The best books for children aged 3 to 5

books for children aged 3 to 5

by Samantha Ball |
Updated on

Finding the best books for children aged 3 to 5 is very important, as they'll either be starting primary school soon, or they'll be in their first year at school already. However, finding the best books for children aged 3 to 5 can be tricky.

Between these reading ages, they'll start to understand that pictures and printed words are different, and they might start asking what the printed words say and showing an interest in more classic children's books. Books for children aged 3 to 5 with rhyming words are great for getting children to remember phrases and sentences, and they might start making predictions about what happens in the book too.

The best books for children aged 3 to 5 at a glance:

Best rhyming book: The Koala Who Could - Buy now from Amazon
Best brother/sister book: There's A House Inside My Mummy - Buy now from Amazon
Best lift the flap book: The Bedtime Bear - Buy now from Amazon

It might be a good idea to introduce books with morals too, as it will help children develop social skills and understanding just in time for starting school. If you're looking to stock up on books for your youngster, scroll down to take a look at our pick of the best books for children aged 3 to 5.

Best Bernard book

Bernards found a monster in the garden, but mum and dad are too busy to notice! Find out how Bernard tries to make friends with the monster.

Best imagination book

Press Here

Rrp: $15.99

Price: $10.54
Alternative retailers
Target$10.54View offer

This remarkable book triggers a magical journey of colour, imagination and virtual interactivity - all at the push of a yellow button! It's a book that's super refreshing in today's digital age.

Best rhyming book

The Koala Who Could

Rrp: $14.56

Price: $9.70

The Koala Who Could is a funny rhyming story about overcoming worries and dealing with change. It's perfect to read to children who might be starting nursery or school soon!

Best lion heart book

The Lion Inside

Rrp: $19.99

Price: $10.01

This book has a wonderful message for children! Join Mouse on his quest to be heard like the roar of a Lion, where he soon discovers that your size doesn't matter, it's the size of your heart that does.

Best empathy book

You, Me and Empathy
Price: $8.95

Empathy is a very important social skill for children to learn. So follow a little person called Quinn, who models the meaning of empathy in this beautifully illustrated book.

Best brother/sister book

Thereu0026#039;s A House Inside My Mummy
Price: $13.95

This sweet book is all about the arrival of a baby brother or sister and all the silly ways your little one can bond with bump. So if you're expecting, this book is perfect to get your child excited about the new arrival!

Best lift the flap book

Children will love this book, because who can go to sleep without their favourite bear? Follow Bear on his adventure back to Tom!

Best flip book

Flip Flap Farm
Price: $14.33

What do you get if you cross a sheep with a rabbit? That would be a shabbit of course! This silly book will charm the whole family and get a lot of giggles.

Best friendship book

Up and Down
Price: $14.47

With a dream to fly, the Penguin sets out into the world to achieve his dream. This book is a lovely story about friendship and following your dreams, little ones will love it!

Best alphabet book

An Alphabet of Stories
Price: $11.55

Learning the alphabet can be tricky, so this book of stories for each letter of the alphabet is a great pick! From an Astronaut who's afraid of heights to how many Elephants fit inside an envelope? It's a lovely way to learn.

Best guessing book

Stuck
Price: $8.16

What would you child do if they got their kite stuck in a tree? Kids will love guessing what the little boy will throw up next - and you can even get your older children to explain why a pot of paint wouldn't work!

Best cow book

How Does A Cow Know How?
Price: $9.37

Your little ones will love meeting Moo and her crew in this wonderful book that encourages children to ask questions in order to learn about the world.

Best granddad book

How to Babysit a Grandad
Price: $14.86

This hilarious picture book covers the do's and dont's when it comes to babysitting, only this time its the child in charge of Grandad! It's a delightful story that children will love.

Best picture book

The Day The Crayons Quit
Price: $11.25

This imaginative book will have children in fits of giggles. What colourful solution will they come up with to solve the crayon-based crisis? This is one of our favourite books for children aged 3 to 5.

Best inclusive book

Gemma hunt

Rrp: $13.99

Price: $10.99

This beautifully illustrated themed picture book, focuses on children' emotion, and teaches them how to overcome jealousy and anger, while encouraging happiness and peace. Gemma Hunt's See! Let's Be Me! series will help your little one understand how to respond and deal with everyday life situations, by watching good examples from adults and to never give up.

Review: "Really reassuring book for children under ten. The themes that each chapter takes on are suitable for that age, with issues that little ones will be confronted with often. Who hasn’t lost their mum’s ring while playing? or had to do something like queue up whilst a littler sibling goes off to play instead of waiting? The art work is lovely and is diverse and welcoming, The words are clear and my little one loved being read this."

Pros

  • Great and colourful illustrations.
  • Explore how to manage strong feelings of emotions with young children.

Cons

  • Only suitable from 3 - 5 year olds.

Choosing books for children aged 3 to 5

When selecting books for children between the ages of 3 and 5 to include on their bookshelf, it's important to choose age-appropriate materials that engage their imaginations, promote literacy skills, and cater to their developmental needs. Here are some factors to consider and tips for picking books for this age group:

Age-appropriate content: Look for books that are specifically designed for preschoolers or those in their first year of school. These books often have simple language and themes that are relatable to young children.

Illustrations: Colourful and engaging illustrations are crucial. Children in this age group are drawn to vibrant pictures that help them understand the story and hold their attention.

Interactive features: Books with interactive elements, such as flaps to lift, textures to touch, or buttons to press for sounds, can be very engaging for young children.

Repetition and rhyme: Children in this age range enjoy books with repetition and rhyme. These elements can help with language development and make the story more fun to read aloud.

Simple stories: Choose books with simple, easy-to-follow storylines. Stories about everyday activities, family, friendship, and familiar objects are usually a hit.

Short length: Keep in mind that the attention span of children in this age group is still developing, so it's best to choose shorter books that can be read in one sitting.

Diverse characters: Look for books that feature diverse characters and backgrounds. This can help children learn about different cultures and perspectives.

Themes and lessons: Consider books that teach valuable lessons or explore important themes like sharing, kindness, problem-solving, and emotions. We love these books about the environment.

Personal interests: Pay attention to the child's interests. If they have a favourite animal, hobby, or topic, try to find books related to those interests.

Variety: Offer a variety of books with different themes, styles, and genres. This helps keep reading exciting and exposes children to a wide range of stories.

Read-aloud appeal: Select books that you enjoy reading aloud as well. Children often respond positively to the enthusiasm and expression in your voice.

Remember that every child is unique, so it's a good idea to observe your child's reactions to different books and adjust your selections based on their preferences. Reading should be an enjoyable and bonding experience for both of you, so choose books that you can enjoy together.

Samantha Ball is a Product & Lifestyle Writer for Mother&Baby and freelanced for the website for two years before joining the team full time. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best products and cute outfits.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.