Read Aloud Chapters
Picture books are a great resource for stories to read aloud to your child -- short, engaging and lusciously illustrated they are quite literally made to be shared together. However this list is for the reader and listener who are looking for something a bit more involved than a picture book but thematically still appropriate for younger listeners. (For picture book suggestions here is a link to a list I made of some of my favorites.)
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
A summertime story of four sisters who love to explore. Sweets are baked, forests traveled and friendships are made in this idyllic sweet story. This is the first of a series which is perfect for readers who love a good adventure that doesn't have any scary or mysterious elements to it.
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Fun and fantastical, this is the story of Princess Celie who lives in an enchanted castle. When her parents disappear while on a trip it's up to Celie and her siblings to protect the kingdom until her parents return. I love how the castle is like its own character in the story -- it can even make things move or change depending on it's mood! This is also the first in the series so the castle has plenty of time to get up to more mischief! Love Princess stories? Try Shannon Hale's Princess in Black series for more great read aloud options.
Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger
This lighthearted book is written by Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame. If possible I think this book is even more absurd than the Origami series. It chronicles the life of Horton Halfpott who works at Smugwick Manor as a pot washer but gets caught up in the quest to find the missing Luggertuck Lump for his mistress M'Lady Luggertuck. As those names suggest this book is a lot of fun but very very silly!
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny- Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath
Another funny, if silly, choice Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are the fedora wearing detectives who are going to help Madeline find her parents. They meet some interesting characters along the way and they will need everyone's expertise to achieve their goal. Occasional pictures add interest for listeners in this quirky mystery.
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Speaking of illustrations this epic story is filled with fantastic examples as it details the adventure of a girl named Flora and her newfound friend Ulysses the squirrel. Ulysses has recently gained superpowers (thanks to a ill-timed vacuum cleaner) and the two set off on a journey of self discovery.
I love anything that Kate DiCamillo writes- and while some of her books are fantastic but heartbreaking this is only the latter. Another heartbreak-free series written by DiCamillo is the wonderful Mercy Watson series. The only reason I didn't include it on this list is because it's a little too short to be compared to the other books on this list. However, find it and other great examples of beginner chapter books in my list Ready Set Chapter Books!