Tag: read aloud

Best Apple Books for Kids

Best Apple Books for Kids

September is here, and we are starting our family apple unit study!

Best Apple Books for Kids | picture book recommendations, apple books for toddlers, apple books preschool, apple unit study

I love this time of year. We are entering our sixth year of homeschooling, and every year we start with our apple activities. Now that we live in the Midwest, we even get to take a family field trip to the apple orchard later this month!

(Did you get your FREE apple-themed invitations to play download?)

Before we kick off any unit of study, I always like to begin with a big stack of picture books. I place them all in a basket in the living room, near the couch. The girls browse through them often throughout the day, and make a list of activity ideas for later in the month.

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Our all-time favorite apple book is Secrets of the Apple Tree from Usborne Books and More. I love the interactive aspect of the book, as well as all the science information! The girls love using a flashlight to find all the hidden pictures. Secrets of the Apple Tree is definitely the BEST of the best apple books for kids. (Learn more about the book here in my UBAM store.)

Best Apple Books for Kids | picture book recommendations, apple books for toddlers, apple books preschool, apple unit study

Best Apple Books: Fiction

One book we love is Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. The end pages feature illustrations of the apple tree in all four seasons. The book features a family of rabbits who go to the orchard. Throughout the book, there are lots of opportunities for discussion and learning, including:

  • a chart of different varieties of apples, their attributes, and uses
  • a diagram of the different parts of an apple
  • recipes
  • an art project
  • and even an apple song (with sheet music!)

Our friend Vicki at Babies to Bookworms recommended The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall. It tells the story of an apple tree throughout all four seasons through the eyes of two young children. (And the last page of the book includes more details about the pollination process and a recipe for apple pie!) Be sure to visit Vicki’s site for activity ideas for this great book.

With a first grader in the family this year, I also checked out Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore. Nancy’s class takes a trip to the apple orchard and learns a lesson about following directions and friendship. As always, this Fancy Nancy book introduces lots of excellent new vocabulary words!


Best Apple Books for Kids | picture book recommendations, apple books for toddlers, apple books preschool, apple unit study

Best Apple Books: Non-Fiction 

While my girls love reading fiction, I think it’s important to include non-fiction text as well. Julie Murray’s Apples features a table of contents, a glossary, and an index. The pictures are bright and colorful, and the text is just right for 2nd and 3rd grade readers (and for family read-aloud time)!

How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro is a terrific overview of the pollination process for elementary students and preschoolers with a longer attention span. We will definitely use this one for our science lessons this year!

Gail Gibbons is one of our family’s favorites authors, so of course we grabbed her Apples book. This book includes a little of the history of apples in the United States, including a brief mention of Johnny Appleseed. (If you have elementary-age children, they might enjoy Who Was Johnny Appleseed?, a longer biography about John Chapman.)


Shop the Best Apple Books for Kids:


As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we like to store our unit books in an obvious, can’t-miss spot in the living room. Since we homeschool, we often use picture books instead of a textbook for science and history studies–but many of these books can also be enjoyed during family read-aloud time.

Check out 12 Ways to Incorporate Reading Into Your Day!

Did I miss any of the best apple books? Share your recommendation below!

Best Apple Books for Kids | picture book recommendations, apple books for toddlers, apple books preschool, apple unit study

WHY does my child want to read the same book again and again?

WHY does my child want to read the same book again and again?

Picture a toddler, sitting in a high chair during a family meal. He drops his sippy cup onto the floor and looks at his mom. She brightly exclaims, “Uh-oh!” and bends down to pick up the cup. Moments later, he deliberately lets go of the cup again. “Uh-oh,” he says with a smile.

“Uh-oh” is one of my favorite stages in child development. Our children become young scientists, learning more about the ways of the world through repetition.

On the other hand, they may also become obsessed with their favorite color, their favorite show, their favorite book–wanting the SAME stories, the SAME snack, the SAME toy…each and every day.

My child want to read the same book again and again. WHY Repetition is GOOD for Our Young Children | reading aloud, stories for kids, child development

It’s one of the frustrations that come up when I ask parents about their read-aloud routines with their children: “I get tired of reading the same books over and over again.” We certainly went through the same phase where we read the same Caillou book to our toddler for weeks in a row.

While it’s aggravating for us as parents, there is a scientific reason why our children are so drawn to doing the same things again and again.

Repetition is an important strategy for the brain development of our young children (babies, toddlers, and preschoolers) and has many benefits:

  • it teaches cause and effect
  • it builds anticipation
  • it establishes connections in the brain

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Every time our children read (or hear) a familiar book, they are learning new vocabulary, observing more details in the illustrations, and developing a stronger memory. Teachers and authors know how important consistency can be for young children, which is why so many “classic” and beloved children’s books feature repeating lines, such as:

My child want to read the same book again and again. WHY Repetition is GOOD for Our Young Children | reading aloud, stories for kids, child development

While reading the same book again and again can become tiresome for us, be confident that you are helping your child become a more confident, successful reader–and surely, that is what we ALL want for our kids!

Here’s a tip if your child is “stuck” on one book: Read the book he or she is requesting, as usual–along with two other books. Try to choose one that has been a favorite in the past (that YOU love) and a new book that you wouldn’t mind becoming the replacement favorite. (And then consider recording yourself reading the book you’re tired of, either on audio or video, so your child can replay it on demand.)

Looking for some new book ideas?
Be sure check out our 25 “Must-Have” Read-Aloud Authors List!

My child want to read the same book again and again. WHY Repetition is GOOD for Our Young Children | reading aloud, stories for kids, child development
Prepare Your Child to Be a Reader | Tips from Experts

Prepare Your Child to Be a Reader | Tips from Experts

For the last few weeks, we have been talking a lot about reading aloud here! I reached out to several of my favorite bloggers, moms, and literacy experts to get their best tips for preparing our children to become readers.

Preparing Your Child to Be a Reader: Tips from 7 Experts

I would have to say a reading chart has been amazing for my new reader. If she reads a book she gets a sticker and then after so many stickers she gets to pick a prize. She is starting to fall in love with reading.

Lyndsey Borden, My Adventure Called Life


For us it was about getting books that had a subject he was interested in.

Danielle Favreau, Discretion Studios


My advice is to read aloud to your kids every day from birth and specifically to read children’s books that you especially love. Kids can sense when you are enthusiastic about the books you share with them, and that enthusiasm is very contagious. By helping kids associate reading with joy and pleasure, you set them up to be lifelong lovers of books.

Katie Fitzgerald, Read-at-Home Mom


It may sound strange, but the best advice was to let my kids see me reading. Before I started reading around her, my oldest as a toddler wouldn’t sit still for a board book. By the time she was five, we would read on the couch together for hours. She’s still my biggest reader. Kids will learn to value what they see you practicing. Speaking of which, I better get back to my book…

Carolyn Leiloglou, House full of Bookworms
IG: @housefullofbookworms     FB: facebook.com/housefullbookworms


Encourage them to read by being present during your reading sessions. Put away all distractions and give them your full attention, they will crave these special moments with you and you will begin to cultivate a love of books within their hearts. They will associate books with safety and comfort and you will get to teach them amazing things through the books at the same time.

Samantha Munoz, Addison Reads


Incorporate books into your bedtime routine as early as you can (4 months is not too early) – not only will you create a love of reading and a creating a special connection opportunity, but you also create a strong cue to get your child ready to sleep!

Susie Parker, Sleep Baby Love


I prepare my daughter to fall in love with reading by providing her with fun and exciting adventures and activities which we then relate back to the books we read together. By helping her to make connections and activate her prior knowledge, she is better able to relate to books and see herself in them.

Vicki Wilkinson, Babies to Bookworms


Preparing Your Child to Be a Reader: Expert Tips

Which of these tips do you intend to try? Or feel free to share your expert opinion in the comments below!


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