Are you looking for good books to read aloud to 7-year-olds? At this age kids still love picture books, but also are ready to sit and listen to chapter books. 7-year-olds enjoy long picture books and although they can listen to novels well above their reading level, they may not be ready for many middle grade books aimed at older readers. I've handpicked some of my favorite read aloud books for 7-year-olds, both novels that are just right, as well as some picture books that are particularly likely to spark discussions and stimulate the imagination of 7-year-olds
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Novels to Read Aloud to 7 Year Olds
Pick up these just right novels to read aloud. I've chosen amusing stories sure to engage your listeners. If your 7-year-old isn't ready to sit still but loves to listen, allow them to move around while you read. Here are some great ideas for what kids can do during read aloud time.
The Very Very Far North
by Dan Bar-El
This is my new favorite read aloud, and I don't say that lightly! Duane the polar bear has a curiosity and sense of adventure that leads him first to a shipwreck where he meets C.C. the Owl. He then encounters even more new friends like Handsome the musk ox, Magic the artic fox, and Major Puffin. Together, they explore the wonders of the northern landscape. The cast of animals is as diverse in their personalities as they are in species and the thread of the story focuses on learning to appreciate one's friends. An absolute must read book, truly!
The Robber Hotzenplotz
by Otfried Preussler
My son laughed out loud while I read him this classic German children's book! The Robber Hotzenplotz steals a musical coffee mill from Kasper's grandmother but the police are utterly inept and it is up to Kasper and Seppel to rescue the goods! The two friends set out on a mission to retrieve the coffee mill but Hotzenplotz engages the help of a magician who loves fried potatoes. Everything runs amok! We have enjoyed several of Preussler's books, including the marvelous, The Little Witch and The Little Water Sprite which are on our 2nd grade read aloud list and our spring read aloud list.
by Cara Hoffman
The concept of this story drew me in right away. The doormouse from the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice in Wonderland dreams of a different life. Then one afternoon he is sucked through the teapot and finds himself in present day Manhattan. Now freed from perpetual boredom and no longer sleepy, Bernard makes some new friends and joins up to save the city from a gang of nasty weasels!
Toys Go Out
by Emily Jenkins
I have frequently recommended this series as a read aloud for kids even younger then 7, but if you haven't yet enjoyed it with your children, 7-year-olds will particularly appreciate its droll sense of humor. The three main toys are Lumphy the buffalo, StingRay, and Plastic, a bouncy ball. Über-talented author Emily Jenkins has a particular knack for transferring the emotions, anxieties and joys of childhood experiences and discoveries onto the anthropomorphized toys. There is a lot of humor in the book, too, as the toys engage in gentle absurdities, such as when Lumphy intentionally dips himself in peanut butter so he can visit his friend the Washer in the basement, or when Plastic tries to discover just exactly what she is.
The Chocolate Touch
by Patrick Skene Catling
Once upon a time my son was obsessed with this book. He was so concerned about the reality of “the chocolate touch”. Would he get it too? After all, he loves chocolate as much as, if not more than, anyone. Truthfully, I would not have complained if this book had put him off from chocolate for a bit, but it didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for the sweet stuff one iota. As you might guess from the title, this is a twist on the King Midas legend, only everything that touches John’s lips turns to chocolate. As it turns out, it is possible to have too much of a good thing, even chocolate.
Picture Books to Read Aloud to 7-Year-Olds
I've chosen a selection of picture books that are more complicated in theme and/or language than the average preschool picture book, so you and your 7-year-old will have plenty to talk about!
Fox on a Swing
by Evelina Daciutè
Translated from the Lithuanian, this is a wonderfully whimsical tale of hope, friendship and happiness. Paul and his family live in a tree in a park and one day when Paul is on his way home from the bakery he meets a fox on a swing. Thus begins a rather interesting series of encounters with the philosophizing fox who creates just the right conditions for Paul to consider the nature of happiness and friendship. I love this book for encouraging emotional intelligence because the complex nature of the dialogue really challenges kids to consider the themes touched on in the story.
Chapter Two is Missing
by Josh Lieb
7-year-olds will enjoy the metafictional narrative of this clever mystery. A young boy narrates the story and asks readers to assist in his search for chapter two. Fun wordplay, missing words, topsy-turvy punctuation and hilarious illustrations make this a great read aloud and no child will resist giving his input as to the nature and perpetrator of the crime!
The Lying King
by Alex Beard
This picture book about a ruler who lies and lies and lies is a timeless tale. When children lie (and they all do, eventually) they must deal with the emotions of guilt and regret, only then can they move forward. The Lying King's story is told in clever rhymes and depicts how lies snowball and ultimately catch their creator in a trap of his own making. The fate of the lying warthog will give your kids lots to think about.
The Boring Book
by Shinsuke Yoshitake
The protagonist in this Japanese import opines on the nature of boredom, but this book is anything but boring. As you read aloud this story, your kids will question what makes something boring, how does one react to boredom, and is there a way to keep from being bored? Engaging illustrations take readers on a thoughtful journey.
by Jon J. Muth
Stillwater the panda moves into the neighborhood and befriends three siblings. He spends his afternoons with each child and tells three Buddhist tales to his new friends, imparting wisdom about the nature of good and bad, frustration and materialism. I love this book, as well as its sequels, and reading them aloud always feels so very, very calming!
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