The Best Children’s Literature Read Aloud YouTube Channels in 2024

The best read aloud videos mimic the in-person experience as much as possible.

Tablet screen showing the YouTube video screen for a book called "How Are You? Como Estas?"
We Are Teachers; Let's Read Stories

Reading out loud to kids is an important way to build a love of books that lasts a lifetime. YouTube has dozens of channels to hear a story read aloud, but some are better than others. Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you and found the best places to watch and listen to children’s literature read aloud.

What to look for in YouTube Read Alouds

A quick search on YouTube turns up an enormous selection of stories read aloud online for free. And while any time spent reading has value, we feel that quality videos should provide the same educational experience that in-person reading does. That helps kids develop print awareness skills like knowing the parts of a book (front cover, back cover, spine, pages, etc.) and print conventions like reading from left to right and top to bottom.

Here’s what we looked for when choosing the best children’s literature read aloud channels on YouTube:

  • Good sound quality and an emphasis on the book’s text, with no distracting music or unnecessary sound effects during the story
  • A focus on the book itself, by showing the cover and the text on each page as it’s read
  • Mention of the title, author, and illustrator of the book (with correct pronunciation)
  • Demonstration of print convention, by showing pages turn or highlighting the text as it’s read
  • Fluent and engaging reading demonstrations, at a pace that allows children to absorb the text and look at the illustrations

With that in mind, here are the read-aloud YouTube channels we love. These picks meet all or most of our criteria, with plenty of stories read aloud for kids to enjoy. (As always, please preview any video to ensure the content is appropriate for your audience.)

Let’s Read Stories

Stories for kids—read by a kid! This channel features tons of favorite books, read beautifully by a child who knows how to make the story engaging and fun. Kids will find it easy to connect with a voice that sounds more like their own, encouraging them to try reading aloud on their own more often.

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The Story Time Family

Ready for some titles you haven’t seen before? The Story Time Family has a big virtual bookshelf with playlists for animals, social-emotional learning, and more. No commercial characters here, just good-quality selections kids haven’t already heard dozens of times.

Story Time With Bear & Ms. Becky

Ms. Becky has such a comfortable presence onscreen, and she asks viewers questions before and after reading in an incredibly natural way. She has several hundred videos to choose from, with favorite standbys and newer titles too.

Stories With Star

This channel includes a giant selection of books, with titles to interest any child. Page flips are animated, but in general these are good videos with books read in an engaging voice.

Mrs. K’s Book Worm Adventures

Mrs. K often includes interesting facts during the introduction, then gets to the book itself. Her playlists include funny books, informational books, holiday books, and more.

Storytime With Ryan and Craig

Looking for read-alouds with some personality? Check out Ryan and Craig! They’re comedians who read children’s books and comment (in kid-appropriate ways) as they go. They’re fun and entertaining, but the reading is good quality and so are the book choices.

Kid Time Story Time

The puppet voices might seem a bit much for parents, but kids love the high energy of these read-alouds on YouTube. The variety here is exceptional, with whole sections of Hispanic Heritage books, seasonal books, and STEM books.

Literally Cultured

Looking for a selection of books that embraces multiple cultures and identities? This channel has a terrific selection of inclusive books to expand kids’ horizons. We do wish the videos featured the text on each page a little more instead of zooming and panning, but the diverse library of titles makes up for it.

Read Right Now

Read Right Now uses e-books instead of paper books, so the page flipping is a little different. But the reader uses a clear and engaging voice, and their selection of titles is top-notch.

StoryTime at Awnie’s House

If your kids are always begging “Do the voices!” when they listen to read-alouds, they’ll like Awnie. Although these videos don’t show the pages of the book being flipped, they do ensure the text is featured as Awnie reads. We especially like the playlists for School Days and Kindness and Acceptance.

Brightly Storytime

Brightly Storytime is another channel that doesn’t show physical books with flipping pages, but they do have one unique feature: The words are highlighted as they’re read, making it easier for kids to follow the text. The playlist where authors read their own books has some of the best read-alouds on YouTube.

Dramatic StoryTime Theater

If you’re looking for well-read classics, check out this channel. There are two dozen books to watch, all stories read aloud in a way that’s perfect for little ones to follow along.

Kids Stories 4 You

The basic read-alouds here check all the boxes: clear reading, engaging voices, and a wide selection, including many that older readers will like. This is a super channel for struggling readers to plug into during center time, as there are many high-interest Pete the Cat books and other popular characters from mainstream movies and programs.

The Reading Unicorn

There are lots of commercial-character books here, but the Reading Unicorn does them well. Parents might appreciate these read-alouds on YouTube most; let the playlist run while you catch up on some laundry or check your email.

More YouTube Channels for Children’s Literature Read Aloud

These channels don’t meet as many of our criteria for mimicking the in-person experience, but they still offer great opportunities for kids to hear read aloud children’s stories.

What are your favorite channels for children’s literature read aloud? Join the conversation and exchange recommendations in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out The Big List of Virtual Author Activities.