National Short Story Month: 5 Minute Stories for Kids

May is National Short Story Month. The short story is typically a story that can be read in one sitting – which I guess defines most children’s books, especially the books I read to my own son Norrin. (After Norrin was diagnosed with autism, reading was the way we really connected. It gave us a chance to interact and it’s really helped his speech and his imagination.) We’re nowhere near reading chapter books or traditional short stories so I thought I’d focus on 5-minute stories.

I am currently rereading one of my all time favorite books: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. (Not really appropriate for Norrin or anyone younger than twelve, but there’s a point to this.) It’s a coming of age story about a young Brooklyn girl, named Francie Nolan, in the early 1900s. Francie’s mother, Katie, believes that education and literacy is the only way out of poverty. Katie, a wash woman with a sixth grade education,  begins reading a page of Shakespeare and page from the Bible to her children every night. They were the only two books the family owned. What I love about Tree is that you see how literature impacted Francie Nolan, it gave her something to strive for and dream about. Katie gave her daughter a gift without even realizing its magnitude.

Now I’m not saying you have to read Shakespeare or the Bible, but all it takes is five minutes a day. Reading with your child builds a stronger relationship and it helps with basic communication and speech skills. The benefits of reading to your child will last a lifetime.

As a working mom, I get that parents are tired, that their time is limited, and the reality is—not everyone loves to read. There are days when the last thing I want to do is read a book. But I still make sure that I read with Norrin.

Taking five minutes at the end of every day to read to your child could be the greatest gift that you can give.

  • 8 5-Minute Stories 1 of 9
    National Short Story Month 5 minute stories Babble Lisa Quinones Fontanez

    Click through to see some book suggestions for 5 minute stories. There is something for every kid in your home.

  • 115 Five-Minute Bedtime Stories 2 of 9

    This could be the perfect book to get you started in a bedtime reading routine. With 115 stories to choose from, you could read one a night for a few months. By the time you're done you will have a clear understanding of the kind of stories your kids like and move on to another collection. 

    Available on Amazon for $14.65

  • 5 Minute-Marvel Stories 3 of 9

    Norrin is at the age where he is fascinated with comic book characters. While Norrin doesn't have the understanding of complex plots of comic books or movies just yet, he loves Marvel Superheroes (which works out since he is named after one). These 5-minute stories are a great compromise. His love of comic book characters is age appropriate and these 5 minute stories are short and easy enough for him to understand.

    Available on Amazon for $11.10

  • Curious George’s 5-Minute Stories 4 of 9

    What kid doesn't love Curios George? This book makes a sweet gender neutral gift. It's also great for reading together as a family and for siblings to read together.

    Available on for $9.47

  • Five-Minute Crimebusters 5 of 9

    This could be the solution for the kid who doesn't really like to read. These 5 minute crimebusters will engage your child to think and problem solve. It's also interactive, something you can both do together. You and your child will have fun reading.

    Available on Amazon for $6.25

  • 5-Minute Disney PIXAR Stories 6 of 9

    One of my personal favorites we are big Pixar fans in our house! So often our kids fall in love with these characters, these 5-minute stories allow our kid to continue their adventure. To have all of our favorite characters in one book is a true gem. 

    Available on Amazon for $11.10

  • 5-Minute Fairy Tales 7 of 9

    Fairy Tales are my favorite, especially when they feature Disney's classic characters. Sharing stories that I grew up with and love with Norrin is one of the things that make being a mom really special.   


    Available on Amazon for $11.10

  • 5-Minute Princess Stories 8 of 9

    I grew up with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty - they are the Princesses of my childhood. (Truth be told, I am a huge Disney Princess fan. I love them all!) If I were a little girl in a book store, this is the book I would want. Norrin hasn't taken an interest in any Disney Princesses featured in this story collection but he does like Merida from Brave. 

    Available on Amazon for $9.35

  • The Stinky Cheese Man 9 of 9

    Beautifully illustrated and really fun to read, Stinky Cheese Man takes the fairy tales we love and adds a silly twist. You will love reading this book aloud to your kids. 

    Available on Amazon for $13.11

And be sure to check out my list of 20 Books to Read Aloud with your kids and 12 Books to Celebrate Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros.

Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.

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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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