The Best Books for 3-4 Year-Olds: Our Top Picks for 2022

Do you have a curious 3-4 year-old? Then read on!

This is a crucial time for your little one’s development.

Getting ready to start school and learning more about how the world works.

They’ll also spend more time reading than ever before as they dig into all sorts of books chosen by parents, educators, and booksellers alike.

Here are our picks for the best books for 3-4 year olds to enjoy in 2022.

best books for 3-4 year olds featured image showing a boy laying on the sofa and reading a story book

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How to choose books for three year-olds?

It’s essential to consider the illustrations, length of the story, and whether or not the book is based on something that interests your child.

  • Picture books are a great way to teach children about everyday things and help them develop a love for reading.
  • Fantasy or fairy tale books can help stimulate your child’s imagination and creativity.
  • Rhymes may also help encourage your child to read more.

In addition, books that are short and have simple stories are more likely to keep a 3-year-old’s attention. This is because 3 year-olds are still developing their language skills, so they need books that are easy to follow and understand.

When choosing books for a 3 year-old, opt for titles with detailed illustrations. This will help to capture your child’s attention and keep them engaged in reading.


Are board books appropriate for 3 year olds?

Board books are perfectly fine for 3 year-olds.

They are colorful, tactile, and designed to hold a child’s attention while they learn to read. They are also durable and can be handled and read multiple times.

Board books are usually meant for kids up to 4 years old but may even be enjoyed by older children.

1. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo book cover

The Gruffalo is a children’s book by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

The story follows a mouse journeying through a forest and meeting different animals along the way. Each animal he meets tries to eat him, but he uses his wits to invent a monster to talk them out of it.

The story is full of humor and suspense, and the illustrations are stunning.

The Gruffalo is a delightful story enjoyed by both children and adults throughout the years. The rhyming text and Axel Scheffler’s beautiful illustrations make it an enjoyable read for all.

2. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields book cover

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a book to help your 3-4 year-old child explore the world around them.

This book is filled with high-quality photos, interesting facts, and explanations to keep your child engaged.

It has fun questions and activities, and the content is tailored to be informative and interactive. All based on real-world science and nature! This will help them better understand the world around them at a young age.

It’s also an excellent way to start discussions with your children.

It’s fantastic for inquisitive minds.

3. Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll (You Rock Group) by Mr. Jay and Erin Wozniak

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll (You Rock Group) by Mr. Jay and Erin Wozniak book cover

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll is a children’s book that follows the story of a rock named Ricky, who is different from all the other rocks.

He can’t roll as they can, making him feel left out and alone.

However, he soon learns that being different isn’t a bad thing and meets some new friends who accept him for who he is.

The rocks in the book have charming personalities that help bridge a lesson about inclusivity, compassion, and friendship. The book can teach children about being kind and to model kind behavior.

The author did a great job of writing in a way that is easy to read and rhymes with a Dr. Seuss-inspired style. And the illustrations are fun and colorful.

Overall, the book is upbeat and entertaining while teaching an important lesson.

4. The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz

The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz book cover

The Hiccupotamus is a silly story about a hiccuping hippopotamus.

His friends try to help him get rid of the hiccups, but nothing seems to work.
The illustrations are cheerful and fit well with the story.

The characters are creative and funny, and the book is fun to follow. The rhymes are quirky and add to the light-hearted tone of the story.

It’s an excellent read for both children and adults.

5. Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang book cover

The Grumpy Monkey is a book about Jim, a chimpanzee who is grumpy for no specific reason.

The illustrations in the book are very detailed and colorful.

Suzanne and Max Lang teach kids about emotional literacy by showing them that sometimes it’s okay to feel grumpy.

The book has a sweet message about emotions and is popular with parents and teachers who work with children.

6. How to Catch a Dinosaur by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

How to Catch a Dinosaur book cover

This hilarious picture book is perfect for kids who love dinosaurs.

It tells the story of a kid trying to catch a dinosaur for their school science fair. The story is funny and teaches kids about STEAM concepts (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).

It’s a great read-aloud for any occasion.

The brightly illustrated pages and simple text make it enjoyable for children and adults.

7. May I Please Have a Cookie? by Jennifer E. Morris

May I Please Have a Cookie book cover

May I Please Have a Cookie? by Jennifer E. Morris is an excellent book for kids who are just starting to read.

Throughout the book, proper manners are taught in an entertaining and educational way.

It’s a delightful story about a young alligator who tries to get a cookie from his mom. The end result of a series of hilarious exchanges is a happy, hug-filled family scene.

This book is perfect for 3-4 year-olds and will leave them with a smile on their face.

8. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The Snail and the Whale book cover

The Snail and the Whale is a charming story about a snail who befriends a whale.

They travel together to see new lands and learn that even though the snail is tiny, he can make a big difference in the world. This story teaches children that they should never give up on their dreams and that they can achieve great things no matter their size.

The Snail and the Whale is a favorite among parents and children.

The illustrations complement the easy-to-read rhyming scheme, and the story can be read multiple times and still appeal to readers.

9. How to Catch a Mermaid by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

How to Catch a Mermaid book cover

How to Catch a Mermaid is a children’s book by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton.

The book tells the story of a young girl and her friend trying to catch a mermaid.

The illustrations are bright and creative, which will keep your kids engaged. The sentences rhyme, and overall it’s an easy read.

The images are creative and brightly colored, and the story is exciting and engaging.

10. Big Shark, Little Shark (Step into Reading) by Anna Membrino

Big Shark, Little Shark book cover

Big Shark, Little Shark, is a children’s book that tells the story of a big shark and a little shark.

The story is accompanied by picture clues which help children to understand the story.

The illustrations are colorful and engaging, and the book is helpful for parents who want to read to their children or help them with reading skills.

The story is straightforward, there are minimal words, and the words are repeated for extra practice.

It’s a delightful children’s book that is perfect for beginner readers.

The easy-to-read text and large font make it enjoyable for kids.

There are a lot of great books out there for 3-4 year-olds, but these are our top picks for 2022. We think your child will love them and learn a lot from them.

So pick one (or more!) from the list and get reading!