Our family is a bunch of book lovers, which is easy to tell by the amount of books that are strewn about our home. Since our daughter was born, and even more so when we established a regular routine, book reading has been a part of our daily lives. Brooke loves it so much, we are actually able to use it as a means to get things done. “We gotta hurry up and pick up our toys in the living room, or else we won’t have time to read a story before bed,” I’ll say, and you better believe those cute little feet start to move like the road runner.
With books being so important around here, I make it my mission to find the best, age appropriate books around. Below is my list of the best books for 4 year olds.
Best Books for 4 Year Olds
1. Where the Wild Things Are – A classic children’s book of a rambunctious little boy, and his world of imagination, told through deceptively simple language, and beautiful illustrations. Sure to get your lil’ ones imagination to run wild!
2. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie – This beloved, circular tale of a cute mouse, and everything that follows once he gets his hands on a cookie. It is such a fun story to read.
3. Harold and the Purple Crayon – This cute book is about a boy named Harold, who goes on a magical journey, using only his vivid imagination and an over-sized purple crayon. With its twists and fun surprises, this one if sure to please.
4. Caps for Sale – Taken from an old folk tale, the author does a great job of telling the story of a peddler who sells caps, who falls asleep, and awakens to a bunch of monkeys wearing his caps. The story is perfect for preschoolers, due to its great rhythmic flow.
5. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel – A story of love and dedication, Mike and his steam shovel go on an adventure of building canals, and digging through mountains, until modernization hits, and they are left without any work. This is when the true journey of friendship begins.
6. Make Way for Ducklings – This exquisitely illustrated picture book tells the story of Mrs. Malliard, and her 8 little ducklings, who are on a mission to get to a safe place to call home in Boston. With Boston landmarks, and quirky pictures of this delightful family, this story is sure to warm many hearts.
7. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – This is one of those great stories that everyone can relate to, no matter what your age is. Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, and trips over his skateboard, and just knows that he is going to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. This story is a wonderful reminder that we all can have bad days, and blow things out of proportion, and yet we are not alone in feeling that way. This book is perfect to read on one of those days. It is sure to get you to crack a smile.
8. The Giving Tree – I personally loved this story as a child, and have bought this to share with my daughter now that she is a bit older. I do understand that there is a lot of controversy over this book, and its meaning (go ahead and click the link, and read the amazon reviews), so this may not be a story for your lil’ one, but it is a classic nonetheless, for a variety of reasons, so I have included it on the list.
9. Madeline – A light-hearted story of a girl named Madeline, who lives in Paris, and isn’t afraid of anything. It rhymes beautifully, has amazing illustrations, and a lovely message, that will definitely keep your lil’ ones interested (good for boys and girls), and asking for more. This is the first book in a series of Madeline books.
10. The Paper Bag Princess – A comical story of a feisty princess who goes in to save the day. The fun thing about this book is that it doesn’t end in the typical, happily ever after fashion, but has a great ending regardless. With bright colors, and a princess that doesn’t back down from a challenge, this book is a really fun read.
11. Frog and Toad Are Friends – My daughter always requests this book for bedtime reading, and it is so easy to see why. This book has 5 endearing stories of true friendship between frog and toad. They are there for each other, go on adventures together, and genuinely make each other happy. These enchanting stories are perfect for early readers, with its simple language, and the warmth in the illustrations.
12. George and Martha – This book is a bunch of humorous tales about two best friends, George and Martha. They do everything together, much of which ends up introducing a good laugh, along with a great message. These stories are short, and simply a joy to read.
13. Curious George – The world’s favorite monkey, Curious George, obviously needed to be on this list. Through George’s curiousness, he always finds himself in quite the predicament, but always uses his heart and mind to make things right. This is another series that my daughter can’t get enough of.
14. The Napping House – This engaging story will easily become one of your lil’ ones favorite bedtime stories. It has a fun story of a napping house, where everyone comes to nap in grandma’s bed, except for a wide awake little flea. With its easy to follow, repetitive wording and rhyming, this book will definitely send your kids to bed the right way.
15. The Story of Ferdinand – This is the wonderful story of a bull named Ferdinand, who was not afraid to be himself. While the other bulls butted heads, and dreamed of doing a bullfight, Ferdinand was content just sitting under a tree, smelling flowers. A lovely tale, with marvelously drawn pictures, and an important message, this is sure to be a favorite.
Hope you enjoyed the list.
What are some of your favorite childhood books? What is your 4 year old reading?