read aloud chapter books for young kids

A couple of months ago, one of the moms in our virtual book club was asking when I started reading chapter books to the girls. The answer was much easier for Ellie than it was for Samantha since I just started dipping my toes into chapter books at bedtime with her (she turned five last month).

Now, I’m not a stick hard and fast to the rules kind of girl. Not every four year old will be able to sit and listen to you read them a chapter. And there might be three year olds who will. You know your kid best. If the little booger will sit through three stories at a time and eats it all up, why not give it a try?

I put together a list of five of our favorite read aloud chapter books for young kids. These aren’t terribly long and there are pictures sprinkled in to help keep your kids’ attention. Plus, each one on this list includes a main character (or two) that your kids can’t help but get attached to.

(And yes, Ellie is wearing a cat costume while looking through books because this is real life and that is what fabulous people do.)

read aloud chapter books for young kids

Read aloud early reader chapter books for young kids

Princess in Black by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

If you’re a boy mom, don’t let the princess deter you. This is no ordinary princess. In fact, Princess Magnolia just so happens to secretly be Princess in Black—a caped crusader with crazy ninja skills who is really, really good at kicking monster butt. With lots of fun pictures and silliness mixed with the drama of hoping Magnolia can keep her secret, this one is sure to hook kids in. (And so far there are three of them!)

Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish

This series takes an old character that we know and love and introduces us to her when she was younger. Written by Peggy Parish’s nephew, these stories are just as silly as the classics with plenty of hilarious wordplay and wild and crazy misunderstandings. Fun and fast paced with pictures on every page, your kids will love Amelia and her crazy adventures.

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

These classic detective mysteries have been around since we were young. In them, boy detective Nate the Great operates his own detective agency and kids in the neighborhood turn to him (and his dog Sludge!) to help solve their mysteries. With fun pictures, suspense, and the thrill of putting their own detective skills to use, my girls love Nate.

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

Another hilarious series (notice a trend here?!), these books follow the wild hijinks of one very naughty cat. These laugh-out-loud funny stories always leave my girls wide eyed and wondering if Bad Kitty really just did that. In this first book, Kitty goes crazy when none of her favorite foods are left.

Judy Moody by Megan McDonald

We love Judy Moody. She’s feisty and full of attitude and she is not the least bit afraid to be her very own unique self. Of course, this sometimes lands her in some pretty silly situations, but Judy always soldiers through. She’s a character your kids can’t help but root for—even when they know she’s being ridiculous.

Happy reading, kittens. 😉

read aloud early reader chapter books for young kids

PS have you gotten my free printable of must-read children’s books?

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.