Many primary classrooms invite family and community members to visit the classroom as a guest reader during the school year. However, not all of these visitors know exactly what book they should share. Instead of scrambling to find a book at the last minute, you can put together a special collection of read aloud books for guest readers. Here are some book suggestions that are sure to be a hit with the class.
You can click on any of the covers below to learn more about each story or find all of these books on my Amazon page.
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Read Aloud Books for Guest Readers
The Circus Ship
When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. Staggering onto a nearby island, they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. So well do the critters blend in that when the greedy circus owner returns to claim them, villagers of all species conspire to outsmart the bloated blowhard.
How to Feed Your Parents
Matilda Macaroni loves to try new foods, whether it’s her grandma’s jambalaya or sushi at a sleepover. But, in this fun, twisted picture book, it’s finicky mom and dad—not the child—who eat only pizza with pepperoni (delivered), burgers from a bag, or noodles from a box. Eager to experience new flavors, Matilda secretly sets out to learn how to cook, satisfy her hunger for something more . . . and expand her parents’ palates, too.
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
Long ago, in an ancient and distant realm called the Kingdom of Backyard, there lived a warrior named ROCK. Meanwhile in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office, a second great warrior sought the glory of battle. And his name was PAPER. At the same time, in the Kitchen Realm, in the tiny village of Junk Drawer, lived a third warrior. They called her SCISSORS.
These three were the strongest, smartest, and fastest in all the land. Time and again they beat the most fearsome opponents they could find: an apricot, a computer printer—even frozen, breaded, dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets! But when the warriors finally meet each other, the most epic round of battles begins . . . and never ends. That is why, to this day, children around the world honor these worthy adversaries by playing ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS!
Grab a free set of activities to pair with this book here.
Take Your Pet to School Day
When pets show up with their kids at Maple View Elementary, it’s total chaos! These animals have no respect for school rules, and every class quickly gets out of hand. But why did they show up in the first place? Who said they could come? Could it have been…the pets themselves? It turns out they just wanted in on the fun! Now, if they want to stay, they’ll just have to behave….
The Book with No Pictures
You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except, here’s how the book works. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say…BLORK or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. This is a book kids will beg to hear again and again!
The Panda Problem
Every story needs a problem. But Panda doesn’t have a problem. Unless . . . Panda is the problem.
An unseen narrator begins recounting a tale about “a panda who lived in a beautiful bamboo grove.” When it comes time to introduce a problem, the laid-back panda denies this narrative claim. The disgruntled narrator lays down the rules and volleys a series of conflict-probing questions to no avail. While lounging on a hammock, the untroubled panda has a revelation and turns the storytelling tables. With the editorial reins now firmly in his paw, the bear riles up the narrator with annoying antics like playing the banjo, singing “The Bamboo Burp Song,” and sailing to Antarctica.
What Should Danny Do? School Day
In this choose-your-own-adventure-style story, the reader gets to decide how Danny’s day at school will end! Danny faces choices while getting ready for school, on the playground, in the classroom, and more. Because there are 8 different endings, this book can be read more than one time with different choices to made along the way.
If I Built a School
If Jack built a school, there would be hover desks and pop-up textbooks, skydiving wind tunnels and a trampoline basketball court in the gym, a robo-chef to serve lunch in the cafeteria, field trips to Mars, and a whole lot more. The inventive boy who described his ideal car and house in previous books is dreaming even bigger this time.
On the Account of the Gum
When a child goes to sleep with gum in their mouth, it seems inevitable that the gum will end up in their hair. The natural next step is to seek advice on how to remove the gum, from the Internet and family members, which proves to be disastrous. As objects accumulate in the child’s hair, they become more and more frustrated. To make matters worse, it is not only the child’s birthday but also school picture day!
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON’T!
Note to self: If your teacher tells you to bring something from nature for show-and-tell, she does not want you to bring an alligator! But nothing will stop Magnolia, who’s determined to have the best show-and-tell of all–until her reptilian rapscallion starts getting her into some major trouble. Now it’s up to Magnolia to find a way to send this troublemaker home–but what could possibly scare an alligator away?
Edward the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes–honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried. Just when Edward has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.
It’s time for the little red chicken’s bedtime story — and a reminder from Papa to try not to interrupt. But the chicken can’t help herself! Whether the tale is Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood or even Chicken Little, she jumps into the story to save its hapless characters. Now it’s the little red chicken’s turn to tell a story, but will her yawning papa make it to the end without his own kind of interrupting?
Parfait, Not Parfait!
This must-read book is an innovative and deceptively simple journey of words that rhyme (or don’t) with “parfait.” Each page turn brings on the laughs as the clever story bounces from an uneaten parfait to seemingly random characters, including a duck, a toupée-wearing Shar-pei, horses playing “Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkay”, and even. . . Abraham Lincoln.
Do you have a favorite read aloud that didn’t make the list? Let me know so I can check it out!
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