Awesome April Read Alouds

April read alouds- picture books

We Love April Read Alouds!

It’s April!  Spring is in the air. The grass is turning green, tulips and daffodils are lifting their colorful faces to the sky; the earth is beginning to renew itself.  How wonderful!  April is also National Poetry and Jazz Appreciation Month.  Can you hear the rhythm?  We also get to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, perfect for reminding us to care for our lovely planet.  And what about the holidays that are usually (but not always) observed in April; Easter, Passover and Ramadan?  There are so many wonderful picture books you could choose to read in April.  Here are some of our favorite April read alouds.

The Earth and I picture book

Springtime Read Alouds

Whenever I think of April, I think of spring.  So let’s read some books that reflect this glorious season.  And for more spring book recommendations along with activities to help you teach a fantastic spring unit, read our blog, Our Best Teacher Approved Spring Activities for Kids.  

If you Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson: This fun book not only teaches us about planting seeds, but also about planting seeds of kindness.  In this story a bunny and a mouse work together to plant a garden full of wonderful things to eat . . .  But, when they are joined by a group of hungry birds, will they share? 

The Tiny Seed:  This gem from Eric Carle is all about the treacherous journey of one tiny seed.  Follow along as the seed makes its way across high mountains and dry deserts to the perfect spot, where it can flourish and grow to be a beautiful flower admired by many.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey: This 1941 Caldecott winner is a classic; brilliantly illustrated with beautiful, detailed drawings, it tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their search for the perfect place to raise their ducklings.  Journey through the busy streets of Boston with Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings as they travel to their new home, with some friendly help from the Boston police. 

It’s Spring by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Susan SwanRhyming text with beautiful cut-paper illustrations deliver a book that is fun and informative about the arrival of spring.  All of this through the eyes of a child, while enjoying this glorious season.

Rain by Robert Kalan, illustrated by Donald Crews: Simple text and bold illustrations make this book a favorite of mine.  Starting with the sun and ending with a rainbow, this charming book tells the story of a spring rain.

Poetry Books for Kids

Every month is a great month for reading poetry to your students.  However, April is National Poetry Month, so . . . here are some wonderful poetry books kids of all ages will enjoy. 

Eric Carle’s Animals, Animals is a fantastic collection of animal poems by a variety of authors from very diverse sources.  Illustrated with Eric Carle’s brilliant, colorful collages, this book is a celebration of the wonders of the animal kingdom.

Delightfully witty and downright funny, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is the perfect book if you want your children to love poetry.  With poems like Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out, you know these poems are fun to read.  These humorous poems and drawings are guaranteed to make poetry lovers out of everyone.  

Where Fish Go in Winter and Answers to Other Great Mysteries by Amy Goldman Koss: A science poetry book? Why, yes, it is.  This book is full of poems explaining the “great mysteries” like … Why does popcorn pop? And How do birds fly?  This book is also great for adding poetry to your science lessons any month of the year.

Books for Jazz Appreciation

April is jazz appreciation month.  So don’t be a square!  Be bop your way through the following books. 

The Jazz Fly written (and performed) by Matthew Gollub, illustrated by Karen Hanke: A fly in a tuxedo on his way to a gig is asking directions of various animals.  This award-winning book celebrates the language and improvising style of jazz.  The Jazz Fly is fun to read and listen to, it includes a CD, so you can hear the music The Jazz Bugs play.

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka:  This is such a fun, energetic book.  With text like “Boppitty, bibbitty, bop.  BANG!” you will feel the jazz.  Along with the whimsical illustrations, you’ll be scatting and swinging your way through this adorable picture book. 

This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt, illustrated by R.G. Roth:  Whether you read or sing the book, your students will love this remake of the traditional counting song “This Old Man”.  Lyrical text and fun illustrations depicting ten famous jazz musicians playing their various instruments (along with short biographies at the end of the book) make it a captivating tribute to jazz.

Earth Day and Arbor Day Picture Books

Here is some environmentally friendly reading to help you celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day.  Both holidays are in April.  Earth Day is observed April 22 and Arbor Day is on the last Friday in April.  

The Earth and I by Frank Asch:  This sweet story is about one boy and his relationship with the earth.  He and the earth are friends, and they do lots of wonderful things together.  Beautiful illustrations and simple text make this book perfect for celebrating the earth.

Be A Tree written by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Felicita Sala: This beautifully illustrated book with poetic text teaches us the importance of trees and how we can learn from them.  Cleverly written by comparing trees to humans, Be a Tree inspires us to be better people.

Who Will Plant A Tree written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Tom Leonard: In this book we learn how seeds travel and get planted (unknowingly) by various animals in diverse locations.  With text that is easy to understand and warm realistic illustrations,  this beautiful picture book is a great addition to your science library.

 

The Lorax: This Dr. Seuss classic still works its magic.  The Lorax speaks for the trees, the Truffula trees, when a greedy Once-ler sets out to use them in his money-making scheme.  Will anyone listen?

I am Earth by Rebecca and James McDonald: This book has big, bright, adorable illustrations and lots of great information about our Earth.  It is told in a way that preschoolers and kindergartners will understand and enjoy.

Thank You Earth: A Love Letter to our Planet by April Pulley Sayre: This book is a thank you letter to the earth with stunning photographs of nature and lovely rhyming verse.  Winner of the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, this nonfiction book is perfect for Earth Day. 

Read Alouds for Easter, Ramadan and Passover

Here are some books to go with the holidays that occur in April sometimes, but not always.  Whether Easter is celebrated in April or March, these books are sure to please with bunnies, eggs and frogs.  Frogs?  We’ve also found great read alouds for Ramadan and Passover.  

Easter Books

Peter Easter Frog written by Erin Dealey and illustrated by G. Brian Karas:  This is my new favorite Easter story.  Peter may not be a bunny, but he can hop and he loves Easter.  So along with some other Easter loving animals, he sets out to deliver eggs.  Of course, the Easter Bunny may have something to say about this.  Whether you sing this book (and you should) or read it aloud, everyone will enjoy this lovable and funny book!

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett:  Beautifully illustrated with magnificent borders, this charming story is about Hoppi, who wants to decorate the best egg, so he can help the Easter Rabbit.  So many adorable rabbits making so many exquisite eggs.  While pondering how to make his egg, Hoppi hears a commotion.  Mother Robin needs Hoppi’s help; one of her eggs has fallen out of the nest.  So, instead of creating an egg, Hoppi takes care of one and his selfless actions are greatly rewarded.

The Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni:  This is my favorite Leo Lionni book.  It is not an Easter book.  However, it is the story of an egg . . .  an extraordinary egg!  At least that’s what three frogs from Pebble Island think.  Confusing the extraordinary egg for a chicken egg, this hilarious case of mistaken identity continues throughout the book, even when an alligator hatches from the egg.  This book is a delight.

Read Alouds for Ramadan

The Gift of Ramadan by Rabiah York Lumbard, illustrated by Laura K. Horton:  It’s the beginning of Ramadan and Sophia wants to fast with the grownups.  But, when she isn’t able to, her grandma helps her find another way to participate.  This sweet story illustrates the different ways to celebrate Ramadan.

Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman, illustrated by Sue Williams:  With simple lyrical text, this beautifully illustrated book shows readers the traditions practiced by Muslim families during the celebration of Ramadan.  This book could be used as an introduction to Ramadan or simply a celebration of it.

Picture Books for Passover

Welcoming Elijah A Passover Tale with a Tail by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal:  This begins as a parallel tale.  Inside it’s warm, and the boy and his family are enjoying their Passover Seder; outside it’s cold, and the kitten is hungry and lonely.  Both the boy and the kitten are waiting for something.  Finally, when the door is opened for the symbolic custom of welcoming in the prophet Elijah, the kitten is there, and he has found a home.  

Sammy Spider’s First Passover written by Sylvia A. Rouss, illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn:  This is a charming story with vibrant illustrations. The Shapiros are getting ready for Passover and the small spider on the ceiling wants to know what’s going on below.  While his mother teaches him how to spin a web, she also teaches him about Passover.  And even though “Spiders don’t celebrate Passover” this little spider does.

More Helpful Blogs from 4 Kinder Teachers

We hope you find this blog helpful!  If you are looking for some more teacher approved resources and great activities to do with your kindergartners this spring, read Our Best Teacher Approved Spring Activities for Kids blog.  And don’t miss Earth Day For Kids and 10 Great Easter Videos for Kids .

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