Chase away winter break boredom with this selection of engaging read-alouds, perfect for sharing with a group or solo. Novel Effect’s in-house librarian has curated ten books to read over winter break. These titles keep the young readers in your life occupied between the holiday highs and lows.
Not only will these books keep kids entertained, but they offer opportunities for trying new things. Bonus — several have downloadable activity packets designed by educators, guaranteeing hours of structured exploration. With engaging books for preschoolers to middle school students, we’ve got you covered.
Super Cute Baby Animals
The holiday season can bring stress — a break from routine, long to-do lists, hosting, travel. If there is one thing the internet has taught us, it’s that pictures of baby animals can sooth almost any fretful situation.
Farm animals, wild life, beloved pets, there is something for everyone in this series. Take a break to soak in all the adorable, including authentic animal sounds and playful music.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Revisit an old classic with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Adventure awaits with exaggerated sound effects and brash music. Can your young reader identify all the foods? What do you think it would be like to live through tasty weather events? Together dream up your own Chewandswallow. We promise, this time it’s okay to play with your food.
For fans of series such as I Survived, we’ve got some spookier historical offerings. Haunting music only adds to these hair-raising graphic novels, which include tales of ghosts, aliens, and disaster. Learn about the prision Alcatraz, the Winchester Mansion, and the Roman Empire. This offers a great opportunity to swap ghost stories, family lore, and share a scare.
Hi! Fly Guy
A classic story of boy meets fly. New readers will immediately fall for Fly Guy, the funny, heroic, curious character. In the first book of the series, Buzz the boy captures Fly Guy for the Amazing Pet Show. But flies aren’t pets — they’re pests! Can Fly Guy prove these snobby judges wrong?
This stupendous soundscape will be a surefire hit in your household. Fly Guy’s helium-high voice and the theatrical music will capture any reader’s imagination.
Mixed: A Colorful Story
Future artists will relish this colorful, bouncy allegory. Mixed tells the story of the Reds, Blues, and Yellows. Unable to agree which hue is best, they separate. How can these colors come together?
Following this read aloud, take some time to make your own mixes! After all, storytime and craft time go hand-in-hand.
Twinkling and sentimental, this hibernation tale is an excellent way to end a day. A gentle piano melody sets the tone for a heap of hibernating creatures. Full of repetition, rhyme, and counting elements, little learned will fall in love with the wildlife cuddlefest that is Snoozapalooza.
Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao
Amy just wants to make the most perfect bao — it seems like no matter what she does, her dumplings are too big or too small or leaking! But Amy puts her problem-solving skills to work to figure out how to make the dough work for her.
Whimsical and bright, this soundscape will inspire you and your littles to try your hand at cooking together. This picture book includes a recipe, so you can have your own bao adventures!
Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
Gentle and playful, accompanied by a sweet flute melody, our Where is Baby’s Belly Button? soundscape is sure to become a fast favorite. We know our kids love repeat performances and we promise this read aloud won’t grow old. Take time after the story to identify body parts and talk about what each part does. Can your baby wiggle their fingers? Point to their nose? What do those ears do?
I Got the Rhythm
Do you have the rhythm? Enjoy this explosion of onomatopoeia set to a hip-hop beat – and if you find yourself, dancing, we won’t tell. After reading I Got the Rhythm, try creating your own soundscape with the environment around you. Or better yet, take some time to identify the sounds the occur in your home day-to-day. Can you find the rhythm?
A Winter Walk in the City
Beautiful paper-craft illustration brings to life a snowy stroll. Explore all the wonders of winter in the city with this counting story. Our soundscape is infused with curious enthusiasm as readers explore what makes a winter scene. Take the time to identify what’s familiar and what is new and talk about your own seasonal setting — and take the chance to spend a little time outdoors!
Still need to keep your crew occupied? Check out our collection of free activities here!
Download the Novel Effect App to bring stories to life with music and sounds that respond to your voice.