35+ Must Have Books for 3 Year Olds

by | Nov 30, 2022

Reading is a necessary skill everyone needs to have to be successful, but for little kids, it’s a way to learn about the world and start using their imagination. Reading provides such a unique opportunity for children to experience the basics of the world from the comfort of their homes.

What books should 3-Year-Olds be Reading?

3-year-olds are at the age where they should just start reading. The books they should read are going to be simple and easy to read books.

That does not mean that they have to be boring. You’ll want to pay attention to what your little one likes and wants to listen to.

How often should I be reading to my 3-year-old?

You should try to read to your little one just about every day. Even if it is for a couple of minutes, listening to you and following along is such a huge step in their development.

What makes a book good for a 3-year-old?

3-year-olds are going to want books with sillyness, goofy animals, rhyming, or any combination thereof. That will hold their attention while helping them learn colors, counting, letters, and so much more.

Top Tips for Picking the Best Books for 3-Year-Olds

Choose Books that Teach Concepts

While keeping your little one entertained is a nice bonus, you definitely want to make sure your child is taking something away from reading. Make sure they can focus on something specific, such as colors, counting, patterns, animals, etc.

Keep it Short

While it may be nice to cuddle up with your little one and read to them, make sure they don’t get too bored. They don’t have long attention spans, and it will be detrimental if you force them to listen to your when they would rather go play.

Interactive Books are always fun!

Using interactive books is a great way to keep your little one invested in reading time. If you have a goofy book that promotes participation, your little one will ask you to keep reading it over and over!

3-Year-Olds Love Rhyme & Repetition

Dr. Seuss definitely had the right idea when it came to writing books. Children don’t care if the characters are real or completely off-the-wall crazy.

They want to listen to an entertaining and silly story. Books like the ones written by Dr. Seuss are a great way to teach your little ones about the basics of the world while keeping the fun and silliness intertwined.

Choose Relatable Books

You’ll want to pick books that your little one likes in order to keep them interested in reading instead of making it seem like a chore. If they don’t want to listen to the subject in the book, don’t force it on them!

Books are a great time to teach new Vocabulary

3-year-olds are word sponges. They are focused on what you and everyone around them are saying.

The best thing you can do is find books that expose your little one to new words and phrases. Keeping story time fun and informative is such a great way to help your child progress and expand their knowledge.

Teaching Littles Favorite Books For 3-Year-Olds

My favorite books are comprised of silly, fun, and learning. I love classic books and new books all the same!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic book that has been loved by several generations of little ones. This book is great for keeping little ones engaged and predicting what happens next.

Grumpy Monkey

The Grumpy Monkey book is great for teaching children about emotions. The monkey is having a bad day and is getting so many suggestions, maybe he just needs a day to be grumpy!

May I Please Have a Cookie

Alfie loves his mommy’s cookies, and he wants one more than anything! But grabbing for one, fishing for one, and dressing up as a cookie inspector don’t seem to work. His mommy says there is a better way. What is it?

Beginning readers will learn proper manners with Alfie as his mommy teaches him to say the magic words.

Turkey Trouble

Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving…and you’re the main course.

But Turkey has an idea―what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos.

Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

Related Post: 20 Best Books For 2 Year Olds

Amazon Top Picks: Books for 3-Year-Olds

Did you know that Amazon has its own top picks for books? These books have the best reviews by consumers!

What Should Danny Do?

This book has 9 stories in one and empowers children to make choices of their own!

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes and makes a great book for little ones to enjoy.

Never Let a Unicorn Wear a Tutu!

Have you ever seen a Unicorn wear a tutu?!? This story is about a little girl who overheard her friend say, NEVER LET A UNICORN WEAR A TUTU.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have a chance to ask why, and now she has a fantastic tutu for her UNICORN and she isn’t sure what to do!

How to Catch a Dinosaur

Do dinosaurs still walk among us? Sure, no one has seen one, but if alligators, whales, and even birds still exist, then dinosaurs must still exist, right?

Join the daring Catch Club Kids as they try to wrangle a dinosaur in time for the school science fair and prove they’re still around!

How to Catch a Mermaid

Many claim to have caught a mermaid, but can YOU? Perfect for mermaid lovers, summer reading, this funny mermaid picture book offers an irresistible under-the-sea adventure that little ones will love!

Best Books for 3-Year-Olds to Hook Them on Reading

Hooking little ones on reading early is so important. Littles that love to read will be lifelong learners.

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll

From zippy little pebbles to big strong boulders, the rock friends get together to play and roll around their favorite hill, only to find that one of their friends, Ricky, can’t roll with them. Unlike all of the other rocks, who are all round, Ricky can’t roll because he’s flat on one side.

Determined not to leave their friend behind, the rocks set out to help Ricky roll – one way or another.

The Hiccupotamus

Chaos ensues when an elephant, a centipede, and a rhinoceros try to find a cure for Hippo’s colossal case of hiccups.

Llama Llama Loves Camping

From the classic book Llama llama red pajamas comes the book Llama Llama loves camping! If your littles love the first book, they will surely enjoy this one too!

Construction Site: Road Crew, Coming Through

This book is perfect for little ones that have an interest in construction equipment. Road Crew, Coming Through! is an adorable book that promotes teamwork!

The Leaf Thief

Squirrel loves counting the leaves on his tree–red leaves, gold leaves, orange, and more. But hold on! One of his leaves is missing! Squirrel teams up with his good friend Bird to discover who the leaf thief could be among their forest friends.

Best Rhyming & Repetition Books for 3-Year-Olds

Rhyming is so important for little ones as it helps to improve their grasp on the English language. Another big plus about rhyming is that it draws in littles and helps to keep them interested.

See You Later, Alligator

Tortoise is ready to depart on an adventure, but his friends just won’t stop telling him goodbye! This rhyming book will engage your little ones and keep them guessing what’s next.

Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Did you know dust bunnies love to rhyme? Well..except for Bob, he has a hard time rhyming. Read along to see if he can get it right!

Auntie Loves Me!

This sweet book is perfect for your niece or nephew! A little penguin spends quality time with his Aunt and they share how much they love time together!

Green Eggs and Ham

Oh how we love Dr. Seuss in our home! Green Eggs and Ham is probably one of my favorite Dr.Seuss books!

My First Rhyming Book

Young children will love this fun book rhyming book. Each page focuses on a different word and all they need to do is find the picture of the word that rhymes. This book is full of colorful and fun pictures.

Related Post: 30 Books about Feelings for Preschoolers

Interactive Books for 3-Year-Olds

Interactive books are great because they keep little ones engaged and learning!

Don’t Push the Button!

Don’t Push the Button is a guaranteed hit with your little one. It’s interactive, silly, and fun for any child around at storytime!

My First Sticker Books

These cute and colorful sticker books with colorful teach more than 100 familiar words from a variety of environments while helping to refine your little one’s fine motor skills as they go through each section.

I Spy: Count the Dinosaurs

This series is fantastic for little learners to grasp multiple different concepts. They’ll develop observational skills, learn to count dinosaurs, and they’ll have so much fun they won’t realize they’re learning!

Minnie Mouse: Interactive Reader

These interactive Disney books are perfect for starting your little one on the path of independent reading! There are multiple different books for both boys and girls, which sill kickstart your little one’s literary journey!

Spider Man: Interactive Reader

Just like the Disney books above, these books are great for getting your little one to start reading on their own.

Books for 3-Year-Olds that teach New Vocabulary

While reading is a great way for little ones to experience different ideas or concepts, it is also a fundamental step in expanding their vocabulary!

What are they Doing?

If your little one is working on learning different animals, this book is great because it also introduces them to many different verbs that they might not know!

My First 1000 Words

Getting your little one to have word association and recognition is extremely important when it comes to building the foundation of a child’s vocabulary. This book is a great way for them to build the beginning of their vocabulary.

The Giving Snowman

This book is a fantastic book for your little ones to reinforce and potentially expand their vocabulary while simultaneously emphasizing the benefits of being kind and caring.

That’s Silly!

Keeping your little one motivated is always a challenge with new readers. This book is filled with humor to keep your child reading it over and over!

ABC Sound Book

Every word is a mixture of sounds from letters, and this interactive book is a perfect resource to help reinforce your child’s basics before they tackle independent reading!

Books for 3-Year-Olds that Teach Math Skills

The only thing arguably as equally important as vocabulary is mathematics. These books are filled with the basics of mathematics and reading to help expand your child’s knowledge.

Simple Math Workbook

This workbook is filled with the perfect first steps of number recognition, number tracing, and counting. It is full of games, coloring, number counting, simple maths, and number tracing to keep your little one motivated to learn!

Quantum Physics

While quantum physics may seem a little advanced for your little learner, this book set is the perfect way to introduce basic scientific concepts and STEM!

Favorite Character Books for 3-Year-Olds

Every child has a favorite character from their tv shows, and it provides them with the perfect motivation to keep reading!

Minnie Look and Find

This Minnie Mouse-themed look and find is the perfect book for your little ones to work on their focus as well as their exploration and vocabulary!

Read with Olaf

Olaf is definitely a favorite from the Frozen movies, and this interactive book is a perfect way to harness that love for this character to work on your child’s independent reading.

Lift the Flap FairyTales

Fairy tales are such a huge motivator to keep your little one reading. This book is filled with multiple different characters that emphasize rhyming as well as exploration!

Paw Patrol Sticker Fun

This activity book is a great way to help improve your child’s fine motor skills. It is filled with stickers that can be used to complete puzzles and finish scenes surrounding the characters from Paw Patrol!

Kindness Makes the World Go Round

Sesame Street has been a part of children’s development for decades, and this book is a fantastic way to help your little one understand why it is so important to be kind.

Related Post: 21 Best Books for 1 Year Olds

Favorite Holiday Books for 3-Year-Olds

Holidays are always full of fun and laughter, so why not incorporate your favorite holidays into your reading?

What do you celebrate?

Across the globe, every country has its special holidays. Help your child learn about different cultures and holidays by reading this book together!

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights

It’s Hanukkah time! Little ones will learn all about how people celebrate Hanukkah–from eating latkes, spinning dreidels, exchanging gifts, and lighting the menorah. And they’ll also learn why they celebrate-from the destruction of the Temple, the bravery of the Maccabees, and the miracle of that little bit of oil that lasted for eight nights.

Chinese New Year

In this sweet book, we follow Hong as he and his family prepare for and celebrate the Chinese New Year Festival. They will also enjoy reading the story behind the most important celebration in Chinese culture. More interesting facts and questions for discussion are included at the back of the book.

St. Patrick’s Day

This book includes wonderful Irish traditions and activities boys & girls can enjoy at home and with their friends.

Not only that, but you’ll enjoy learning the history of St. Patrick, how he was captured and ended up as a shepherd in Ireland minding sheep on the mountains, and later went on to become the patron Saint of Ireland.

The Christmas Blessing

On this divine night in Bethlehem, a voice calls down to a group of animals gathered in a stable. It’s time to welcome a special arrival, the Savior who will gift the world with love and grace. Will the different animals be able to set aside all of their differences, come together, and work in harmony to have the manger ready in time?

Related Post: Books about Mom (Mother’s Day Books)

Personalized Books for 3-Year-Olds

Reading stories about fun and quirky characters is always fun for your children, but having a story centered around them specifically is a great motivator to keep you little one reading!

I love you to the Moon

This bedtime book can be customized to have any child’s name on it if you just visit the publisher’s website. It is a perfect keepsake to remind your little one how much you love them!

Royal Birthday Adventure

This personalized book is a fantastic gift to help expand your little one’s imagination while celebrating their birthday!

Bedtime Story

Bedtime stories are a great way to expand your child’s reading ability, and this personalized bedtime book is a great way to keep your little one involved and reading.

Frequently Asked Questions about Books for 3-Year-Olds

Can a 3-Year-Old Read Board Books?

Board books are great for 3 year olds to read! They may not be able to read them, but they can describe what is happening on the pages and learn to recognize words!

Is it Normal for a 3-Year-Old to Be Reading?

Some 3 year olds can read, however, it is not the norm. 3 year olds can describe what is going on in the picture which is a building block of reading.

What is Your Favorite Book to Read Aloud for 3-Year-Olds?

I love to read rhyming books, silly books, and books that teach about emotions or how to handle different situations.

Reading is an essential part of today’s life. Getting little ones hooked on reading at a young age creates a life long learner!

What are your favorite books for 3 year olds? Let me know in the comments!