Building Community Read Alouds



The Big Umbrella

by Amy June Bates

By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.


by Carson Ellis

Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio.

Here We Are

by Oliver Jeffers

Our world can be a bewildering place so let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you’ll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else. Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you’ve just got to be kind.

Maybe Something Beautiful

by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell

This joyful story about a girl and a muralist who transform a grey neighbourhood by bringing the community together with art is based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California.


by Julia Denos

Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.



by Trudy Ludwig

Jack’s friend Charlie seems to know how to get away with just about anything. Adults always back down when you say you’re sorry. But does an apology count if you don’t really mean it? Jack learns that the path to forgiveness isn’t always the easiest. Includes afterword by apology-expert Dr. Aaron Lazare, M.D., note from author, and discussion questions.

Tomato Says Sorry

by Joanne Roach

Tomato upsets his friends and refuses to apologize until he learns that apologizing can make him feel better too.

Start with Sorry

by P.T. Finch

Luna gets jealous and angry when she is drawing with her brother. She makes a mistake and learns that she can offer a good apology to help make things better.

Diversity and Inclusion

What Makes Us Unique?

by Jillian Roberts
When it comes to explaining physical, cultural and religious differences to children, it can be difficult to know where to begin. What Makes Us Unique? provides an accessible introduction to the concept of diversity, teaching children how to respect and celebrate people’s differences and that ultimately, we are all much more alike than we are different.

Same, Same But Different

by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same. But different!

All Are Welcome

by Alexandra Penfold
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

On Our Street

by Jillian Roberts
On Our Street explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. Using age-appropriate language, this book addresses mental illness, homelessness and refugee status as they are connected to this issue. Insightful quotes from individuals and organizations such as UNICEF are included to add further perspective on the issue. An invaluable section on how kids can help empowers readers to take what they have learned and use it to make a difference.

This Is How We Do It: One Day In The Lives Of Seven Kids From Around The World

by Matt Lamothe
Follow one day in the real lives of seven kids from around the world-Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia!


by Carson Ellis
Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio. A meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that invites many return visits, this loving look at the places where people live.

Good Manners

Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners

by Laurie Keller

Mr. Rabbit’s new neighbors are Otters. But he doesn’t know anything about otters. Will they get along? Will they be friends? Just treat otters the same way you’d like them to treat you, advises Mr. Owl.

Rude Cakes

by Rowboat Watkins

A not-so-sweet cake-who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents learns that even the rudest cake can learn to change its ways.

Teacher Resources:

The First Six Weeks of School

Day by day and week by week, The First Six Weeks of School shows K-6 teachers how to set students up for a year of engaged and productive learning by using positive teacher language to establish high academic and behavioral expectations;  and teaching the classroom and academic routines that enable a collaborative learning community to thrive.