I have always enjoyed reading out loud. Which is good because I've been asked to do it a lot in my life. I like trying to get the inflections and attitudes of the characters perfect. (I don't do voices-I have not that talent.) Teachers were always asking me to read in class. My junior English teacher counted on it so much that when I developed a horrendous cough in the spring of that year that was agitated by the reading, I would come into class to find a pile of cough drops in the middle of my desk. I didn't mind though because I enjoyed it. Not so much being recognized by my classmates as the girl who always read. That was not so much fun. But I loved the challenge of making the words come out the way the sounded in my head. I still do. And now I have a captive audience who adores me in the form of my children.
There are some books that just make better read alouds than others. Here are some of my favorites:
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book by Lauren Child-Okay I admit it. I do voices for this one. How can you not? Doing Goldilocks' screechy whining is too much fun to pass up.
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina-You can act this one out. What's not to love about that? And man to kids LOVE it when you do.
Any of Mo Willem's Pigeon books-Reading these can be great stress release. When else can you acceptably act like a four year old in temper tantrum mode?
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo-The words in this one just flow off the tongue. It is so much better read aloud than read silently. And it is amazing when read silently.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin-This is a storyteller's book and was meant to be read aloud.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling-Yes, the later books are longer and don't flow as well in places. Still. They all make excellent read alouds and when you read them aloud you get to experience the magic again at the same time you're watching others experience it. Let me tell you how much bonding has happened between me and my daughter over these books.
Anything by N.D. Wilson-What this author can do with words is amazing.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin-I read this book to my 5th graders every year and turned it into a game. We all had tons of fun.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner-Yes. MWT has to make it on to every single list. I read this with my 4th-6th grade lit class last year. They read a lot of it themselves, but I read huge chunks to them in class. The phrasing is so perfect with no word wasted or misplaced. I would venture to say the entire series would read well aloud. The first time I read A Conspiracy of Kings was to my husband on a car trip. (He didn't think it was fair I got to read it first-that was the solution.)
What about you? Is there a particular book you get excited to read aloud? Or is there a book you have a fond memory having read to you?