14 Best Books For 3 Year Olds Update 05/2022

In the past, I used to read my three-year-old a lot of picture books. He’s now a big five-and-a-half-year-old. Before long, my three-year-old will be able to read the same books as me. It’s possible that my older son will pull these books from the shelf to read to his younger brother and me.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

When you’re three, you can fully appreciate the voracious caterpillar who eats his way through every day of the week (including an epic picnic that will make you want to plan your own picnic!). Every family needs a copy of Eric Carle’s book. It’s even better that this 50th anniversary edition has a lot of extras, like a letter from Eric Carle, rare peeks at his sketches, and more.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

It’s a fun and long-running series. Llama Llama by Anna Dewdney is a favorite of readers. The magic began back in 2005 with Llama Llama Red Pajama, a rhyming read-aloud that finds young Llama Llama feeling nervous about falling asleep by himself – and Mama Llama coming to the rescue. This extra-special edition comes with a CD of Dewdney reading the story, extra Llama Llama stories, and even a print to keep. Whether you want to start with the beloved series or add a new one to your collection, this is the place for you.

All by Myself (Little Critter) by Mercer Mayer

People who read to kids love Mayer’s Little Critter, one of the best-known characters in the world of books for kids. Funny and relatable, kids can see themselves in Critter’s many adventures as he grows up. There are kids who want to do everything on their own, and this story is about that kind of person. Any three-year-olds you know sound like this? It doesn’t matter what, Critter wants to do it all by himself. He wants to button his overalls and tie his shoes. Is there one thing he can’t do yet? Then, read a bedtime story. Aw!

The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition by Watty Piper, illustrated by Dan Santat

Since it was first published in 1930, The Little Engine That Could has been a huge hit with people all over the world. Dolly Parton and Dan Santat both won the Caldecott Medal for their work on this special edition, which marks the book’s 90th anniversary. It pays homage to the original illustrations, but it also adds even more life and happiness to the story of perseverance.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

This book, which is about dragons who love tacos and parties, is a big hit with kids who are young enough. The illustrations are fun and have hidden jokes that are fun to find as the storyline gets more familiar.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson

If it’s been a while since you read The Story of Ferdinand, get ready to be swooned. Ferdinand isn’t like the other bulls because he likes to smell flowers more than fight. When he’s told to fight, what will he do? As a nonviolence message, the story made Gandhi a fan. It can be used to talk about masculinity with young boys and girls.

Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry

This was a book I read as a child, so I brought out my old copy when my son became obsessed with cars. The search for Goldbug in each scene will make even three-year-olds excited to look around. Even if they don’t like cars and trucks, they’ll be excited to look around because each page is a busy burst of activity in Scarry’s wonderful style.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

In this sweet and silly picture book, the author pays tribute to the many bright futures that await children, and reminds them that their parents will always be there for them. Wonderful Things You Will Be is a book that tells young people that they deserve to be loved and that their inner qualities matter the most. It has simple, rhythmic text and beautiful oil painting illustrations. Keep the good vibes going by pairing it with the growth chart that comes with it.

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

As far as plot goes, this one isn’t going to win any awards. There’s something about it that three-year-olds love. It’s time to go, Dog! People in our family always read Go! before they went to sleep. It has great repetition and rhythm.

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres, illustrated by Christian Slade

When you read to your kids about where diggers sleep at night, this is a fun twist. Bedtime isn’t very different at construction sites or fire stations: while young dump trucks, fire engines, and other vehicles try to put off the inevitable, mommies and daddies tuck their kids into bed for a good night’s sleep.

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smollin

At three, it’s a good time to teach your child about suspense. It’s also a good age to spend some time on Sesame Street. This is a Little Golden Book that was popular before Elmo and Abby. Grover, our old friend, panics with each turn of the page. It’s fun to read, and it shows kids that books were “interactive” long before there were iPad games.

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever by Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry’s beloved, fun-filled universe is sure to be a hit with young readers. His Best Word Book Ever is especially good for three-year-olds who want to learn new words. The characters in Busytown are getting ready for their days, making art projects, and going to the playground. There are so many words to describe what they do and the things they see. This colorful book will help your toddler improve his or her language skills.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

It’s a great story for kids, but I don’t want to give away the ending if you’ve never read it. The story of a mouse who comes up with a fearsome creature called the Gruffalo to keep people away is both funny and a great example of quick-thinking and imagination.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

To bring back from San Francisco, my son chose this book as a souvenir from City Lights Bookstore. The illustrations made him fall in love with the book. Jeffers’s book about a boy who eats books and gets smarter as a result quickly became my son’s favorite picture book. This made us look for more of his picture books. Oliver Jeffers is my son’s favorite author. As a book-loving mom, you can imagine how excited I was when I overheard him say this to friends at the store. You should let your child lead the way when you’re looking for books for them at any age.

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