5 favorite read-alouds

Kid-tested and approved.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff retold by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Published by Orchard Books

A gross troll who speaks in funny rhymes and a hilariously oversized billy goat who defeats him. Kids got a big kick out of this, and I think we can all look forward to the future fairy tale retellings that have been promised us from this team.

Puppy Bus by Drew Brockington

Published by Harry N. Abrams

If you’re trying to get kids over their back-to-school jitters, climb aboard the puppy bus for a riotously good time with a boy who accidentally gets on the wrong bus on his first day of school.

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

Published by Christy Ottaviano Books

A wise little owl finds out what has been wiping out the bigger knights and uses his nocturnal skills to defeat it–and then befriend it. Don’t rule this out for a Caldecott.

Hot Dog by Doug Salati

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

This nearly wordless book was a close second in many of my mock Caldecott votes. The colors and details help the reader share the relief of the dog and its owner when they escape the city on a hot summer day.

Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Dan Santat

Published by Chronicle Books

This choose-your-own fairy tale adventure was one of the biggest hits of the year with both students and teachers. It’s engaging and interactive, and Dan Santat’s fabulous illustrations could win him another Caldecott.

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