The following is a list of books that I either read to my kids at the age of 5 and 6 or audiobooks my kids listened to at that age. The fabulous thing about a lot of these titles (not all in this list) is that older kids won’t be bored with them. If you are looking for a book to read to your children of different ages, many of these are a great choice.
To find excellent recommendations for other books to read aloud with your children, read my post The Case for Reading Aloud and Audiobooks.
Don’t forget to check out my post about free audiobooks online.
My kids (and I too) LOVED the Lulu series:
Murmel Murmel Munsch (We have the older version The Best of Robert Munsch)
Half Magic I am sure they would have loved the other books in the Tales of Magic series because they both loved this one (my son listened to it at 6, my daughter at 8 so I guess it is one of those books that is popular with a wide range of ages). Update: We have read two other books in this series and they enjoyed them too.
Dinosaur Habitat My son was 5 when we read it. He loved it.
Ms. Piggle-Wiggle Our kids’ favorite—my daughter likes to listen to the books even now in 3rd grade; she’s loved the books since kindergarten.
The Great Brain My kids (6 and 8) liked it it. I wouldn’t read it to a 5-year-old though.
The Littles (series)
Ragweed (Tales from Dimwood Forest series)
The Story of Doctor Dolittle My son, 6 loved it, my daughter, 8 didn’t care for it much.
The Cricket in Times Square We listened to this book on our way to Disney and loved it.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Although the vocabulary is a bit difficult at times, it can be explained. My kids listened to this book when they were 5 and 7 and loved it.
Dragon Rider My son refused to play or do anything else until he finished listening to this book. He sat on the couch for hours.
The Children of Noisy Village Astrid Lindgren is a great author. This book has been one of my daughter’s favorites since she was 5 or 6. We read it in Czech because it is very popular in the Czech Republic. However, I have scanned reviews of the English version and people in the US rave about this book as well.
Emil’s Pranks My daughter read the book in Czech and enjoyed it (more reviews are here). Like all other Astrid Lindgren books, this one didn’t disappoint. It is even better for little boys. You can find more titles about Emil on Amazon (then check the ratings on www.goodreads.com, or check out other books by Astrid Lindgren on www.goodreads.com)
The Hobbit My son LOVES The Hobbit. I read it to him in Czech (which was probably harder for him than if we had read it in English). He says it is one of his favorites of all times. He was 6 ½ when we read it.
The Big Big Big Book of Tashi For a complete list of books in Tashi series click here. My son is reading this book independently right now but I’ve read reviews (and believe them) where people mentioned it was a great book to read aloud to younger kids. Each page has a big picture and only a few sentences. There is a picture of a map at the beginning of the book and my son constantly follows Tashi’s journey there (Dragon’s Cave, Giant’s castle, Mountain of White Tigers etc.). The stories about Tashi’s adventures are available in separate books. I just chose one that contained more stories together. I also discovered a website about Tashi books.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang My kids loved this one.
Catwings (My son loved this series–he read it on his own in 1st grade)
Tales from the Odyssey A great read-aloud for kids 5 or 6 and up. We listened to the audiobook.
Homer Price (my son listened to this audiobook two months before he turned 7 and I m not sure if he would have enjoyed it a year ago–save it for later if you have a five-year-old)
8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ö 1 Dog = Chaos (funny and short)
Here is a list of other books my kids didn’t listen to but are recommended on several websites for this age group.
Twelve Kinds of Ice (recommended as read-aloud for winter)
The Box of Delights Try to find this edition which is unabridged and has beautiful illustrations.
A Matter-of-Fact Magic Book: No Such Thing as a Witch For a list of books in this series click here.
The Wind in the Willows A classic many people swear by. We tried it but it was too lyrical for my daughter. My son liked it but we didn’t continue reading because I want to read to both of them. I guess it depends on your child–either they enjoy it or not.
Princess Tales If your daughter likes fairy tales, this series is apparently very popular with a lot of girls (e.g. The Fairy’s Mistake, The Princess Test and others). My daughter is not a fan of fairy tales so she will probably never pick these up. Many Moms read these stories to their 5-year-olds so they are good read-alouds for princess lovers. I have seen books by Gail Carson Levine recommended by parents on quite a few discussion forums.
The Trumpet of the Swan This book is probably rather poetic but my son likes that type of books. He enjoyed Stuart Little so I have it on my list.
Marigold and the Feather of Hope, The Journey Begins For a complete list of books in The Fairy Chronicles series click here.
The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly Parents read it to younger kids, suitable for very young kids but also for 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds. I don’t know the reading level but if somebody finds out, please, post it in comments!
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg (A Fairy Dust Trilogy Book)
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