Best Books for 3 Year Olds to Get Lost In

Being a three-year-old is a very exciting time. This is the part of their lives where they are starting to read and will love to explore new books with far off worlds and exciting stories on their own as well as with mom and dad.

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Children of this age are highly creative and have such a vivid imagination that it’s unfair to deprive them of something so amazing that could become a lifelong hobby.

One of the best ways to cultivate this love for the imagination is by getting them a book. However, you don’t just want any old book. You want a book that your children are going to fall in love with and will never want to put down, encouraging them to read it again and again.

A Collection of Some of the Best Books for Three Year Olds

As you can imagine, there are hundreds of millions of books out there, from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to James Bond and 50 Shades of Grey, and everything in between. There are a lot of choices, and obviously, you’ll want something suitable for your family. Here’s a collection of some of my favorites that you and your three-year-old will love.

1. The Little Prince

My chosen favorite when it comes to children’s books has to be The Little Prince. I first saw the motion picture when the creative minds at Netflix released it on film for the first time. My children and I were so hooked that we had to get the book.

Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery in France, this book was first published way back in 1943, but is still an extremely popular children’s book around the world to this day. The story follows the little prince who leaves his planet in search of what’s out there in the big wide universe, planet hopping and meeting new characters along the way.

The story is great for bedtime reading with your children, and you, as the parent, may need to explain some of the concepts to your younger little ones. However, the book is enjoyable from start to finish, and there’s simply no other adventure quite like it.

What’s Great About It: Besides being one of the most popular books of all time, this is a fantastic story since the stereotypes that each character plays is so subtle yet so informative and is a great way to teach children how to grow up and be happy, kind and caring people.

2. Giraffes Can’t Dance

This once best-selling book, known as Giraffes Can’t Dance, is the board book edition which sets out to make it even easier for your children to learn how to use and read the book themselves. The story itself revolves around George, a giraffe, who wants to dance more than anything else in the world.

Unfortunately, thanks to George’s long and thin legs as well as his crooked knees, dancing doesn’t come as naturally to him as he would hope. The tale progresses as George meets a colorful collection of characters who give him advice that will finally allow him to live his dreams.

This book is available in a range of formats on top of the board format, including paperback and hardcover editions, making sure that this is a book that is a favorite for many years to come.

What’s Great About It: It’s easy to see why this is one of the biggest and best-selling children’s books. Inside with the story, you’ll find a selection of easy-to-read and learn rhymes alongside extremely well-illustrated pictures and graphics that will steal your child’s heart.

3. Have You Seen My Dinosaur?

I know – how could you possibly misplace a dinosaur? They are so large and looming, and their roar can be heard for miles around. However, anything is possible in the eyes of a child and so follows the story of a little boy who has lost his dinosaur.

As you can imagine, the dinosaur is actually surprisingly hard to track down, but the journey that ensues is hilarious from start to finish and will have your children on the edge of their beds.

This incredible tale is also based on the original by Dr. Seuss, meaning that it is written using simple words and beautiful pictures so your children will be encouraged to read by themselves.

What’s Great About It: What I love about this book is the fact that the illustrations are designed by the mastermind illustrator Joe Mathieu. As mentioned above, these illustrations are simply beautiful, and your children are sure to love them.

​4. The Snail and the Whale

A modern-day bestseller when it comes to children’s books, this heart-warming story follows two unlikely companions on the adventure of a lifetime. The Snail and the Whale travel the world in search of something amazing on a journey that your children will never forget, meaning that they won’t want to put down for a second.

Of course, the Snail is captivated by the adventures having never left home and gone beyond this point, so everything is new and exciting. However, when the Whale swims too close to the shore, will be Snail be able to save the day?

This is a beautiful tale written by the leading children’s book writer Julia Donaldson and illustrated by the brilliant Axel Scheffler, which gives this book an incredible high-quality feel as well as an experience that’s perfect for the whole family to get involved with.

What’s Great About It: This book is one of the highest selling children’s books, having been described by readers and publications alike as ‘one of the most perfect children’s books of all time’ and ‘an absolute jewel of a story.’ If that’s not great, I don’t know what is.

​5. The Wonderful Things You Will Be

Voted as one of the New York Times Bestseller children’s book and written by the incredibly talented Emily Winfield Martin, this is a story full of personality, inspiration and everything in between.

This beautiful story covers all aspects of one’s personality, from being bold and brave in the most daunting of situations to being creative and clever in others. As you would expect from a leading children’s book, this one is gorgeously illustrated and is ideal for both parents and children alike.

In short, this book has everything you could want from a children’s book. The whole story is displayed in an easy-to-understanding rhyming format that I love reading with my children over and over again.

What’s Great About It: This is another one of those children’s books that has been a bestseller since it was published. Adored by families around the world, this is the perfect book for your little one or even as a gift for a birthday or baby shower.

​6. If I Built a Car

My children love rhyming books, so it’s no wonder that they love this awesome tale called If I Built a Car. With lines like ‘If I Built a Car, it’d be new, here are some of the few things I would do…,’ this is one of those stories that is going to stick in your children’s minds as they let the creative juices flow. You can even encourage them to try and think of some of their own.

With a ton of rhyming paragraphs with all sorts of crazy vehicles, from trains and old classic cars to old planes and shiny metal sports cars, the possibilities with this book are endless.

Through the story, main character Jack builds his own car from scratch, taking inspiration from all walks of life, with added luxuries, such as a fireplace, snacks, and even a swimming pool.

All the work is done with appreciated help from his trusted friend Robert the robot, and the final test drive takes them on an amazing adventure into the unknown.

This beautiful book is extremely popular with families around the world and is definitely one of my children’s favorites. With vibrant illustrations and text that is laid out in an easy-to-read format, what more could you ask for?

What’s Great About It: Me and my kids love the re-readability levels that this book provides. I once read this story to my youngest before bed every night for about two weeks, and neither of us got bored – it really is just that good.

7. The Pout-Pout Fish

Despite the first impressions based on the title, this book isn’t about a fish pouting in the mirror while taking selfies. In fact, this book is a leading New York Times bestseller which takes you and your three-year-old child on the journey of a lifetime alongside the pout-pout fish.

Traditionally, the pout-pout fish is a very sad, glum and unsociable fish, but as he embarks on his adventure and gets further in to it, he quickly begins to discover that it doesn’t have to be this way, and that the gloomy life is not for him, unlike like the rest of his kind.

In fact, with the pout-pout fish, you and your children need to strap yourselves in to discover a world of brightly colored oceans, a playful rhyming narrative and all the vibrant illustrations that you could ask for. This book is sure to make every story time a happy one.

What’s Great About It: Written by the inspirational Deborah Diesen, this book is available in all kinds of formats, from Kindle and paperback to hardback and even a board book, making it completely safe and accessible for little hands.

The Complete Buying Guide to Choosing a Children’s Book

Choosing the perfect children’s book for you and your three-year-old is no easy feat. Children are renowned for being extremely fussy, especially if they are anything like my children, which means that while they would like the look of a book, it doesn’t mean that they’re actually going to enjoy reading it.

However, to stop this task being so overwhelming and daunting, here is a list of things you need to know, helping you to make an effortless final decision.


The first thing you’ll want to ask yourself when looking at your preferred children’s book will be -is this suitable? As a parent, only you will know what is suitable for you and your child to read together, but there are a few things you can also consider.

Firstly, does the content look suitable for a three-year-old. Of course, books that are designed for a three-year-old will be suitable already because it’s what they are designed for. However, older books may contain content and concepts that you don’t want your child to be exposed to. Always check the age rating on the book before buying it.

Crystal-Clear Pictures & Illustrations

When it comes to books for your three-year-old, one of the most important parts to consider, which is maybe even more important than the story itself, is the pictures and images that the book has. In most cases, you’re not going to want photographs; instead you’re going to want illustrations.

This is because illustrations connect with children a lot more easily and help to fuel their imagination and creativity, taking them into the story itself as though they are a part of it. This makes the story a lot more engaging for them.

Likewise, you want nice, clear pictures that your children can relate to and understand. You’ll also want pictures that actually relate to the story itself. You’d be surprised how many actually don’t. Whether you’re shopping online or in a local bookstore, you should have access to a preview to make sure that this is the case.

A Captivating Story

As a minimum requirement, you’re going to want to look for a book with age-appropriate language, but language that is also very visual. Each word should help to build up an image in your child’s head and mentally take them to the place and situation that you’re reading about.

However, more complicated language can be used, especially when used in context as this can be a great way to teach your children new words.


Children absolutely adore reading, especially when it’s with their parents and the rest of the family, whether it is story time or bedtime. As you make your way through your children’s books, they are obviously going to have favorites.

If you’ve opted for cheaper, low-quality books, your children aren’t going to want to read them again. If you’ve chosen the perfect book, your children are going to want to read it over and over. This is a good sign.

Choosing a book that will be timeless in your family is the key when getting a good book. Try to stick with themes that your children adore reading about.

Final Thoughts

Books are magical things, whether you’re an adult or a child. Taking the time to choose the perfect book can be so beneficial to your child and your family bonds.

Happy Reading!

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