I’m always looking for illustrated chapter books to read to my grandchildren. If the illustrations are in color that’s even better! The length of the book and the illustrations are key to a good read-aloud experience.
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Reading short illustrated chapter books online
When I started reading aloud to my grandchildren I read picture books.After reading picture books for almost a year I introduced some short chapter books that had illustrations on most of the pages.
I find the key to reading chapter books online to young children is to choose books that aren’t too long and have good illustrations. They definitely prefer color illustrations, but there are some great illustrated chapter books with good clear black and white illustrations.
A book that is shorter in length can be read in one or two sessions. This helps children to not lose interest or forget what’s happening since we don’t read together every day.
Short illustrated chapter book series
I love to find an illustrated chapter book series they enjoy! It simplifies the search process and I don’t have to make as many trips to the library. One of our favorite series is The Princess In Black by Shannon and Dean Hale. It has colorful illustrations by Leuyen Pham on almost every page.
Each book in the series is about the adventures of Princess Magnolia and her friends as they fight monsters and save the kingdom. It may seem a little girly, but one of the main characters is a boy. Henry doesn’t mind listening when we have a new Princess In Black to read. Jane loves them! It takes about 30 minutes or less for me to read-aloud a Princess In Black book.
Longer chapter books
My daughter thought her kids might like The Boxcar Children series Gertrude Chandler Warner. We have now read several. They didn’t have as many illustrations, but Henry and Jane still enjoyed them. I think it really helps if children have an activity to do when they listen to books that don’t have as many illustrations. (You can learn more about some of my favorite read-aloud listening activities for children here.)
We also recently finished reading Charlotte’s Web. I think most of us have fond memories of reading this book when we were young. It’s always exciting to introduce it to new listeners. In another post I share some suggestions to help make it easer for young children to listen to this book if you read it online to them.
Read a variety of types of books
Reading a variety of books is always best. Picture books are nice because they have great illustrations and you can read and finish several each session. Short chapter books are convenient because you don’t need to pick up as many at the library. Once you find a good series you are set for a while. Read both! Mix things up a bit. After reading a longer chapter book like The Boxcar Children read a few picture books for a while. Picture books are especially nice around holidays when you might have less time to read.
Do you need more great books or fun read aloud ideas?
I have lots of books and great ideas to share with you here!
To help you get started I have a list of 15 great read-aloud picture books you can download for free.