr. and Mrs. for the primary caretaker in every other chapter.


Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins. With a Toy Story feel, this book explores the friendship between three toys belonging to a little girl and their adventures.  


The Adventures of Sophie Mouse by Poppy Green. With lots of illustrations and easy to read language, these books are fun and engaging.


A Mouse Called Wolf by Dick King-Smith. Named after Wolf Gang Amadeus, this little mouse loves music and learns that he has talent too! Through his talent and practice, he develops a skill but something even more important: a much-needed friendship. 


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