I was making a list of suggestions for easy, engaging chapter books for our teachers at preschool to read aloud to friends ages 4-5, so I included it here for everyone. Good bedtime or dinnertime reading!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments what you would add to the list. Were any of these favorites as a child? Or as an adult?
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Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book, Howard R. Garis
My kids have loved reading these for bedtime stories. They never let me stop at just one, though, so be warned. Uncle Wiggily tales date back to 1910, so occasionally you’ll encounter some outdated language or social constructs (for example, Wiggily’s muskrat lady housekeeper does a lot for him that he should probably figure out for himself ), but these stories are a true joy.
Mercy Watson Series, Kate DiCamillo
How can anyone not love a book with the subtitle, Adventures of a Porcine Wonder? That’s all I have to say about this one.
When it comes to Kate DiCamillo, so many of her others are wonderful read aloud too, especially The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The Tale of Despereaux.
Here’s a Penny, Carolyn Haywood
This one was a really fun surprise for me in our Kindergarten homeschool year. I learned about it from Sonlight’s book list. It has a really sweet treatment of a subject that is near and dear to our family’s heart (I won’t give anything away).
Capyboppy, Bill Peet
Here’s another one I learned about through Sonlight and we really enjoyed. I admit I didn’t know what a capybara was before I read this book.
Anna Hibiscus (series), Atinuke
This series is wonderful, and especially so because it takes place in Africa. They are short books and there are lots of them! We picked them up at our local library.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
I’ve been a fan of Roald Dahl’s writing since I was about seven, and I even wrote him a gushing letter telling him so (I never heard back, sadly). One of my greatest reading joys in life has been re-reading these as an adult with my kids. We just finished The BFG as a family (at dinnertime!) and Mark and I really enjoyed all of the humor I’m sure I missed as a child. Worth reading and re-reading ALL of his books, even if it’s just for you! We have this collection and are slowly making our way through them.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (trilogy), Grace Lin
Grace Lin is one of our favorite Chinese authors. We love everything she does. Her picture books for younger ones are wonderful (like Dim Sum for Everyone and Bringing in the New Year ), and this fantasy trilogy is great for all ages.
Milly Molly Mandy, Joyce Lankester Brisley
Another very oldie but goodie. Sweet stories for bedtime or anytime.
James Herriott’s Treasury for Children
This one is really more like a picture book of stories, but I cannot leave it out. We absolutely LOVED reading this at bedtime. Lovely tales from Herriot’s own experiences as a vet in England, beautiful illustrations.
The Complete Brambly Hedge, Jill Barklem
This one has wonderful illustrations and makes for sweet reading, particularly with the younger crowd (4 and under) who enjoyed Peter Rabbit.
The Trumpet of the Swan, E.B. White
This is what we’re reading now. Even though I’ve read Charlotte’s Web a bunch of times (as a kid and with my kids), I never read this one until just now. It’s wonderful. A little much for my 3 year old but 5 and 7 are really enjoying it read aloud at dinnertime or before bed.
There are so many more! I left out some of the classics like Winnie the Pooh, Mr Popper’s Penguins, and Homer Price (and everything by Robert McCloskey), and many more.
What are your favorite longer books for the 4-5 age group?