Wednesday’s Picture Books – Part 2: Read Aloud Books

41ak9Ds2dWL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

This book and I have a history. I have always loved Shel’s work and poems – thanks to a teacher who introduced me. (Doesn’t a Homework Machine sound great?!)

But The Giving Tree? This one is my favorite. She came up with me and my shaky knees in front of my whole high school youth group on Talent Night. As I read, her pictures, simple yet profound, caused a hush to fall as each listener found they were enraptured with her as I was.

I was embarrassed that reading and books were my talent compared to those who sang and acted and made hilarious sounds come from various parts of their bodies… but I love who I am now.

But The Giving Tree’s message is not one for the faint of heart but a challenge. How do I treat those who give to me – God? my family? friends? But even more so the deep love and compassion shown in a simple tree.

I can think of another tree where the ultimate act of compassion was shown forever and always.


The Napping House written by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood

Ah! This one is my immediate go-to for a read-aloud in a kindergarten classroom. The repetition and the silliness keep everyone’s attention – not to mention the fun game of Find the Flea on each page! This would not be my pick for a “need to keep them quiet” read. I guarantee they won’t be very quiet by the time the snoring granny and everyone on top of her is awake and crazy – in the napping house where no one now is sleeping!

In keeping with the beautiful tradition of reading aloud, here is The Napping House being read on YouTube and also The Giving Tree being read aloud. Enjoy!

Go and celebrate Picture Book Month! Grab your favorite from your shelf or the library or a great bookstore and read aloud to yourself or better yet, someone you love!


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