Whether you’re at the pool, enjoying a pre-bedtime snuggle or hanging out before day camp starts, this summer make reading time a family affair with these books that are perfect to read aloud with your kids. From classics to new titles, our friends at Common Sense Media created a comprehensive list for essential read aloud books for kids ages 2-6. Scroll down to find great literature for your kids’ bookshelf.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Age: 2
With its rhythmic language and familiar images, this classic Eric Carle book makes a fun teaching tool for young children, who delight in pointing out the different colors and animals.


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 

Age: 2
Both the read-to-me set and beginning readers will enjoy the vibrant art and bouncy rhymes of this upbeat alphabet tale. The colorful letters’ appealing personification turns them into much more than just the plain old ABCs.


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus 

Age: 2
With a simple plot, large lettering, and bold illustrations, Mo Willems’ first Pigeon book does double duty as a hilarious read-aloud and cute early reader. The fresh point of view — second-person narrative — sets the Pigeon books apart.


Pat the Bunny 

Age: 2
Here’s what interactive meant in 1940: This sweet picture book encourages toddlers to explore their world and their senses by patting soft fur, smelling flowers, looking in a mirror, and touching the sandpaper of “Daddy’s scratchy face.”


Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

Age: 2
This is THE book for kids who love vehicles and are just starting to string together words and simple sentences. With lots to see and talk about on every page — from banana mobiles to pencil cars — it really gets their motors running.


The Snowy Day

Age: 2
A young boy wakes to a world of freshly fallen snow and goes exploring throughout the cityscape in this gentle, glistening classic. With bold text and whimsical collages, Ezra Jack Keats captures the delight kids feel in the simplest pleasures.


There’s a Wocket in My Pocket

Age: 2
Is there a Nooth Grush on your toothbrush? To properly appreciate Dr. Seuss’ most wonderful imagination, you’d need a whole new language … much like what the great author invents in this funny, totally original rhyming book.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Age: 2
This classic about a little caterpillar who chomps his way through a week of tasty food — from oranges to a slice of cherry pie — is irresistible to little kids. They love turning the flaps and poking their fingers through his “bite” holes.



Share with us your kiddos’ favorite read aloud book below! And then hop on over to Common Sense Media for the entire list of the best read aloud books for kids (including those appropriate for kiddos three and up) by clicking here. 

Good to know: these picks are most appropriate for kids ages 2-6, but so many of the titles are classic that we guarantee they’ll enjoy reading them outloud for years to come.

CSM-logoCommon Sense Media is a leading independent nonprofit organization offering the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for everything kids want to watch, play, read, and learn. The ratings, reviews, and information are unbiased and provided for free to help families and educators make great media and technology choices.