It's spring! Time for some uplifting read aloud books perfect for April days. I could have given you books about April showers, but I decided to go the green route instead. These books, while not necessarily about spring, will remind you why you love this season so much. New life! Fresh colors! Cute little baby animals!
So what are you waiting for? Whether its rainy or sunny, these April read aloud books are just the thing to put a spring in your step. (See what I did there?)
(Note: covers and titles are affiliate links.)
April Picture Books
For April, of course you want some picture books that feature spring style and the glorious natural world that is beckoning us outdoors again.
Hats Off to Mr. Pockles by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Start your spring with a stylish hat! If you celebrate Easter, this could be a fun reminder of the traditional Easter bonnet. Others will simply enjoy the amusing story. Mr. Pockles would never dream of going about without wearing one of his unique hats. He has hats for every occasion, from eating breakfast hats to in the bath hats. But he has one special hat he never wears. He also doesn't have any friends to share his hats with! But one day, when a fellow hat-wearer loses her hat to some hungry rabbits, he has just the solution!
Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre. What first drew me to this book was the gorgeous cover featuring the official flower of my home state! When I saw the author I knew it would be a winner; I have loved past titles by Sayre. This is a wonderful book to read aloud in April when blooms are starting to make an appearance. The spare but dynamic text and utterly magnificent photographs remind us that some blooms come all at once and other make their appearance one by one. Delightful.
The Whole Wide World and Me by Toni Yuly is a charming story of a girl enjoying the natural world. Cut paper illustrations are simple and colorful, the text is spare but poetic. What I really love about this book as a read aloud is that you can focus on the shifting perspectives in the illustrations. You might see a close up of the girl's feet, or a wide-angle view of the landscape. The narration is in the first person, the girl stating how she sees herself as part of the world, "I am a cloud in the sky," "I am a pebble..." Gets kids thinking metaphorically!
Quiet by Tomie dePaola. You know anything by dePaola will be a winner. Two children and their grandfather take a walk in the park. They notice that everything around them is so busy—the birds, dragonflies, frogs, etc. The grandfather suggests that they sit and be still and quiet on a park bench and they notice that other creatures are taking a short break. In April, you are probably starting to spend more time in the park with your children, and this read aloud book is a lovely reminder to be mindful. It would be a great addition to my mindful picture book list!
Did you know April is National Poetry Month? Obviously it is the perfect time for me to be my usual pushy self when it comes to getting you to crack open a book of verse! Time for some April poetry read alouds! These two new choices will appeal to everyone. But do also check out my list of funny poems for kids for more selections.
Superlative Birds by Leslie Bulion. Bet you didn't know poetry was a great way to convey scientific information. These nonfiction verses share fascinating information about birds, from the tiniest to the loudest, to the bird with the most feathers and other intriguing birds. Does your child love facts but hasn't yet developed a love of poetry? Read this next!
The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems ed. by Paul B. Janeczko. Janeczko has curated a singular collection of poems that focus on how to's. From the title of the book, you can tell that these are not all serious. Poems include such variety as Christina Rossetti's "Mix a Pancake" and Kwame Alexander "Basketball Rule #2" and How to Be a Tree in Winter by Irene Latham. You will especially love the final poem, "How to Pay Attention." Robert Jones' illustrations capture the imagination.
April Read Aloud Chapter Books
For April read alouds for older kids, I've focused on books about gardens, the environment and the maybe-traditional April theme of rabbits. The final selection is something I adored reading and I'm fitting it in for good measure simply because I need to tell you about it! Also check out our list of spring family read alouds everyone will love.
Me and Marvin Gardens by April Sarig King. This was such an interesting read. Obe Devlin lives in a house that has sat on his family's farmland for several generations. But his grandfather lost much of the land and it is now underdevelopment for tract housing. Obe spends his time down at the creek looking for animal tracks and one day he spies a strange new creature that eats plastic. Obe names the animal, Marvin Gardens–Obe's dad loves Monopoly. Obe tries to keep Marvin a secret but then he discovers Marvin's scat is toxic to the land. While I was reading this book I kept thinking Marvin must be a figment of Obe's imagination, but he wasn't and that makes the book so much better. It would be easy for King's book to devolve into environmental preachiness but it is not at all didactic and it's a great read aloud for the whole family.
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden (series) by Karina Yan Glaser. I may be cheating a bit here. I aim to only include new-to-my-book-lists-to-date books on these monthly read aloud lists, yet I recommended the first Vanderbeeker book in my December read aloud post. But I think that's okay, yes? When I brought the book home from the library, my son got very excited to read the further adventures of a group of siblings who live in Harlem. In this story, they decide to create a healing garden for the benefit of their neighbors. Read aloud for ages 7 and up
Royal Rabbits of London (series) by Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore. Shylo, the littlest rabbit sibling loves to hear the elderly Horatio spin yarns about the Royal Rabbits of London, a group of rabbits tasked with protecting the royal family. One day, Shylo overhears the rats discussing a plot to break into the castle and take photographs of the queen! It is up to him to find the famed Royal Rabbits and thwart the plot! Read aloud for ages 7 and up (There are a few descriptions that may disturb extra-sensitive listener, so even if this is about cute wittle bunny wabbits, it's not all warm fuzzies. Preview the book if necessary.)
The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond.by David Almond. Almond is such an intriguing writer. I find his books to be some of the most unique I read, and generally they make excellent read alouds precisely because of their quirkiness. One day a bus driver discovers a tiny angel in his breast pocket. He brings it home to his wife and they take care of it. The children take the angel to school and as Angelino experiences the world he grows, learns how to fly and begins to talk. It struck me as wonderful that no one thinks a tiny angel is an oddity, just that he is marvelous! There is one villain of sorts who is out to capture the angel but Angelino's innocence and grace leaves everyone in a better spot in life in this warm-hearted tale. Absolutely worth reading! Read aloud for ages 7 and up
Not April? Find more monthly read aloud selections here:
- January read aloud books
- February read aloud books
- March read aloud books
- May read aloud books
- June read aloud books
- July read alouds
- August read alouds
- September read aloud books
- October read aloud books
- November read aloud books
- December read aloud books