My Favorite Books for 3-Year-Olds

The person with the fastest growing book collection in my house is definitely my 3-year-old. These are some of our favorite picture books, by which I mean they are as enjoyable for me to read as they are for him to hear. You can see some of my favorite books for 2-year-olds here, all of which we are still also reading.

The Fort
This is one of our newest additions and immediately became a favorite. A boy and girl unknowingly share the same fort in the woods, him pretending to be a prince in his castle and her a pirate aboard her ship. Each is highly annoyed to find their pretend world rearranged by the other each time they return. Can a pirate and a prince find a way to play together?

Also an Octopus
This sweet story is about an octopus who plays the ukulele and wants to build a rocket ship—but it’s also about how to tell a story, introducing concepts like plot and characters. It’s silly, but also a great way to introduce narrative concepts at an age-appropriate level. And daydream about building rocket ships out of waffles…

Paddington Treasury
My child is into quite a few classic characters—Curious George, Little Critter, Thomas the Tank Engine—but Paddington is my personal favorite and the one I’d recommend without reservation. The Paddington stories stand the test of time with this thoughtful bear going on silly but sweet misadventures with his adoptive family the Browns in London. This particular volume includes 6 classic stories.

What About X?
My favorite alphabet book that we own. The Letters are going on a school camping trip and each letter is bringing something along. A packs Apples, B packs Binoculars, and C packs Canteens, but what can X bring? We have so many alphabet books and they can be kind of boring, but this one tells a nice story and features really creative illustrations, including a fun map to the campground in the back.

In a Jar
Beautifully illustrated, In a Jar tells the story of two friends who collect things in jars—things like sunsets and waterfalls, rainbows and the sound of the ocean. One day, one of the friends has to move away, but the two keep in touch by collecting sounds, smells and sights in jars and mailing them to their friend.

Rox’s Secret Code
The reading age for this book is recommended as 4-6, but our 3-year-old is obsessed with it, so I had to include it here. Rox has a superpower: she’s a coder. She decides to build a robot that will do her chores, but things go awry when Chorebot starts sorting and stacking, well, EVERYTHING. Can Rox save the city?