Editor’s Picks: Books For 3-4 Year Olds
Below are our editor’s picks for preschooler (3-4yrs) books by subcategory:
Note: Our editors developed this list by summarizing TotScoop parent favorites and adding a few hand-picked editor favorites and new releases. Our picks are 100% unbiased — we never accept compensation in exchange for coverage. That said, this page may contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a small commission on any purchases that you make (at no cost to you); see our full disclosure.
You may also be interested in the following related guides:
A timeless classic, Harold and the Purple Crayon has been delighting young readers since it was first published in 1955. This imaginative book tells the story of a calm and quiet little boy named Harold who uses his ever-present purple crayon to create the surroundings around him. Young readers will have their imagination awakened as they join Harold as he gets chased by a purple dragon, swept away on a purple sea, and so much more in this magical adventure.
Children have been enthralled with the antics of this curious little monkey for more than 75 years. The Complete Adventures compilation of this popular children’s series features seven original titles that are sure to delight little imaginations. Enjoy every gasp and giggle as George’s curiosity gets him and the Man in the Yellow Hat in more and more trouble while introducing young readers to new and exciting adventures.
This 1963 Caldecott Medal winner magnificently captures the magic and wonder that accompanies the first snowfall of the season. Through the use of bright colors and lively language, The Snowy Day presents a story that is both calming and exciting. This simple, yet magical story of a boy exploring the pleasures offered by newly fallen snow will leave children with a magical sense of wonder at all the world has to offer.
This classic children’s book playfully depicts every manner of machine that moves. A must have for little car and truck lovers, this book is perfect for little minds starting to learn to string together words and simple sentences. With hilarious scenarios and a few “accidents” along the way, both boys and girls alike will be delighted by this book’s fun antics.
No classic book list is complete without Dr. Seuss. This book collection contains five titles ideal for beginning readers: The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Fox in Socks. Perfect for practicing reading aloud, these classic favorites are sure to delight as they are encouraging a love of reading.
This imaginative children’s book will have children delighted as they follow a mouse on his journey through the woods. As the mouse makes his way, he encounters many predators who wish to eat him — including a fox, a snake, and an owl. The quick thinking mouse outsmarts the would-be predators by scaring them with a made up creature, the Gruffalo. Nothing can slow this delightfully smart little mouse down, not even coming face to face with the very creature himself.
A fun and inventive way to introduce color recognition to young children, Pete the Cat will have young minds moving and grooving right alongside him as he goes walking down the street in his new white shoes. Kids will chuckle as his shoes change from one color to another as he continually steps in messes along the way. All of the setbacks don’t get Pete down though, he just keeps moving and grooving and singing his song — teaching children that there is no point in sweating the small things.
This inspirational tale follows young Rosie as she attempts to engineer an invention to help her great-great-aunt Rose realize her lifelong dream of flying. This fun rhyming book offers some great life lessons and encourages young minds to never give up on their dreams – because you can only truly fail if you quit.
Oh no, Duncan’s crayons are fed up – they quit! The Day the Crayons Quit is a wildly imaginative and fun book about the woes of a box of 12 crayons. Each crayon has left a note for their young owner outlining why they are unhappy. Beige is tired of living in Brown’s shadow, Blue is tired of coloring so many bodies of water, and Orange and Yellow are caught up in a dispute over who is the best color for the sun. At the end of the day, it’s up to Duncan to find a way to make them all happy again.
This fun, beautifully illustrated rhyming book resonates with a powerful, positive message for children of all ages. Children will be captivated by the sing-song rhyme and colorful illustrations as they follow gloomy Mr. Fish on a journey to find happiness. This fun tale ends with an inspiring ending that teaches young children that the secret to true happiness resides within their own hearts.
Early learning books
This clever counting book will keep young children entertained as they practice counting first to ten and then to 100 in increments of ten. From the author of the successful 2013 Alphablock, this fun and lively board book will have children giggling at its wacky scenarios as it engages them in learning number recognition.
With its colorful illustrations, fun pea characters, and rhyming text, LMNO Peas makes learning the alphabet more fun than ever. Throughout the book the letters of the alphabet are featured in vivid colors and introduced by energetic peas who name occupations that begin with the associated letter. This original board book is so fun and lively that children won’t even realize they are learning.
This enchanting primer book for shapes is a double edged sword. In this original book, little minds follow a young girl through her neighborhood as she points out the various shapes she finds along the way. But there is much more to be learned here than just shapes, the book also introduces children to the Asian culture and is a wonderful way to open their eyes to new cultures.
With Eric Carle’s signature colorful, collage-type illustrations, Eric Carle’s ABC makes letter learning simple and fun at the same time. Throughout this fun book, letters are represented by animals, such as an alligator for the letter “A.” But the fun doesn’t stop there, there are also flaps to be lifted that offer some fun surprises along the way.
Social development books
Told through the author’s silly, bold, and colorful scenes, this fun children’s book embraces the various emotions that we all experience. As the bold and vibrant characters in the book point out, sometimes we feel silly, sometimes we feel brave, sometimes we feel angry, and sometimes we just feel like standing on our head — and that is all ok and perfectly normal.
This classic picture book features Richard Scarry’s beloved characters from Busytown as they learn important lessons about good manners, being polite, and sharing. The bright and colorful illustrations aid in imparting the book’s important lessons in a simple and relatable way.
David can be mischievous, but when he gets in trouble he has a lot of excuses as to why it isn’t his fault. In this fun and giggle-worthy tale, David soon realizes that making excuses instead of taking responsibility for his actions is making him feel bad — and it is making those around him feel bad too. In this hilarious tale of antics, young children will learn the power that can rest behind two simple words — I’m sorry.
This fun and colorful exploration of life’s random events imparts an important life lesson every parent wants their child to learn — we all make mistakes. Sometimes a mistake can be a happy accident, opening the door to something amazing. A torn piece of paper can become a smiling dog and spilled hot chocolate can become a bog for a frog. With its colorful illustrations, Beautiful Oops! celebrates life’s imperfections and sparks children’s creativity.
Life transition books
In this heartwarming debut from author Lori Nichols, young Maple grows up alongside the maple tree planted in her honor just before her birth. Maple loves playing and spending time with her special tree, it never minds that she is loud, though her parents sometimes do. But with springtime comes a new tree — and a new baby sister to go along with it! The book’s warm illustrations capture a childlike love of nature and the joys that come with the arrival of a new sibling.
It’s the night before preschool and Billy is nervous! With its rhyming prose and soft, soothing illustrations The Night Before Preschool is the perfect book to calm those preschool jitters. Billy spends a worrisome night before starting preschool, but soon discovers all the fun and excitement that preschool has in store for him.