50 Fun Books For Early Years Kids (Aged 3-4)

A young girl sat at a table is reading a Dr. Seuss book.
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Picture books are a good source of entertainment during lockdown days and evenings: incorporating reading into the daily routine can help alleviate stress.

Picture books introduce early years children to books they can start to read. They can also educate children about the world as they become more curious.


Below are 50 books that deal with a range of themes, issues, characters and settings to provide a fun read for everyone. We hope you enjoy working your way through our long list of recommendations!

Handa's Surprise By Eileen Browne

Follow Handa as she picks fruit for Akeyo and see what happens along the way.

The Gruffalo By Julia Donaldson And Axel Scheffler

An adult Gruffalo sat on a tree stump in a snowy forest, with a young Gruffalo on his lap.
Image © Flickr

If you read The Gruffalo you'll meet a courageous mouse and a famous monster.

One Day On Our Blue Planet By Ella Bailey

A cute and curious lion cub is a perfect companion to your child's imagination as they explore the big blue planet we call home.

When I Coloured In The World By Ahmadreza Ahmadi

Cover of When I Coloured In The World: a woman in patterned green and brown clothing is holding a baby at her hip, both of which have no colour on their bodies. They are in a yellow room with brown furniture and three brown cats.
Image © Tiny Owl

Translated by to English by Azita Rassi, this is a wonderful book with a powerful message that we can all learn from: there is power in positivity.

Kangaroo Kisses By Nandana Dev Sen

We can all relate to bedtime delays and Kangaroo Kisses is delightfully relatable with enough fantasy to capture our hearts.

The New Small Person By Lauren Child

Gaining a new family member is a touching and relatable time for many. This book explores this topic in a poignant way.

Last Stop On Market Street By Matt De La Peña

Bus journeys can be a prominent memory for many children, this book explores how to find the beauty and fun in everyday situations.

Freddie And The Fairy By Julia Donaldson

Cover of Freddie And The Fairy: Freddie is sat on a tree branch with some animals, and a fairy is beside him in the sky, pointing her magic wand.
Image © Macmillan Childrens Books

A book with a central message about showing compassion towards people who are hard of hearing.

The New Kid By Marie Louise Fitzpatrick

This is a great book to encourage young children to think about other people's feelings and show compassion to other young people.

We Are Family By Ryan Wheatcroft

Readers are introduced to eight different families. This is a lovely children's book to explain how different families can come in all shapes and sizes.

I'm A Girl! By Yasmeen Ismail

I'm A Girl! Joyfully and simply encourages children to express and be themselves.

I Could Be, You Could Be By Karen Owen

Reading this book with young children can prompt a discussion about what they could be and they really could be anything!

The Cat In The Hat By Dr Seuss

This is a classic children's book and is a lesson in how even the messiest situations should be cleaned up after!

The Swirling Hijab By Na’ima Bint Robert

Cover of The Swirling Jijab: a woman in red clothing is holding a long grey hijab in the air.
Image © GoodReads

A beautiful book about a child playing with her mother's hijab, it is informative an imaginative whilst conveying the religious significance of the hijab in a great way for kids.

Frog And The Stranger By Max Velthuijs

When Rat arrives at the pond where Frog lives, many of the other animals dislike Rat before they meet! The message of not judging anyone before you know them is timeless and important.

Made By Raffi By Craig Pomranz

When Raffi knits a scarf for his dad's birthday, the other children tease him. But when it comes down to it, the children realise they need Raffi's knitting skills.

Elmer By David McKee

Cover of Elmer: a smiling elephant with a rainbow patchwork pattern on its body is walking, and the background has the same patchwork pattern.
Image © Flickr

Laughter is the best medicine and this classic book shows how being yourself is incredibly important!

Grandma By Jessica Shepherd

A positive book that talks about old age and dementia in a way children can understand.

Susan Laughs By Jeanne Willis

A story about a busy and active child who loves many things that we remember from our own childhood.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt By Michael Rosen

Follow a family as they search for a bear- this book could inspire a love for walking.

Mog The Forgetful Cat By Judith Kerr

Cover of Mog The Forgetful Cat: a tabby cat with yellow eyes is looking up, with some leaves emerging from behind.
Image © HarperCollins

An endearing cat is at the centre of this book your children will love, we can all be forgetful sometimes and feel a bit like Mog.

You Choose By Pippa Goodhart

This is an interactive book children love, your child chooses the story!

Here I Am By Patti Kim

Early years reading can help children feel seen and heard, and also provide them with the language to talk about their experiences.

Not All Princesses Dress In Pink By Jane Yolen And Heidi Stemple

An empowering read, which talks about all kinds of princesses.

The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale

Cover of The Runaway Wok: a young girl is running on the grass in the neighbourhood, trying to catch her wok full of food ahead of her.
Image © Vernon Barford School

A magical picture book your children will love. Reading the chaos that this crafty wok creates will have the family giggling.

Mirror By Jeannie Baker

This picture book can help children see that love ties every family together, no matter where they are.

There's A Bear On My Chair By Ross Collins

See what happens when the tables turn on a bear who thought he could sit in the mouse's house.

King & King By Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland

A love story picture book for early years with a message of acceptance children will enjoy reading.

The Jar of Happiness By Ailsa Burrows

A picture book for early years all about creating and nurturing happiness.

Beegu By Alexis Deacon

This picture book can show early years children how to see the world through different eyes and empathise with Beegu.

Six Dinner Sid By Alexis Deacon

Cover of Six Dinner Sid: a black cat is perched on a short wall, in front of some bushes.
Image © Hodder Childrens Books

A cunning cat with six owners having six dinners! What could go wrong?

Farmer Duck By Martin Waddell

Farmer Duck is an early years story about friendship perfect for when you need an uplifting read.

Dogs Don't Do Ballet By Anna Kemp

A small dog with big dreams, use this story as inspiration to dance around.

Hairy Maclary From Donaldson's Dairy By Lynley Dodd

Cover of Hairy Maclary: a black dog with a long coat is walking down a path, with a tall red fence behind it.
Image © Puffin

Follow in the footsteps of Hairy Maclary and read all about his adventures.

Heather Has Two Mummies By Leslea Newman

One of the most famous LGBTQ+ inclusive children's books, this early years story is simple and lovely.

Yokki And The Parno Gry By Richard O’Neill And Katharine Quarmby

An uplifting story within a story, it illustrates a traditional Traveller folk tale.

The Journey Home By Frann Preston-Gannon

A story with cute characters and a message about conservation.

Blue Monster Wants It All! By Jeanne Willis

This early years story tells us that money can't buy happiness, something everyone needs reminding of sometimes.

Space Song Rocket Ride By Sunny Scribes

Read this fantastical story and a group of courageous kids as they travel through space together.

Oi! Get Off Our Train By John Burningham

A night-train with some unwanted guests, a little boy and his toy dog find themselves on a journey to dreamland.

Little Red And The Very Hungry Lion By Alex T Smith

A brave little girl outsmarts a tiger in this exciting story.

How To Find Gold By Viviane Schwarz

Cover of How To Find Gold: a crocodile is holding a map, while a young girl in a red dress is looking at it excitedly.
Image © Walker books

A brave girl and a crocodile go on a dangerous adventure together.

Max The Champion By Sean Stockdale

A sporty story which makes anyone want to pick up a ball and play.

Immi By Karin Littlewood

Cover of Immi: a young girl is wearing a thick hooded coat is looking forward, with a snowy background behind her.
Image © Gullane Children's Books

It's impossible not to love Immi. When she finds unusual gifts one after another, we are left wondering where they are coming from...

Animal Boogie By Debbie Harter

A story of six Indian animals you can sing along with as they dance in the jungle.

Burglar Bill By Allan Ahlberg And Janet Ahlberg

A funny and compelling story about doing the right thing, Burglar Bill takes a thoughtful turn and leaves the reader with a happy message.

Paddington By Michael Bond

A famous bear arrives in London, Paddington has stayed relevant since it was first written in 1958.

Alfie's Angels By Henriette Barkow

Alfie dreams of becoming an angel more than anything and this inspiring story is about following your dreams no matter who you are.

The Cloud By Hannah Cumming

A relatable story about a little girl having a bad day. This tale is about looking after one another.

Rabbityness By Jo Empson

Reading this tale may inspire some artistry! A lovely, thoughtful story to encourage young children to be themselves.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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