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Books to read out loud to both kids and adults?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I just got a job teaching religious education at a Unitarian church.   They have a portion of the church service that the kids participate in called "story for all ages"  which basically means someone sits up at the front of the church with the kids, and reads a story to both the kids, and all of the adults.  


Kids are 3 almost 4 (my ds), 6, 9, and 15 (15yr old is autistic), and adults are all ages.   


The kids can see the pictures in the book, but the adults couldn't really, even with holding it up, so it needs to be something that the pictures aren't essential for telling the story.   Also, I don't want anything super long, but also nothing super short.  


I'd love some ideas of things that will appeal to all!   

post #2 of 5

Well, I know it's a Unitarian Church, but some stories from the Bible might be fun. ;)




For non-Christian traditions:


Stories from the Upanishads



Stories of the Prophets from the Holy Q'uran



Wise, Not so Wise 10 Tales from the Rabbis



Buddhist Animal Wisdom Stories



I think pictures are important for the young ones near the front (who can see) but less so for the adults.  I remember a Christmas service (Episcopalian) back in about 1976 when our minister came up the aisle for the Christmas story painted green and he read the entire congregation "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas". No pictures (he was in the pulpit).


If you do want some books that are physically large (like some used in kindergartens) you can go to this page for some ideas and links to amazon.







post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the ideas!   A lot of those would be good for the actual RE classes as well.  



Just to clairfy though, the "story for all ages" doesn't need to have anything to do with religion at all, just ANY kids book that adults might like to listen to as well.  


Today I read Frederick: http://www.amazon.com/Frederick-Leo-Lionni/dp/0394826140  

Last week, the RE teacher (on her last day there) read a story about a red fox.   

post #4 of 5

I have also lead storytime in the service at UU churches.  My guideline for myself was always that if it was a book I was happy to read to my preschooler 50+ times, the congregation could sit through it once, especially if there was a reasonably clear connection to any one of the principles or sources. I tried pretty hard to make sure there was something in the story that was arguably related to the sermon topic so that I could justify my selection if challenged, but I never was.


This one tends to go over well in congregations with lots of meditators. The text is adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh.



post #5 of 5


An illustrated Aesop's Fables? 


Collections of folk tales from various cultures? Most of them were meant to be spoken aloud, so the illustrations in picture books are usually not central to the story.  


The Circle of Days by Reeve Lindbergh and Cathie Felstead (retelling the Canticle of Life by St. Francis of Assisi)


Old Turtle by Douglas Wood


Grandad's Prayers of the Earth by Douglas Wood


The Name of the Tree - Bantu folktale retold by Ian Wallace 



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