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10 Best Books for 3 Year Olds in 2019

last updated Jun 26, 2019

It should be no surprise that your child will need to know how to read in order to succeed in life. Almost everything we do involves some form of reading. If your little one is too young to read, you can foster a love of books in them by reading to them. Their imaginations will soar with every page turned. Reading will allow your child to visit mystical lands and enjoy wild adventures from the comfort of their bedroom. They will learn about places and people. Their vocabulary will increase whether they are reading or being read to. Since we’ve already provided you with several benefits, we’ll let you move on to our list of the 10 best books for 3 year olds.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research

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Press Here by HerveTullet
99/100 our score
Entertainment Value
99
Ease of Use
99
Physical Development
99
Press Here by HerveTullet
Why is it better?

No electronics are needed.

The hardcover and board book versions are available online for purchase.

It is ready to go once out of its box.

Large images make it easy for parents or grandparents with vision problems to see.

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Press Here by HerveTullet
Test Winner: Press Here by HerveTullet
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Researched Sources
17
Researched Sources
Hours Researching
16
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Justina Fuller:

Books are one of the greatest things on this earth. Books can inspire adventures, teach valuable lessons and create friendships and ideas. In order to make the most of this list, we have updated several portions to ensure that the very best books are being suggested for you and your 3-year-old. We have updated several of the questions, as well as elaborated on the criteria used for evaluation. It is important for little ones to read so they develop emotionally, but are also entertained by the stories.

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Entertainment Value Ease of Use Physical Development By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Entertainment Value
99%
Ease of Use
99%
Physical Development
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$10.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Entertainment Value
98%
Ease of Use
98%
Physical Development
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$6.19
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
Entertainment Value
97%
Ease of Use
96%
Physical Development
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$4.19
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Entertainment Value
96%
Ease of Use
95%
Physical Development
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$5.26
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.7
Entertainment Value
94%
Ease of Use
94%
Physical Development
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$11.39
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Entertainment Value
94%
Ease of Use
93%
Physical Development
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$14.83
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
Entertainment Value
92%
Ease of Use
92%
Physical Development
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$3.43
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Entertainment Value
91%
Ease of Use
91%
Physical Development
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$11.45
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Entertainment Value
90%
Ease of Use
90%
Physical Development
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$3.61
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Entertainment Value
85%
Ease of Use
84%
Physical Development
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.07.19)
Amazon Link
$6.08
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Press Here by HerveTullet
  • Goodnight Moon
  • The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
  • Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? By Brianna Caplan Sayres
  • The Giving Tree
  • The Wonderful Things You Will Be
  • The Story of Ferdinand
  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
  • The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Books for 3-Year-Olds

1. Press Here by HerveTullet

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Press Here by HerveTullet
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
99
Ease of Use
99
Physical Development
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$10.99

No electronics are needed.

The hardcover and board book versions are available online for purchase.

It is ready to go once out of its box.

Large images make it easy for parents or grandparents with vision problems to see.

The book is not crayon proof. Kids need to learn that this book is not a coloring book.

If you don’t want to read long stories to your 3 year old, maybe you’d be interested in a more interactive book session.

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Entertainment Value

Each page is filled with interactive activities that will ask your kid to press a dot, shake the page, or even tilt the Press Here. What happens next is pure excitement as kids will grow in anticipation.

Ease of Use

As you read aloud the instructions in each page and flip the pages, the dots increase in number, grow in size, and change direction. It’s all about using one’s power of imagination and when this is mastered by a 3 year old, the possibilities are simply endless.

Physical Development

A fun and interactive activity, watch kids as they become antsy to participate after each flip of the page. This toy stimulates their minds and increases self-esteem as they figure out how to accomplish directions. A stronger bond will be created as parent and child learn to collaborate through the pages.

2. Goodnight Moon

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Goodnight Moon
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
98
Ease of Use
98
Physical Development
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$6.19

Great Illustrations

Teaches them to read

Teaches them common household objects

Helps them get to sleep

Will lose its entertainment value once they have the story memorized

This story is a great way to educate your child yourself, teaching them the names of things around them and helping them to interface with the world.

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Entertainment Value

This classic children’s book is perfect for three-year-olds, helping them to learn the names of common objects around the house. The illustrations are helpful in teaching them about their immediate surroundings, giving them the chance to identify and find the mittens and kittens as you read them this story. This is a great book for getting them to speak and read more quickly, and will entertain them for endless hours.

Ease of Use

This book is designed to help them get to bed at night, to lull them easily into sweet dreams as you read the story to them.

Physical Development

They will also begin to learn the names of common objects and animals as you read them this book, making it exceptionally educational.

3. The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
97
Ease of Use
96
Physical Development
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$4.19

Encourages memorization

Easy to absorb

Available as board book or e-book

Made of sturdy materials

The story line is a bit strange because the characters exercise after bathing and dressing down for bedtime.

What do you get when you mix goofy yet lovable animals and simple rhymes that mean a lot to small children? The Going-to-Bed Book, that’s what you’ll get.

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Entertainment Value

The sweet and very comforting stories presented in a rhyming pattern in The Going-to-Bed Book make for a superb bedtime story for 3-year-olds. It’s entertaining and an excellent take on the different activities that we do before going to sleep and calling it a night.

Ease of Use

The simplicity of the text can easily be absorbed by the minds of young children.

Physical Development

This book is wonderful because it helps put kids to bed. It is so well made that kids are willing to brush their teeth, get into their p.j.’s and climb into bed if they want their parents to read this book to them.

4. Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? By Brianna Caplan Sayres

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? By Brianna Caplan Sayres
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
96
Ease of Use
95
Physical Development
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$5.26

Tiny kids can understand which trucks are the mommy, daddy and baby truck.

The book is available as a board book and e-book through Kindle.

Boys and girls enjoy this book.

The book is sturdy and well-made.

This book is not a representation of the popular T.V. show.

For children who are fans of Bob the Builder and the lovely construction vehicle characters Scoop, Lofty, Dizzy, Muck, and Roley, they will love the book Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?

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Entertainment Value

The storyline is actually a reflection of what children all over the world ask their parents every night: if they can have just one more story before bed time. It’s an excellent introduction to the value of bedtime stories. The graphic illustrations of the fire engines, monster trucks, and even tractors help add excitement to the story.

Ease of Use

Kids will ask parents to read them this book every night. The pictures are colorful and clear enough that it’s easy for kids to interpret what is going on in the story.

Physical Development

The bond this book creates between parent and child becomes stronger as kids start to understand that their parents are not picking on them because everybody has a bedtime.

5. The Giving Tree

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.7
The Giving Tree
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
94
Ease of Use
94
Physical Development
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.39

Encourages generosity and selflessness

Composed of simple illustrations

Geared towards children between the ages of 1 to 8

Bright colors on the cover will excite readers

The boy’s actions can be interpreted as greedy

Parents...get ready to be hit with a sense of nostalgia.

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Entertainment Value

The Giving Tree was written by the bestselling children’s book author and illustrator, Shel Silverstein. Ever since it was published more than 50 years ago, the book continues to warm the hearts of readers of all ages. The bright green and red colors on the cover will have your child excited to open the book. The simplicity of the illustrations adds to the beauty of the message.

Ease of Use

The vocabulary can easily be understood by children under the age of 8.

Physical Development

In this classic tale, the reader will learn generosity and selflessness as they watch the tree give the little boy everything out of love.

6. The Wonderful Things You Will Be

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
94
Ease of Use
93
Physical Development
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.83

Displays diversity

Encourages children to make a positive impact

Rhyming text can easily be understood by small children

Hardcover will keep the pages secured inside

Some reviewers feel as though the storyline is more for the parents

This New York Times Bestseller is the perfect baby shower gift for new parents.

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Entertainment Value

In her book The Wonderful Things You Will Be, Emily Winfield Martin encourages young children to be kind, loving, creative and brave. The 36 pages are bound together by a hardcover, thus making it durable enough to last for years to come.

Ease of Use

The rhyming text can easily be understood by children between the ages of 3 and 7.

Physical Development

Martin also illustrated the book with beautiful illustrations that display a variety of ethnicities in both genders. In fact, she stayed away from the typical stereotypes of girls being princesses and boys being superheroes. For instance, the reader will see a boy having a tea party and using a sewing machine. The positive messages printed on each page will encourage your child to be the best version of themselves as they grow.

7. The Story of Ferdinand

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
The Story of Ferdinand
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
92
Ease of Use
92
Physical Development
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$3.43

Great plot, great message

Classic art and children’s literature

Simple wording, perfect for reading to young children

Includes original texts and illustrations

Probably won’t be the first book they can learn to read.

This story offers up a positive depiction of a powerful figure, which is useful to children as they grow and begin to interact socially with strangers.

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Entertainment Value

The story of Ferdinand touches on some of the most important interaction points for small children, giving them the image of a powerful bull who is primarily peaceful and interested in flowers. The social mechanisms in this book are made to help children avoid becoming bullies and to properly sort out their issues among their peers, giving them a better chance at social success. This is a classic children’s book, and one that shouldn’t be undersold on its potential values for young readers.

Ease of Use

Geared specifically for three-year-olds, the words are simple to read and the plot is easy to understand.

Physical Development

This book provides an important message for your child as they become more social. This book will help them to understand that good characters don’t exert force because they can, but rather they seek to use love to understand the world around them.

8. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
91
Ease of Use
91
Physical Development
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.45

Available in Kindle and hardcover.

A New York Times bestseller.

Amazon’s editor’s best kid’s book of the month.

A great gift for parties

The book uses the words, ‘I hate’, several times. Not all parents want to teach their kid to get used to using the word ‘I hate’.

Children love dragons. From Dungeons and Dragons to How to Train Your Dragon, these magical creatures have captured the fascination of kids and adults alike.

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Entertainment Value

The Dragons Love Tacos is a wonderful take on an every child’s dream creature but done so in a very lighthearted manner, full of wit and laughter. The story simply talks about building friendships with dragons doing it over a bowl of tacos. Now, we all know that kids don’t necessarily like tacos especially the super spicy ones. But the point of the story is that dragons, while they do love tacos, also don’t really want a taste of the salsa as this can really drive them fire-a-breathing.

Ease of Use

The fun storyline and cartoonish illustrations make this story easy to follow for three-year-olds.

Physical Value

Through an engaging and lighthearted story, children learn the importance of stepping outside their comfort zone and accepting others. A hilariously engaging story, kids will learn to have a sense of humor while reading through this book.

9. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
90
Ease of Use
90
Physical Development
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$3.61

Amazon best-seller

Concise plot; easy to understand

Classic children’s literature

E-book version available

The art style has not been upgraded

For those of us who grew up with Sesame Street and the Muppets, we’re pretty sure our parents read to us the classic piece of Jon Stone, The Monster at the End of this Book.

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Entertainment Value

Three year olds will surely have fun going through each page as if Grover himself is actually talking to them. For parents who have been weaned off such books, it will simply be nostalgic. We’re sure it’ll bring a smile to your face.

Ease of Use

The storyline is easy to follow by toddlers.

Physical Development

A great intro into the scary book/movie genre, kids will learn what it is like to feel antsy and at the same time a little bit scared. They’ll feel joy as they courageously allow mom and dad to flip the pages and see the potential monster. At the end of the book, kids will feel relief and pride that they were able to make it through.

10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Amazon Link
Entertainment Value
85
Ease of Use
84
Physical Development
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$6.08

Great ‘first book’ idea for children

Kid-friendly artwork

Introduces them to several animals

Teaches the basics of rhyme and sentence structure

Doesn’t have much of a plot; best used to teach them

If you are looking for a perfect first book for your child, look no further this classic piece from Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle.

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Entertainment Value

This is a classic kids book that has been around for a long time. We love the nostalgia it brings parents as we read this to our children before bedtime. It is also a great kids book in general and has withstood the test of time.

Ease of Use

This book employs rhyme and visual cues perfectly to help your child learn new words and how to connect them in sequence. Help them learn the names of several wild animals and features with this simple, response-driven children’s book.

Physical Development

This book will help your child learn the names of various animals in addition to teaching them the basics of spelling and rhyme. If you remember this classic from your childhood, it is also a way for you to connect your child to your own childhood.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Entertainment Value

All of the books on this list were chosen for their entertainment value. Each book features and excellent storyline, but also beautifully done illustrations, drawings and writing. For example, in “Dragons Love Tacos,” kids will be delighted by the wonderful story of dragons, but also the illustrations of dragons. The storyline is funny and kids will giggle as you read the story in a range of voices. Books like this are the perfect way to get little ones hooked on reading at a young age.

Ease of Use

The good thing about children who are already in their third year is that their vocabulary is already rapidly expanding. They already know quite a lot of words and their rudimentary meanings. While they may not yet be able to fully read what is written, we can nonetheless read to them. Because of their more-developed cognition compared to a 2 year old, they can now begin to have a clear understanding of the essence of the story.

Physical Development

Literacy is crucial to the process of cognition for your child: it will be the simplest way for them to obtain their own information and form their own opinions and conclusions in the future. Knowing this, it is of the utmost importance that we do everything we can to teach our children to read at a competent level at the soonest possible date. Children can actually learn to speak and read very quickly in some circumstances, and there are even signal languages that can be used to communicate with infants before they can actually form the necessary muscles and coordination to speak.

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Parents, Did You Know?

When reading to your toddler, you will better catch their attention by making the experience interactive. For example, have them make an animal noise when they see it on the page.

Parents, Did You Know?

Toddlers have a shorter attention span than babies. Choose books with text that is short and simple.

Parents, did you know?

Reading to your child can be beneficial for their emotional and physical health. Even reading to your child in the womb can excite your unborn child because he or she is hearing your voice. For emotional health, children can learn valuable lessons from books. They can learn to care for others or how to share; they can learn how to be compassionate. The list goes on and on. Books that are interactive can help with physical health, so children can turn pages or get up and dance when the book says so.

Parents, did you know?

Books can inspire creativity and imagination. Books are great resources for kids to dream of far off places and distant lands. They can imagine that they are kings or queens, or even that they are in space. Books have an infinite amount of creative potential. Some books might even help your little one decide what they want to be when they grow up - whether it be a doctor, an astronaut, explorer or vet!

Parents, did you know?

Books are a great way to help 3-year-olds learn how to read. Start with books that have a lot of pictures and small words. The pictures help little ones connect words to what they mean. This is a great introduction into the wonderful world of reading.

Other Factors to Consider

Emotional Development

Books have a wonderful way of teaching little kids valuable lessons. Whether it is a story about a tree giving everything it has to a little boy in Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” or a story about a household saying goodnight, books can help children develop emotionally. Books can teach kids how to share with each other, support each other and care for other people. It is extremely important for kids to develop emotionally and accept and handle the emotions that they are feeling. Books can teach them how to do this.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How does reading affect developing kids?

a:

How does reading affect developing kids?

q: How soon should parents start reading to their kids?

a:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should start reading to their kids as soon as they are born. Kids who are exposed to reading at an early age do better in several categories. Children become more attentive in their studies, are better at critical thinking problems and can get through kindergarten easier.

q: Why is it important to learn to read?

a:

Reading is an important part of daily living. Reading is used to fill out job applications, reading road hazard signs, reading medicine bottles, the list goes on. Several adults never grasped the concept of reading. As a result, they struggle to live a normal life. Reading also helps develop the mind. Teaching children to read helps them develop their language skills and learn to listen.

q: Why is it important for young children to read books?

a:

Parents who want to give their children the best chance in life will help them learn valuable skills. One of those priceless skills is reading. Children who read have a much higher success rate in almost all aspects of life, such as graduating from school and career success. Reading helps stimulate intellectual development and expand their vocabulary.

q: What are other benefits to reading aloud to children?

a:

When parents read aloud to their kids, it strengthens their bond. Reading aloud also helps encourage kids to learn to love books and reading. Reading aloud to children also helps to minimize the amount of time they spend in front of a computer monitor and other electronic devices as they get older.

q: Do kids benefit from picture books?

a:

Yes, kids benefit from picture books. Picture books engage conversations between the reader and child. Kids will start to ask questions like what is happening in the story and who are the characters in the pages. These types of books stimulate visual thinking skills and help children become better listeners as they develop.

Sources

  1. Carina Storrs, This is your child's brain on reading, Online
  2. Glenn Davis, Why Is Reading Important?, Online Article
  3. Admin, Why Should Children Read?, Online Article
  4. Admin, Why Read Aloud?, Online
  5. Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Why Picture Books Are Important , Online