10 great books for 3 year olds

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“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Albert Einstein


My tornadoes love books and they are the one thing they will sit still for. Actually I lie. They will sit still for 3 things – books, chocolate and Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom.

I found it wasn’t until Miss TT turned 3 that I could start to read her longer format books. At 3 she started to ask more questions and get more involved in the story. This made reading even more enjoyable for the both of us.

Books make wonderful gifts. I will always stick with my gift giving rule of “if in doubt, give a book”. There are so many fantastic titles for this age group. Here are 10 that Miss TT, my nieces and my friends kids have loved.


tiger who came to tea   tickle monster   very cranky bear

The Tiger Who Came to Tea – I’m so glad I let a stranger at a secondhand book sale practically force me to buy this book because her and her kids loved it so much! Miss TT loves this story about Sophie and her Mummy who have an unexpected guest ring their doorbell just as they are sitting down to tea.

Lots of fun and gorgeous illustrations make Tickle Monster a great gift book. The story is about a loveable rascal that has just flown in from Planet Tickle. His mission is to tickle any child who happens to follow along in this book.

The Very Cranky Bear is a lovely rhyming tale about 4 animal friends who encounter a bear who just wants to get some sleep. The story has great messages about being kind and thoughtful and is perfect for kids 3+.


owl babies   rudie nudie   goat goes to playgroup

Owl Babies is a story about Sarah, Percy and Bill who awake one night to find their Mummy has gone. Where is she? When will she be back? Of course this story has a happy ending! A beautiful book, especially for kids having difficultly with separation anxiety.

Rudie Nudie – These two on the cover remind me of Miss and Mr TT most nights when I’m trying to get them into the bath or shower (and after when I’m trying to get them into their PJs). Rudie Nudie features a lovely rhyming tale with gorgeous illustrations. This title was winner of Book of the Year for Younger Children in the 2012 Australian Book Industry Awards and shortlisted in the 2012 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards.

Goat Goes To Playgroup follows Goat and his animal friends having fun and getting into muddles at playgroup. A fun book that is great for kids about to start preschool.


gruffalo     harry the dirty dog     please and thank you

A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good….The Gruffalo is one of Miss TT’s very favourite books and one that I can recite by heart!  The author and illustrator team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have created a number of gems including Miss TT’s other favourites The Gruffalo’s Child, Room On A Broom and Stick Man.

A classic for over 50 years, Harry The Dirty Dog is the story of Harry, the dog who gets so dirty he actually wants a bath so that his owners will recognise him!

Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book contains a series of stories featuring Huckle, Lowly, Pig Will, Pig Won’t and other animal residents of Busytown who learn useful lessons about manners, thoughtfulness and caring. “Lowly Worm’s Horrid Pests” is Miss TT’s favourite story in this book.


i want my hat back

Our favourite book. I Want My Hat Back is a simple yet clever and hilarious tale with a cheeky twist and great illustrations. A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2011 award winner.


Find these books online at Gift Grapevine’s Bookworld affiliate or your local independent bookseller.

For even more books for 3 year olds as well as other gift suggestions for this age group, head to my Pinterest boards.

What are your favourite books for 3 year olds? I’d love to hear your suggestions so I can add them to the list!


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