The following are two books that I have found to be good read alouds to a group of children. This group could be a class, program, or just a group of kids gathered for a play date. The key I have found with reading any book aloud though is that you need to put that vocal exaggeration on words and a bit of excitement into the plot as you read. One way I decide if a book will be a good read aloud is if the story stands without needing to have the pictures seen and if it creates an anticipation for the listener.
The Princess and the Pizza is written by Mary Jane Auch.
The story is basically a fun take on several fairytales combined. It "stars" a sassy redhaired princess who's father tossed away his title to become an aspiring wood craver. The princess misses being the center of attention and jumps at an opportunity to become the wife of a "working" prince. She then finds she has to compete for the "job". Through the antics she stumbles upon a recipe that generates "pizza". The book is marketed to the k - 3 grades. However, I have found to get some of the subtle references to the other fairytales, children from grades 2 to 5 would probably get a bigger kick out of it. You can usually find this book in the picture book section of a library.
The Tale of Tricky Fox as retold by Jim Aylesworth
What a funny story for school librarians and teachers to read aloud. The ending always gets the kids laughing and thinking how they view their teachers. The story basically is that of a Fox who brags to his brother that he can get a human to give him a pig. There are a number of repetitive sayings that kids will love to participate in repeating with you as you read. I found singing the Fox's song to the kids really gets them into the story. The story is really good for grades k - 3. I hestiate to add 4th graders as they are in that transitional attitude stage alot of the times. Kids will love to check this out too, but the problem is that it is usually found in the folktale non-fiction section of a library. The Dewey number to find this book should be j398.2 AYL. That is the down fall to great folktale and fairytale books. They are seperated in most libraries to an obscure area that most kids hesitate to venture into. Don't pass up this section, there are a number of good books the kids will love there.