This last week, we’ve been pretty much snowed in. Since I can’t really leave the house, I’ve been catching up on my reading. Usually I have an hour or two to read before bed, but since I haven’t been brave enough to take the car out, I’ve have a few more hours in the day to devote to my Kindle. While I was reading, I started to think about my nieces and the books I gave them for Christmas this year. I was able to pick up a couple of really good picture books that are great for reading aloud, and I know all the children I’ve read them to love the stories.

It got me thinking about what other picture books I have on my to-buy list and I did a few quick searches about some the best read aloud books out there today.

1. Skippyjon Jones
The first Skippyjon Jones was published in 2003 by Judith Byron Schachner. It’s about a Siamese cat that dreams he’s a Chihuahua. The books rhyme and are meant to be sung, and they’re a lot of fun for pre-readers and established readers alike. Since the first book, a whole series of Skippyjon Jones books have been published. The first won the annual E.B. White read aloud award in 2004.

2. A Bad Case of the Stripes
This is a great book about diversity. Published in 1998 by David Shannon, this is a popular read aloud book all the way up to fourth grade. It’s designed to teach children about celebrating their differences. It’s about a girl named Camilla Cream who loved lima beans, but refuses to eat them because other kids don’t like them. When she wakes up the next morning, she’s covered in brightly colored stripes. She keeps changing colors until she realizes she doesn’t have to conform to what other people want.

3. Pete the Cat: I love My White Shoes
These books also come with a sing along CD that kids love to listen to. Like Skippyjon Jones, these are multiple Pete the Cats. The first one is about Pete the Cat getting new white shoes. However, as he’s walking through town, he keeps stepping in things that change the color of his shoes. Instead of getting mad, he celebrates each color.

4. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type
This book is on the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time as of 2012. It’s about a group of cows on a farm that discover an old typewriter. They use the typewriter to write messages to Farmer Brown so they can have a few more luxuries around the barn. It’s a fun read that kids love to go through again and again.