Update: We got most of the books below at the public library. I am glad we don't live in Philadelphia! Closing all the libraries? REALLY?
About 15 years ago, I was a children's librarian. I worked at public libraries and K-6 school libraries. Now that I have spent so many years at the middle and high school level, I miss the children's books! Lucky for me, I have kids who love it when we snuggle up and I read to them.
Now we are into chapter books - especially those with sequels. I have a 10 year old son and a 7 year old daughter, so finding books that they both enjoy can be tricky. Books with sequels are good, because once we find characters that they both care about we can continue for a while with them. Here are some family favorites:
The Tales of Olga da Polga by Michael Bond
After reading this series about a feisty guinea pig, we were inspired to get one as a pet - with rosettes and all, just like Olga. Except ours is a boy. The kids didn't connect with Bond's more famous Paddington Bear, but this one hooked them (and me) from the start.
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
This whole series is exciting. Imagine your little plastic figurines coming to life! It is an older book, so the language is a bit dated, but it has it all - from adventure to characters needing miniature supplies. They use a toothpaste cap as a cup. What could be better?
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Even my son loved hearing about these adventurous and thoughtful sisters.
Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins
The humor of the toys - especially the ball, who one day realizes he has no limbs, is spot-on. We read this one a year or two ago, but it continues to be a part of our family memory.
What are your read aloud favorites? I think any of the above would work in a classroom or school library setting as well as at home, appealing to both genders.