Need a book idea you can give as a “whole family” gift?
Perhaps you want to take along a little “happy” to the friend and her family who’s putting you up for the night during your Christmas travels.
Or, perhaps you want to give a little something to each of your siblings and their families at Christmas (but you can’t afford to give something to each of the 25 nieces and nephews individually!).
Maybe you want give your own family something you can enjoy together this coming year.
Read Aloud Gift Books for the Whole Family
We’ve got you covered–we’re nothing if not full of book ideas for each and every occasion! Perhaps not a “one-size-fits-all” list, but the books below have broad age appeal and most work well as read alouds. These represent some of our all-time favorite books and resources here at Redeemed Reader.
Instead of showing up with yet another Christmas ornament, some movie passes, or chocolate (well, maybe in addition to chocolate), consider giving a book instead as a family gift this year.
Note: Most titles are linked via affiliate links to Amazon; books we’ve reviewed on Redeemed Reader are also linked to our reviews. If a title link takes you to a different website than amazon, that is noted. Thanks for your support of Redeemed Reader–we love serving our readers!
- The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross: the True Story of Why Jesus Died and Rose Again by Carl Lafferton. (RR Review)
- Read-Aloud Bible Stories by Ella K. Lindvall (note: these never show the face of Jesus, but they do show him as a human figure)
- The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
- The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible by Jared Kennedy (RR Review)
- The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New by Marty Machowski (RR Review)
- The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith by Champ Thornton (RR Review)
- Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade (an allegory, similar to Pilgrim’s Progress)
- The Dangerous Journey: the Story of Pilgrim’s Progress by Oliver Hunkin
- Pilgrim’s Progress: a Retelling by Gary Schmidt (RR Review)
- The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean (RR Review)
- Window on the World: An Operation World Prayer Resource edited by Molly Wall and Jason Mandryk (NEW edition! This is nicely done)
- Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God by Tim Challies (RR Review)
- God’s Timeline: the Big Book of Church History by Linda Finlayson. (RR Review) NOTE: God’s Timeline and Visual Theology are not read-alouds, but great family resources all ages will refer to again and again.
- How Sweet the Sound: the Story of Amazing Grace by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Frank Morrison (Picture Book; RR Review)
- The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix (RR Review)
- Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History and Radiant: Fifty Remarkable Women in Church History by Richard Hannula (RR Review)
- The Trailblazers Series: church history biographies that cover a wide variety of figures such as C. S. Lewis, William Wilberforce, Patricia M. St. John, Paul Brand, Brother Andrew, and more. (linked to Christian Focus site) (RR Review of Brother Andrew’s biography)
- Christian Heroes Then and Now Series: check out their audio subscription plan! (linked to YWAM Publishing site) (RR Review of Brother Andrew’s biography)
- 7 Men: and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxes (RR Review); see also, 7 Women: and the Secret of Their Greatness.
- The Adventurous Life of Miles Standish and others by Cheryl Harness. (RR Review of Miles Standish)
Traditional Literature (Poetry, Fairy Tales)
- A Child’s Treasury of Nursery Rhymes compiled and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton (highly recommended)
- The Random House Book of Poetry illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Still one of the best poetry anthologies for children!
- I’m Just No Good At Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris (good for some giggles!) (RR Review)
- Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year edited by Fiona Waters (RR Review)
- Faerie Gold edited by Ranelda Mack Hunsinger and Kathryn Lindskoog (RR Review)
- Tales of Wonder, volume 1 edited by Brian Phillips, Matthew Bianco, and David Kern (linked to CiRCE instead of amazon; not an affiliate link) (RR Review)
- Robin Hood by David Calcutt. (RR Review)
- Henry Huggins and more by Beverly Cleary (look for the re-issues of the originals with Louis Darling’s illustrations!)
- Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater (RR Review)
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (RR Review)
- Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay (RR Review)
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (note: if it’s been a while since you’ve read it, the ending is bittersweet, but the first 3/4 of the book are laugh out loud funny; both boys and girls enjoy this first volume!)
- The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill (RR Review)
- Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce (RR Review)
- Sneaky Sheep by Chris More (Picture Book; RR Review)
- Anna Hibiscus Series by Atinuke (RR Review)
- Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (RR Review) (if they’ve already read/loved this, consider giving the second book in the series: The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden; RR Review)
- The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (RR Review). For Penderwick fans, consider a boxed set of the first four books
- Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
- Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (RR Review)
- Little Britches Series by Ralph Moody
- Rascal by Sterling North
- Watership Down by Richard Adams (RR Reflection)
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (RR Review)
Please do make sure the recipients are okay with the type of fantasy you are giving; not all families allow books with magic, even if the author is a professing Christian. We have listed titles below that have the broadest age appeal. As always, but particularly with fantasy, we encourage you to read reviews carefully and think about the maturity of your intended audience.
Christian Fantasy (that is, these are written by a professing Christian)
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers (RR Review)
- The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (RR Review) (if the family is already full of Wingfeather fans, consider The Wingfeather Tales as a terrific addition)
- The Green Ember Series by S. D. Smith (RR Review)
- Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton (RR Review)
- My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett Stiles
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and others in the series by Grace Lin (RR Review)
- Septimus Heap Series by Angie Sage (RR Review)
- The Thief and others by Megan Whalen Turner (teens) (RR Review)
- The Princess Bride (illustrated edition) by William Goldman (RR Review)