Three years old is a wonderful age for young readers. It’s when most toddlers gain the skills they need to begin their reading journey. Children of this age can fully understand the difference between symbols, words, and pictures; they may already know a few letters; have attention spans that are better suited for following stories, and are capable of using their finger to follow along with the parent’s reading text. With this particular set of skills, parents should make sure that they buy the right books for their children. To help parents achieve this goal, we’ve decided to list the best books for 3-years olds.

Quick Summary of the Best Books For 3 Year Olds

Note: We may earn a small commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best Children’s Bestseller: Grumpy Monkey Hardcover Book

Grumpy Monkey is a book for 3-years that is purely written to be entertaining and to not to be overly didactic towards children. It was a New York Times bestselling picture book that was written by Suzanne Lang— the author of Families, Families, Families; Hooray For Kids; and of course, Grumpy Monkey Party Time!! It’s also illustrated by Max Lang, an illustrator that has illustrated this book and the previous books that we’ve mentioned. This is a great book for parents to sit down and read with their child, and it doesn’t matter if the child is 3-years, is younger or is much older. It’s a book that will encourage bonding time between parents and children better than any other book for children.

We found the story to be simple and engaging, and the artwork is vibrant and unique. It’s a story about a monkey that is in a terrible mood without any apparent cause. His fellow animals wonder how his mood could be so sour on such a wonderful day and they do their best to make him smile and be happy. As the reader goes through this book they slowly realize that it does have an underlying message—it’s a tale about how children should freely express their feelings and marks the danger in suppressing them. It also teaches children that they don’t always need to be happy, and sometimes it’s alright just to be grumpy.

What we liked about it
  • Great for children of all ages.
  • It’s a New York Times Bestselling children’s book.

Best Children’s Classic: Green Eggs & Ham By Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss wrote over 42+ books during his lifetime, and one of his most revered books is Green Eggs and Ham. This book is a seminal classic that has inspired an untold number of children book authors since it was first published in 1960. It’s also a book that has entertaining and stimulated millions of children, and adults, over the past 60+ years. And although this book is recommended for children in the 4 to 8-year range, we feel that that the age of 3 is the perfect age to introduce children to this book. Its combination of colorful illustrations and its unique rhyme scheme will keep children entertained for quite a long time.

In this book, the reader is asked to follow Sam-I-Am as he insists to his skeptics that they enjoy his favorite food: green eggs and ham. This book covers eight different locations and three animals, and it helps to build vocabulary in young children. Since its release, Green Eggs & Ham has been the fourth best-selling children’s book written in English of all time and has of the time of this review, sold over 8-million copies. It’s a book that’s beloved by children and parents alike and has been read everywhere from the privacy of people’s homes to Saturday Night Live and even Congress.

What we liked about it
  • It’s a timeless children’s classic.
  • It is still entertaining children to this day.

Best Practice Book: My First Learn To Write Workbook

Some books are designed to entertain, some books are designed to inform and some books are designed to educate. This book falls into the latter category. It’s a book that is designed to be used under parent’s supervision and allows parents to introduce their children to letters, numbers, and shapes. It’s also a book that helps with line tracing, fine pen control and a whole lot more. In other words, it’s a book that’s designed to help children develop fine motor skills, write letters and numbers, and to practice writing. This book also prepares the child for preschool and gives them the edge they need as they prepare for the start of their education.

If there was one thing we don’t like about this book it’s the fact that it’s not reusable. We had to remove pages from the book for our child to trace the letters, so we don’t see this book being used over and over for multiple children. With that being said, however, we still feel that it’s a great book that many children are going to get good use out of. And although it’s not a book designed to entertain, we found that most children love to spend time with this book and not only are being educated by it but enjoy it. That makes it a good book for any parent to bring home or the perfect gift for the parent of a 3-year old.

What we liked about it
  • It allows children to develop fine motor skills.
  • It allows children to practice letters and numbers.

Best Preschool Preparation: Big Preschool Workbook

This workbook is designed to get children ages 3-5 years old ready for school. It doesn’t matter if the parent is trying to get their child ready for preschool or if they’re trying to get them ready for kindergarten, this book is sure to provide them with the material they need to work on their skills. Although we do feel that some of the material is repeated too much, which might bore some children, it was otherwise a finely crafted workbook. It had 319 activity pages and an award certificate to give to the child after he or she had completed it.

This book is approximately 7.75×10.75-inches in sie and had a glossy cover that seemed very durable. It was divided into five different sections that include numbers and math, pre-writing, alphabet, following directions, and colors and shapes. At the bottom of each page has fine print that tells the parent exactly what skill that activity is designed to improve. And since each of the pages are so colorful, children are more likely to work along with with this workbook than they may other types of workbooks. And each of the pages is perforated, so the parent can tear each worksheet out as needed.

What we liked about it
  • Helps 3-year olds learn the basics.

Best Hardcover: How to Catch a Mermaid Hardcover

How Do You Catch A Mermaid is a colorful and well-printed book that’s written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton. Adam Wallace is the author of such books as How To Catch The Tooth Fairy; How To Catch A Monster; How To Catch A Turkey; How To Catch An Elf and a bunch of other books. Andy Elkerton has illustrated Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Last Day of School; How to Catch a Dinosaur; Good Night Coral Reef; Good Night Solar System, and When You’re Feeling Sick. But it’s this book that captures both of their talents and makes it quite appealing to children in this age group.

As the title suggests, the whole premise of this book is that it asks how a mermaid can be caught and it does it using an interesting rhyme scheme. Although we’re not sure if this book has a lot of readability, we found that most children find it quite interesting. And why wouldn’t they? Who wouldn’t want to catch a mermaid? It’s also a book that’s easy for children to hold in their hands. It’s also a book that’s not only suitable for 3-year old children but is also suitable for children younger or older than this age demographic. Everything considered it’s a great book that many children are going to love.

What we liked about it
  • It’s a bright and colorful book.
  • It has a cute story.

Best Board Book: If Animals Kissed Good Night Board Book

Parents of 3-year olds who have been on the lookout for an entertaining bedtime board book is probably going to want to give this book a go. It’s an inexpensive book that’s written by Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker, two people who have collaborated on other “If Animals” books in this series including such books as If Animals Went To School, If Animals Celebrated Christmas, If Animals Gave Thanks, and If Animals Said I Love You. All books that children love and ones that are sure to become instant classics. And because they’re board books, they’re also very durable.

This book has received numerous positive reviews and after looking at it, we can see why. It has beautiful illustrations, a catchy rhyme scheme, and string together words that provide the perfect rhythm for bedtime reading. If we had any problem with this book, it was the fact that it seemed like its binding wasn’t as durable as it should’ve been. We’re not saying it’s shoddy, but the other board books on this list seem to have a more durable binding than this one. This makes us wonder if this book is going to hold up when being used by a toddler.

What we liked about it
  • It’s a very entertaining story.
  • This book has beautiful illustrations.

Best Counting Book: Count The Dinosaurs!

This book has a very simple concept that many 3-years olds are going to love, although we feel that some may find it too simplistic. It’s a book that’s designed to teach children about numbers and colors and it does it using an interesting dinosaur theme. Toddlers can turn it into a game where they try to find out whether there are more green dinosaurs than red ones, or how many dinosaurs are equipped with horns. Overall, there are 17 puzzles in this book that will have the child trying to count some particular dinosaur attributes.

This book is done by Books For Little Ones, a publisher that’s dedicated to bringing parents the best books for children 2-5 years of age. Some of the books they’ve done include Opposites!; Count The Animals!; I Spy Animals!; I Spy At The Seaside! and I Spy In The City! These are books designed for helping toddlers learn new skills and each one of them is worthy of the attention they’re receiving. We especially like this one as we feel the dinosaur theme goes well with counting practice. Especially since this book is well illustrated and well made.

What we liked about it
  • It helps to teach children counting.
  • It has a nice dinosaur theme.

Best Value Book: The Little Red Rescue Box PAW Patrol

Although this book set is on a list for the best books for 3-year olds, the fact of the matter is that this book set is perfect for any childbirth to 3-years old. For the price of one book, this set offers the parent four fantastic board books that children can hold and look at without worrying about destroying them. They’re sturdy, colorfully illustrated and feature Paw Patrol characters. If there was one thing that we didn’t like about this set, however, it was the fact that the books seemed a bit small. That shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for most parents, but it is worth mentioning.

Some of the titles that can be found in this Paw Patrol Red Rescue Box includes “The Pups Save The Bunnies,” “Save The Alien,” “Ice Team,” And “Marshall To The Rescue.” These books will provide hours of enjoyment for children, and they seem to have almost infinite readability about them. Each book seems to be a short synopsis of an established Paw Patrol episode, but children seem to love them anyway. This booklet also makes a great gift set for Christmas presents, birthdays or any other special occasion.

What we liked about it
  • Parents get four books for the price of one.