Wednesday, December 7, 2016

YouTube "Read Aloud" Book Videos for Kids

Over the years I have read my four children many, many books, most often at bedtime, and with as many funny voices for the characters as I could provide. As much as I enjoyed the time for family bonding and for helping the kids settle down for the night, research has shown that having stories read to children has many educational benefits as well.

Reading stories out loud to children:

  • Provides them with a model of fluent reading.
  • Allows them to consume content above their reading level (since they can listen at a higher level than they can read).
  • Shows them the connection between the written word and its meaning.
  • Teaches them the narrative structure of a story or book.
  • Helps develop a love of stories, books, and reading that can carry on into the rest of their lives.

Although there is no substitute for reading in person to a child, there are still many benefits from using technology to show videos of people reading stories. In addition to many of the perks mentioned above, videos of books can offer a few novel benefits as well (pun intended).

Video books:

  • Often include music or sound effects to help set the mood.
  • Often include animations, zooming, and panning to bring the book to life and help follow or focus in on the action.
  • Can provide a different take on the reading of the story with the narrator’s voices and inflections.
  • Can be watched independently by the child.
  • Can be sped up or slowed down, paused, and rewound as needed (see link).

See below for many suggestions of YouTube channels and playlists that provide videos of books being read aloud for children.

Sample Channels and Playlists

Storyline Online YouTube link
This channel features celebrities reading storybooks along with animations created from the book illustrations.

KidLit TVYouTube link
This is a playlist with dozens of children’s book being read by the authors, provided by KidLit TV.

Puffin Books YouTube link
Although the Puffin channel includes a wide range of book-related videos, they also have quite a few stories being read by authors or celebrities.

Story Time for ChildrenYouTube link
Story Time for children comes from a collaboration of Toddler Fun Learning and Ladybird books, and offers a wide collection of children’s books with creative sound effects, zooming, and panning.

Kid Time Story TimeYouTube link
The narrator for these books uses puppets and lots of great voices when reading, and adds many comments and questions during the story to dig deeper.

Grandpa Tom YouTube link
Grandpa Tom makes great use of panning and zooming to follow the action on each page, as well as engaging voices for the characters.

Books in song by VancemoYouTube link
For a fun twist, this playlist contains children’s books that are sung rather than being read. For each book the text of the book is sung as a song to an original tune.

More Sources

Beyond these example, there are sooooooo many more channels and playlists on YouTube with books being read aloud. Below is a list of those I came across, although a simple search for any book title will likely find others for you.

Additional Resources

For additional tips and tricks on using the YouTube videos you find, see my other helpful posts linked below:

Post by Eric Curts. Connect with Eric on Twitter at and on Google+ at


  1. Thank you Eric, as usual very helpful information.

  2. Your blog is one of the best that I follow, Eric! Thank you for your efforts to provide consistent resources and new ideas!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I am so glad you find these resources to be helpful!

  3. This is great stuff, looking forward to sharing with our Elementary Teachers!!

  4. Thank you SOOO much! I have so many links to read alouds that do not work. Thank you for sharing these resources.

  5. Does this violate any copy-write laws - reading these books on youtube?

  6. I went over this website and I believe you have a lot of wonderful information, saved to my bookmarks Newborn

  7. Wow this is great information. I often go to youtube and type in random books I am looking for my students. I really appreciate this resource as kiddos love listening and seeing books come alive on the screen.

  8. Wow! What a great list of resources. I just got a projector and can't wait to use these in my classroom for a more engaging read aloud experience.

  9. The above comment was from Erin Humphrey.

  10. For further clarification: the above "unknown comment" was from Erin Humphrey. Sorry for the confusion.

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  16. Thank you for this list!!! Please take a second to check out my granddaughters channel Rylees Reading Room on YouTube. It is absolutely not professionally done or anything, but she did it by herself and is so proud!!!!