Four-year-olds are typically enrolled in preschool by this time, and they should be. Typically, by the time a child is four, they have been exposed to the alphabet, some basic counting, and a few words. Bringing home the greatest books for 4-year-olds and reading to the child every day is a great way to keep the learning and development going strong.
These young listeners have developed the ability to comprehend and remember narratives. Read on for a collection of books that have been widely praised by educators and parents alike for helping kids of this age learn and grow. Choose a few and inject some levity into their education.
17 Best Books For 4-Year Old Children
Best With Illustrations: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
By: Judi Barrett
Just picture having your meal delivered to your table by a cloud.
On Saturday evenings, Grandpa will regale his two grandkids with an exciting tale about a town named “Chewandswallow.” Food, rather than water, falls from the sky in this peculiar village. The story leaves the kids wondering what it would be like if food actually started to rain down on them. Despite being released all the way back in 1978, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” still holds a place among the best children’s books available today.
Best Imaginative: Harold and the Purple Crayon
By: Crockett Johnson
A young child named Harold chooses to take a mental stroll after dark. He grabs a purple crayon and sets out into his imagination, where he draws a moon and a route to walk by. A four-year-old will enjoy the story because it is completely fueled by Harold’s imagination.
Best Adventurous: Make Way for Ducklings
By: Robert McCloskey
Two ducks take to the air in quest of the perfect nesting spot. They eventually find an ideal spot by the water, where Mrs. Duck lays eight eggs that develop into quacking little ducklings. The duck family’s exploits so commence. Despite being published over 75 years ago, Make Way for Ducklings remains one of the finest novels for young readers.
Best Sesame Street-Themed: The Monster at The End of This Book
By: Jon Stone
The ‘Sesame Street’ series, of which this book is a part, is well regarded. There’s a monster on the last page, and everyone’s favorite puppet, Grover, warns the reader not to turn the page. Every page has a hilarious prompt or suggestion for the reader to stay put. But there’s a humorous twist towards the end of the book.
Best Book About Determination: Madeline
By: Ludwig Bemelmans
Madeline, a young girl attending a Parisian boarding school, serves as the novel’s protagonist. Madeline is different from the other girls at school because of her red hair, her tenacity, her humor, and her determination. Madeline, written by Ludwig Bemelmans in 1939, is still widely read and adored by young readers today.
Best Folktale: Caps for Sale
By: Esphyr Slobodkina
A cap salesman wanders off to the countryside one day. He lies down under a tree and sleeps for a while. After waking up from his siesta, he notices that all of his caps have vanished, and he spots a troop of monkeys up in the tree, wearing identical caps and engaging in animated conversation. The monkeys have stolen the peddler’s headwear, and he must now outwit them to get them back. The narrative, which is based on a folktale, is sure to put a grin on the child’s face.
Best Classic: The Tale of Peter Rabbit
By: Beatrix Potter
The original Peter Rabbit story was published in 1901 and has become a timeless classic. Peter and his sisters leave the house to go pick blackberries, as told in this imaginative tale. Peter’s mother has warned him not to eat anything from Mr. McGregor’s garden because he is cruel to rabbits. However, Peter is defiant and will not follow his mother’s rules. What happens, then, when Peter’s mom finds out he visited Mr. McGregor’s garden? Peter Rabbit is a beautifully drawn book written in language a young child of four will have little trouble following along with.
Best Fascinating: Corduroy
By: Don Freeman
The teddy bear known as Corduroy is displayed on a shelf in a toy shop. He discovers one day that he is missing a button from his shirt. So Corduroy hangs around till the shop is closed for the night. It’s missing a button, so he leaps down from his shelf to find it. The world beyond the shelf opens up to him quickly, and he has some exciting adventures that night.
Best Colorful: Where the Wild Things Are
By: Maurice Sendak
Young Max is a boy with a fantastical mind. He dons a wolf suit and causes general havoc around the house one evening. Max’s mom does not think he did a good job and sends him to bed. However, that doesn’t put a stop to Max’s creative thinking. Later that night, he has a vivid dream in which a forest invades his bedroom and a menagerie of ferocious monsters emerges from it. The author has also drawn a number of images to accompany the fantastical story.
Best Heartwarming: Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You
By: Nancy Tillman
The author expresses, in a series of brief couplets, that love may prevail no matter how far apart two people may be. Each line is a metaphor for the unwavering, unconditional love that a parent has for their kid. A parent and kid should read this book together for the best experience.
What Do People Do All Day
By: Richard Scarry
The story takes place in a place named Busytown, populated entirely by various types of animals. Every species of animal serves in some capacity in society. The fox is a farmer, the cat a butcher, the rabbit a tailor, and so on. The author uses humorous language and illustrations to record the daily lives of these animals.
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
By: James Dean
Pete the cat puts on his white sneakers and goes for a walk. But the whiteness of the shoes does not last for very long. As Pete walks through red strawberries, his shoes change blue when he steps in blueberries. Even though Pete is quite attached to his footwear, the frequent changes in hue never seem to affect him.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
By: Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
In the first part of the tale, letter A arranges a meeting with letter B atop a coconut tree. The letter B issues a similar challenge to the letter C. Every one of the alphabet’s 26 letters will be competing before long. But can a coconut tree really support all 26 letters, or will they fall with a thud? The ABC book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” is a hilarious read that helps preschoolers learn the letters of the alphabet.
Bear Feels Sick
By: Karma Wilson
The bear has been feeling ill all fall. There are some sniffles and sneezes coming from him. He can’t get to sleep, and even more importantly, he can’t join in on any of the fun his pals are having. However, his companions do not let him rest in peace. They nurse the bear back to health by feeding him tea and singing him lullabies. Bear Feels Sicks is a sweet tale about caring for others and making new friends.
By: Janell Cannon
Little Verdi is a young, yellow snake. But as he ages, Verdi’s skin will take on a distinctly emerald hue. Verdi is opposed to this happening. Verdi discovers a green stripe on his body one day and does everything he can to have it removed. But he comes to understand that changing his skin tone does not imply he has to alter his identity.
The Cat in the Hat
By: Dr. Seuss
Due to the severe rain, Sally and her brother can’t go outside and play. The two are sitting mopingly by the window, watching the rain, when they hear an explosive noise. It doesn’t take long for them to notice that a giant cat wearing a hat has emerged in their room, marking the beginning of their adventure with this talking feline companion. A child of four is sure to enjoy the book’s rhyming words and charming illustrations.
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
By: Judi Barrett
This book is filled with hilarious arguments against the necessity of animal clothing. A goat will eat it, a snake will loose it, and a hen can’t lay eggs while wearing garments. A four-year-old will enjoy this book because of the easy wording and the amusing illustrations of animals wearing clothes.
Children turning four are just entering the preschool years, so now is a great time to get them interested in reading. Kids will finally be able to understand stories and characters now that they are old enough to fully grasp the language. Reading on a regular basis also helps with retention and vocabulary expansion. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite books for children aged 4 and up. You can bond with your child while getting them ready for school if you read to them from these books.