17 Best Books For 4-Year-Olds, Reading Specialist Reviewed In 2024

check_icon Research-backed

Children aged four are ready to start preschool, and some might have been enrolled in one. A four-year-old child would also have been introduced to the alphabet and a few numbers and words. To continue the child’s learning and improve their literary proficiency, it is a good idea to bring home the best books for 4-year-olds and read to them every day.

Children at this age can understand stories and even recall them. If you’re looking for books that can aid your child’s learning development, read on as we bring you a list of best-selling and well-recommended books for children of this age. Add some to their reading list and make learning fun for them.

Taylor Beal, a reading specialist and English teacher, says, “Choosing to read the same book over and over again is normal toddler behavior. It indicates that they are connecting with the book and are comforted by it. Encourage them to read some of the pages along with you, and let them describe the pictures in the book. You will be surprised at what they remember.”

In This Article

17 Best Books For 4-Year-Old Children

1. Best With Beautiful Illustrations: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

By: Judi Barrett

Imagine if food dropped right from the sky, into your plate!

On a Saturday night, grandpa tells his two grandchildren a fascinating story of a place called ‘Chewandswallow.’ It is an unusual town where clouds rain food and not water. The lovely story makes the children wonder how fun it would be if it rained food for real. ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’ was first published in 1978, and is considered to be one of the best books for children even today.


protip_icon Remember
Reading aloud to your child can help develop a love for reading in them. Further, listening to stories helps boost their imagination and develops creativity (1).

2. Best Imaginative: Harold and the Purple Crayon

By: Crockett Johnson

Harold, a young boy, decides to go on an imaginary walk at night. So he sets out in his imagination with a purple crayon, which he uses to create a moon and a path where he can walk by the moonlight. The simple story is entirely powered by Harold’s imagination, which a four-year-old will find quite entertaining.

3. Best Adventurous: Make Way for Ducklings

By: Robert McCloskey

A pair of ducks flies in search of an ideal place to lay eggs and raise a family. Their search leads them to the perfect waterside place where Mrs. Duck lays eight eggs that hatch into adorable ducklings. Thus begin the adventures of the duck family. Make Way for Ducklings is one of the best adventure books for children despite it being published over 75 years ago.

Item Weight: 2.2 pounds

4. Best Sesame Street-Themed: The Monster at the End of this Book

By: Jon Stone

This book belongs to the classic, time-tested ‘Sesame Street’ series. In this book, we have the beloved puppet called Grover, who tells the reader not to turn the page since there is a monster on the last page. Each page contains funny prompts and requests by Grover for the early reader. But as one reaches the end of the book, one is greeted by a hilarious surprise, making it the perfect book for storytime.

5. Best Book About Determination: Madeline

By: Ludwig Bemelmans

The central character of this best-selling book is a young girl named Madeline who lives at a boarding school in Paris. What sets Madeline apart from the other girls at the school is her courage, determination, sense of humor, and her red hair! Ludwig Bemelmans wrote ‘Madeline’ in 1939, and the beautiful book is still a favorite among children today.

6. Best Folktale: Caps for Sale

By: Esphyr Slobodkina

One day, a peddler who sells caps heads to the countryside. He decides to take a nap under a tree. When he wakes up from his nap, he finds all his caps missing and a group of monkeys with caps on their heads chattering on the tree. The peddler now has to outwit the monkeys to get back his caps. The classic story is based on a folktale and will surely leave the child with a smile.

7. Best Classic: The Tale of Peter Rabbit

By: Beatrix Potter

It is the time-tested classic story of Peter Rabbit that was first published in the year 1901. This original story is about Peter and his sisters stepping out of their home in search of blackberries. Peter’s mother warns him against foraging in the garden of Mr. McGregor, who is rude to rabbits. But Peter is mischievous and does not obey his mother’s instructions. So what happens when his mother discovers that Peter did indeed go to Mr. McGregor’s garden? Peter Rabbit is a well-illustrated, colorful book written in a language that’s easy for a four-year-old to understand.


protip_icon Quick tip
When reading aloud to your child, point to the word to help them remember the words and their spellings better.

8. Best Fascinating: Corduroy

By: Don Freeman

Corduroy is a teddy bear which stands on a shelf of a toy store. One day, he realizes that he has lost a button on his clothes. So Corduroy waits for nightfall when the store is closed. He jumps off his shelf in search of the missing button. Soon he discovers a whole new world beyond the shelf, where he has some fascinating adventures that night.

9. Best Colorful: Where the Wild Things Are

By: Maurice Sendak

Max is a young boy with a very vivid imagination. One night he dresses in a wolf costume and plays mischief around the house. Max’s mother is not impressed and sends him off to bed. But that does not bring to end Max’s imagination. That night he imagines a forest growing inside his room and several wild beasts appearing out of it. The imaginative tale also features several colorful and fun illustrations by the author.

10. Best Heartwarming Story: Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You

By: Nancy Tillman

The author uses small couplets to tell how love can find a way no matter where one goes. Each verse symbolizes the love between parents and their child; no matter where the child goes, the parents will always love them. This learning-to-read book should ideally be read together by a parent and a child.

Item Weight: 10.3 ounces

11. Best Hilarious:What Do People Do All Day

By: Richard Scarry

It tells the story of a town called Busy town where all inhabitants are animals. Each animal has a profession. For instance, the fox is a blacksmith, the cat is a grocer, a bunny is a tailor, and so on. The author documents the daily routine of these animals through the use of sketches and funny phrases. Each page has many fun illustrations, keeping four-year-olds engaged in learning.

12. Best Chronicle:Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

By: James Dean

Pete, the cat, wears his white shoes and sets out on a stroll. But the shoes do not stay white for long. Pete steps on strawberries that turn the shoe red, then the shoes become blue because Pete steps on blueberries. The color of the shoes keeps changing, but it does not bother Pete because he loves his shoes a lot.


protip_icon Quick tip
Pay attention to the topics your child talks about the most. If they have a special interest in a particular topic, such as cats, then get them books on cats.

13. Best Learning:Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

By: Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

The story of this preschool book begins with the letter A telling letter B that they shall meet on top of the coconut tree. B puts forward the same challenge to letter C. Soon, all 26 letters of the alphabet join the race. But can the coconut tree bear the burden of all 26 letters or will the letters come down crashing from the tree? Bring home this alphabet book to get your answer. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’ is a time-tested funny story and an excellent choice for acquainting the preschooler with the alphabet.

Item Weight: 3.53 ounces

14. Best Friendship:Bear Feels Sick

By: Karma Wilson

It is autumn time, and the bear is not feeling well. He sneezes and sniffles. He is unable to sleep too and above all unable to play with his friends. But his friends do not leave him alone. They take care of the bear, bring him tea and sing him lullabies until he starts to feel better again. ‘Bear Feels Sicks’ is a charming yet simple story about friendship and helping others in need. This friendship book has a fun story to keep your little one entertained.

Item Weight: 8 ounces

15. Best Transformation:Verdi

By: Janell Cannon

Verdi is a young little snake whose skin is yellow. But Verdi’s skin will turn green as he grows old. Verdi does not want it to happen. One day, Verdi is shocked to discover a green stripe on his body and tries everything to get rid of it. However, he soon realizes that a change in his color does not mean that he has to stop being himself.

16. Best Spectacle:The Cat in the Hat

By: Dr. Seuss

Sally and her brother have to abandon all play and sit at home due to heavy rain. The duo sulks and sits beside the window looking at the rain when suddenly they hear a loud sound. Soon they see that a large cat with a hat has magically appeared in their room, thus beginning their adventure with this talking cat. The rhyming phrases and appealing sketches make it one of the perfect books for a four-year-old.

Item Weight: 8.8 ounces

17. Best Attire:Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

By: Judi Barrett

This could quickly become your little one’s favorite book as the author gives multiple funny reasons why clothes are unnecessary for animals. For instance, a goat will eat it, a snake will lose it, and clothes will make laying eggs impossible for a hen. The simple language and hilarious drawings of animals in clothes make this funny book an ideal choice for kids aged four and above.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Wedetso Chirhah, our in-house writer and reviewer, is enthusiastic about reviewing books, automobiles, and electronics. In this post, he has rounded up the best books for four-year-olds that will benefit your little ones. The books on this list have been chosen keeping your child’s learning and development needs in mind. Moreover, he has also given a buying guide that will help you choose a wonderful book for your child.

The Bottom Line

Four-year-olds are in their preschool phase, and it is the right time to encourage them to start the practice of reading. As they are old enough to comprehend language better than before, they can understand stories and characters. Regular reading can also help improve their vocabulary and concentration. So check out our list of the best books for 4-year-olds and take your pick. We recommend the classic picture book Make Way for Ducklings, the hilarious The Monster at the End of this Book featuring kids’ favorite Grover, and the folk-tale-based picture book Caps for Sale. Reading bedtime stories, fairy tales, silly stories, interactive books, and educational books with your child will also serve as bonding time and prepare them for school.

Infographic: Why You Should Read Aloud To Your Child

Now that you’re up-to-date with some of the finest book selections for a four-year-old, let’s take a look at how reading out books to them enhances their development. Check out the following infographic to learn more about the importance and impact of having books read out to children.

Benefits Of Reading Aloud To Your Child (Infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Disclaimer: MomJunction may earn a commission when products are purchased through affiliate links given in the article. However, this partnership does not influence the editorial content featuring in our list.

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Reading with Your Child
    https://www.readingrockets.org/article/reading-your-child

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
The following two tabs change content below.