Last week, I shared my favorite books to read aloud for ages 6 to 10, and, as promised, I’m now sharing my favorites for littler kiddos between the ages of 3 and 5. This age can be tricky when it comes to choosing books because you never really know what will keep their attention.
Having had three children with different personalities, temperaments, and attention spans to read to over the last 13 years, the books I’ve included in this post are tried-and-true options that actually worked for my own children. These books not only kept my childrens’ attention, but also exposed them to new concepts, taught age-appropriate life lessons, and were ones they asked to be read, over-and-over. When books check all of those marks, they’re ones to share with other families in the hopes of helping them navigate the choices of books to read to their littles a little better.
Here are 15 books that my preschoolers learned from and loved listening to. Most of them are part of collections of books featuring the same characters, which makes it easier to keep the beauty and connection of reading aloud strong, but all are fantastic choices for the littles in your life.
Not only did my littles enjoy the Llama Llama books, but I loved reading them aloud. The late author, Anna Dewdney, had a gift of telling stories that weren’t just well-written, but offered a beautiful cadence when read aloud. We loved all of the books we’ve read so far.
I was first drawn to the Lola books because Lola reminded me of my daughter, a cute, curious brown girl loves doing what my girl does — going to the library, having stories read to her, planting a garden, and being with her family.
Going along with Max on his everyday adventures helped my children connect with these books because they were doing the same things he was. It’s important for children to see themselves in stories, and the Max books let my children do just that.
The “If You Give…” book collection is a favorite of my children. They are great books to read aloud because of the rhythmic nature of the stories that makes them super easy to read. Each story is short, simple, and fun.
Finding the Libby Wimbley book collection was such a breath of fresh air. These nature-themed books are perfect for littles even if they don’t love animals, bugs, plants, and going on outdoor adventures.
I have yet to meet a kiddo who doesn’t love Pete the Cat. My children laugh and laugh at Pete’s antics and enjoy following his adventures.
I used to love The Berenstain Bears when I was a child, so it was a given that I would read them to my children. I love the wholesomeness of the stories, and each one is enjoyable for all ages, which makes them truly timeless.
My youngest son loved the Elephant & Piggie books so much that we read every one that was in the library.
The relationship between Elephant & Piggie is so cute and fun, and their stories are engaging, short, and sweet. Perfect for little ears.
Daniel Tiger books are always a hit with littles. My daughter loves the stories of Daniel, his friends, and family, and I love the lessons the they teach.
I stumbled upon the Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection in the library one day and took a chance to read it at bedtime when my oldest son was little. The stories were a bit long, but they were very soothing, which was perfect for bedtime. He wasn’t even really into Thomas back then, but he enjoyed these stories just the same.
My daughter can’t get enough of Peppa Pig. She loves pulling out her Peppa Pig books and knows many of them by heart, even though she can’t read the words yet.
We have a good amount of the book collection, and I have a feeling that we’ll be getting even more even as my daughter gets older.
I also wanted to share board books that my children loved. Board books are some of my favorite types of books for preschoolers (& younger) because they are made for little hands, eyes, and attention spans. Each of the books above, The Wheels on the Bus, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Giraffes Can’t Dance, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, are fun, engaging, and interactive for little listeners.
What are some of your favorite books to read aloud for ages 3 to 5? Leave them in the comments below.
Hey, I’m Camille, The Intuitive Homeschooler!
I’m a wife and mom of three busy kiddos who I’ve homeschooled since 2013. When I’m not homeschooling, gardening, or watching yet another documentary, you can find me writing on this here blog. Oh, and I just wrote a book called Coming Home. If you’re a homeschooler or you wanna be one, I recommend it. IJS.
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