The 12 Best Books for 3-Year-Olds of 2019

Stories that will keep your baby giggling

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Our Top Picks

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

"A lighthearted book that teaches kids about empathy."

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

"A funny story that will definitely tickle your funny bones!"

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

"Keeps your toddlers engaged, with beautiful illustrations and rhymes."

Counting With (Contando Con) Frida by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein

"A cute book to help your little one, learn a new language."

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

"The book’s simple language is perfect for pre-readers!"

The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

"A classic favorite following jolly postman, who delivers mail to fairy tale characters."

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

"This adorable and enchanting story is perfect for kids who love cats."

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

"Ferdinand, the gentle bull teaches a story of being true to yourself."

Press Here by Herve Tullet

"This picture book is full of surprises, making your toddler filled with giggles."

Olivia by Ian Falconer

"It’s hard not to love Olivia and her spunky spirit, inquisitive nature, and positivity."

Our Top Picks

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

With its imaginative storyline and unique characters, this humorous book has quickly become a favorite among preschoolers and their parents. It tells the story of Duncan, who opens his box of crayons and discovers that they’ve all quit for various reasons. He has to find creative ways to convince them to come back from their strike.

Any kid who already thinks of their toys as having feelings will adore this fun and engaging book. And while it’s light-hearted and entertaining, The Day the Crayons Quit also helps kids learn about empathy and how to politely complain.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Laughing together at a hilarious book is a perfect way for kids and parents to bond and relieve stress, and Dragons Love Tacos will definitely tickle everyone’s funny bones.

3-year-olds enjoy this fun story about dragons who love tacos but shouldn’t eat them (especially with spicy salsa) for various reasons. Kids will laugh at the silly, entertaining descriptions and fun, bright illustrations. With lots of repetition, this is one of those books that kids will love to memorize and start reading along.

If you’re looking for a belly laugh-inducing book that’s not full of deep meaning or life lessons, this is a good one to add to your collection.

Want more book recommendations for kids? Check out our picks for the best board books.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Truck-crazy preschoolers will love this popular favorite that’s perfect for bedtime. With its calming rhymes and beautiful illustrations, it’s bound to help kids turn off their engines and relax their wheels when it’s time to rest their heads and dream. It’s a cute and endearing story that parents won’t mind reading again and again as their kids insist on making it part of their bedtime routine.

Counting With (Contando Con) Frida by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein

This cute book is an ideal way to introduce your little one to a new language, as well as one of Mexico’s most iconic and beloved painters, Frida Kahlo. With lessons on numbers, colors, and other basics, it’s simple enough that a 3-year-old could easily learn some Spanish words and makes the perfect first bilingual book.

Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best children’s books.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

With basic words, bright and vivid pictures, and a beloved character, Pete the Cat books are ideal for a 3-year-old’s collection. In this one, Pete’s brand-new white shoes keep changing colors, but that doesn’t stop him from bopping along and singing his song. Kids love to interact with this fun story, as they answer questions about the colors of different objects. The book’s simple language is perfect for pre-readers and makes Pete the Cat a great choice for early reading as your child gets older.

The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The Jolly Postman

 Courtesy of Amazon

Take your child back to a time before email and texting with this beautifully illustrated, full-color classic favorite that follows a jolly postman as he delivers mail to a variety of fairy tale and Mother Goose characters. Kids will love the interactive and imaginative nature of this book, as they pull out the letters or postcards from envelopes and hear what favorite characters write to each other.

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

This classic book tells the tale of an old, lonely couple who decided to get a cat but end up with millions of them. Told with beautiful illustrations and soothingly repetitive language, the adorable and enchanting story is perfect for kids who love cats and much loved by adults who may remember it from their own childhood.

Check out our guide to the best outdoor toys for toddlers you can buy today.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

This timeless story of Ferdinand, the gentle, peace-loving, flower-sniffing bull, is told with beautiful pen-and-ink illustrations and simple language. While some kids may have first been introduced to Ferdinand through the Disney movie, they’ll still want to hear the story over and over again. The important messages of peace and being true to yourself are easy for 3-year-olds to grasp.

Press Here by Herve Tullet

This unique, interactive picture book is full of surprises that will make 3-year-olds giggle with delight and harness the power of their imaginations. Each page of this fun read-aloud book instructs the reader to press dots, tilt the book, and shake the pages. Kids will be intrigued and motivated to continue turning the pages as the dots multiply, switch directions, and get bigger.

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Olivia by Ian Falconer

3-year-olds can absolutely relate to Olivia, the imaginative and energetic pig who stars in several delightful books about her adventures. This first story in the series follows her as she dances, dresses up, sings, paints on walls, builds sandcastles, and finally goes to sleep. It’s hard not to love Olivia and her spunky spirit, inquisitive nature, and positivity. The simplistic illustrations are truly a work of art, capturing the essence of Olivia and bringing her stories to life.

National Geographic Little Kids First Book of Why by Amy Shields

Curious 3-year-olds should have some non-fiction books in their collection and National Geographic Little Kids First Book of Why is a perfect addition. Using a simple question-and-answer format that’s easy for young kids to follow, this book offers information that’s interesting, accurate, and level-appropriate. Inquisitive kids can get answers to questions such as, “Why do toes wrinkle in the bathtub?” “Why do I have a belly button?” and “What makes a car go?” With lots of colorful photos, simple recipes, and crafts, this book is engaging, interactive, and will definitively keep their interest. The table of contents makes it easy for kids to get more information about topics that appeal to them.

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack

Another timeless children’s classic, The Story About Ping follows the exciting misadventures of a young duck as he explores the world outside his home on his own. As Ping gets into trouble and spends the night alone, he realizes the importance of family. Brought to life with beautiful illustrations, the story has lessons about fear, telling the truth, and consequences.

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