40 Best Books for 4 Year Olds To Read in 2024

Good Books For 4 Year Olds (To Read Aloud)

Did you know that reading to your 4-5 year old now gives them a significant advantage?

In fact, reading to 4-5 year olds for 3-5 days a week has the same effect on their reading skills as being 6 months older. Reading to them for 6-7 days a week pushes that up to 12 months older. (source)

That’s incredible! And what a great reason to dig into these best reading books for 4 year olds.

4 year olds books for kids

40 Best Kids Books for 4 Year Olds

First, these books 1-20 are great for all types of kids and fun to read aloud.

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1. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt (Ages 3-7)

#1 New York Times bestseller

The Day the Crayons Quit: New York Times Best Seller

Duncan’s crayons have quit! Black rejects outlines. Blue is tired of coloring water. Yellow and Orange aren’t speaking!

In this uniquely original story, you’ll explore funny personalities and colorful illustrations with your little one.

2. The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (Ages 3-5)

“A New York Times bestseller and a perfect gift for any special occasion.” 

The Rabbit Listened: best kids' books for 4 year olds on Amazon in 2022

This is a moving book for all ages to learn about kindness, empathy, and the power of just listening.

When Taylor faces sadness, his animal friends help him cope. But it’s his rabbit friend who comforts him by simply listening when Taylor needs it most. 

3. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (Ages 3-7)

*Wildly popular!

The Gruffalo: best books to read to 4 year olds

A silly and outrageous story of a mouse and his creative imagination! When mouse is feeling afraid of others, he invents the Gruffalo.

But when alone in the woods he should have “no worry to show, after all there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo…”

See The Gruffalo here >>

4. How to Catch a Dinosaur by Adam Wallace (Ages 4-10)

#1 Best Seller

How to Catch a Dinosaur : 4 year old books for boys and girls

Do YOU have what it takes to catch a prehistoric creature?! Join the Catch Club Kids on another daring adventure to seek out the alluring dinosaur. Discover if they can prove these animals do still roam among us!

Find How to Catch a Dinosaur here >>

5. I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb (Ages 4-8)

*New York Times #1 Best Seller

I've loved you since forever: best reading books for 4 year olds

You’ll love this beautiful and poetic anthem of a parents’ love for their child.

This story is inspired by the Today Show host’s journey and timeless love for her adopted daughter. 

6. Preschool, Here I Come! by D.J. Steinberg (Ages 3-5)

Preschool: Here I Come: First day of school book

Preschool can be a year full of “firsts” so make sure to celebrate with your little scholar!

Enjoy these funny, joyful poems with your soon-to-be preschooler to make sure you’re both ready for the school year. Now includes a sheet of stickers!

See the book on Amazon here >>

7. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

*New York Times Bestseller

Dragons Love Tacos: funny read aloud books

Dragons love every type of taco you could imagine. But did you know they don’t like spicy salsa? In fact, if they have even the tiniest amount, you’re in trouble!

Follow this hilarious story of a dragon party full of tacos, and an ending you’ll never forget.

8. Biscuit Visits the Doctor by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (Ages 4-8)

Biscuit Visits the Doctor: Best books for 4-5 year olds to read themselves

Follow along with our favorite puppy to visit the doctor’s office. The doctor’s office can be scary, but with Biscuit we can learn and have fun together!

9. World of Eric Carle, Around the Farm 30-Button Animal Sound Book (Ages 3-5)

#1 Best Seller

Around the Farm: Sound book

Around the Farm features the art of Eric Carle, writer and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Stroll around the farm while learning the sounds of all their favorite farm animals.

See Around the Farm Here >>

10. Big City Adventures: Paw Patrol the Movie (Ages 3-7)

*Includes fun stickers!

Big City Adventures: best books to read aloud to 4 year olds kids

Join the Paw Patrol crew, Marshal, Zuma, Rocky, Rubble, Sky, & Chase as they save the day in Adventure CITY! You’ll also meet the newest pup member–Liberty!

This exciting story is direct from the new Paw Patrol Movie.

11. Disney Encanto Little Golden Book by Naibe Reynoso (Age 2-5)

Disney Encanto tells the magical tale of the extraordinary Madrigal family, their enchanting house, and the powerful magic that surrounds them all. Well, almost all of them…

Join the millions who have fallen in love with this unique family and discover why we don’t talk about Bruno!

Find Encanto here >>

12. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury & Michael Rosen (Ages 2-5)

*Best classic books for 4 year olds

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

“We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one.”

Are you brave enough to join a father and his children on an adventure through the wilderness in search of a bear cave? Do you think they’ll find what they are looking for? 

Join the bear hunt here >>

Or Watch Our Special Read Aloud!

13. I Love You to the Moon and Back  by Amelia Hepworth (Ages 2-5)

#1 Best Seller

I Love You to the Moon and Back

Follow along with a bear and cub as they go about their day and show each other, with simple loving gestures, just how much they care. It’s a beautiful reminder that you can show your child your love any time of the day or night!

14. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff (Ages 4-8)

#1 Best Seller

Introduce your little one to Mouse and discover what can happen if you give a mouse a cookie! With rhythmic text, funny adventures, and bright illustrations, young children will ask to read this classic story again and again.

15. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems (Ages 3-5)

*Goodreads Choice Award Winner

The Pigeon needs a bath: award winning books for 4 year olds that are funny too

Pigeon really needs a bath. Pigeon doesn’t want to take a bath (he took one weeks ago and isn’t that enough?!). It’s going to take some work with the help of our reader to get Pigeon into the water! Can you do it?

Other gems in the popular pigeon series include: The Pigeon HAS to Go to School & Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

16. See You Later, Alligator by Sally Hopgood (Ages 3-6)

Watch as tortoise says goodbye to all of his animal friends. Then, giggle as he gets more and more creative with each farewell. The expressive pictures and silly story make See You Later, Alligator a treat that children will love for years.

17. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (Ages 3-7)

*Great beginner rhyming book: fun, funny, & easy to read

Green Eggs and Ham: Dr. Seuss best classic books for 4 year olds

In this iconic classic, we find Sam-I-Am trying to get the main character to try something new. You’ll discover the best tongue twisters and silly rhymes to keep you and your child entertained. Plus, you’ll find out if he ends up liking those green eggs and ham!

For more favorite Dr. Seuss books for 4 year olds, see One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and Horton Hears a Who

18. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

*Great classic book for the start of preschool and kindergarten

The Kissing Hand: books about separation and starting school

While school is about to start for Chester the raccoon, he’s scared and doesn’t want to go. To help, Chester’s mother shares a family secret called the kissing hand. The simple gesture helps Chester know that she’ll always be with him.

See this sweet book here >>

19. A Collection of Stories: Books for 4 Year Olds

Enjoy your favorite nursery rhymes together in this unique collection of The Ugly Duckling, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Princess and the Pea along with new and exciting stories that your child hasn’t heard before.

See the collection book here >>

20. The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories (Ages 0-4)

*Great gift for religious holidays and baptisms

With more than 90 memorable bible stories, this children’s edition is perfect to start their faith filled journey.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”

– Walt Disney

Good 4 Year Old Books for Boys

Next, while these books for 4 year olds can be loved by girls too, they feature some things that boys especially love.

21. Mighty Monster Machines (Blaze & the Monster Machines) By Golden Books (Ages 2-5)

best books for 4 year old boys

This book stars Blaze from the action-packed Nickelodeon series! Boys will be thrilled as the truck transforms into multiple machines on an adventure alongside his friend (and driver) AJ.

22. A Day At the Fire Station by Richard Scarry (Ages 3-7)

Fast fire trucks make it fun to save the day! Kids everywhere will enjoy this engaging story and learn about all the cool things at the fire station.

See A Day at the Firestation here >>

23. Once There Was a Boy Boxed Set by Oliver Jeffers (Ages 2-8)

*Sweet book series for 4 year olds

Once There Was a Boy book series

Read three popular picture books in one fun collection. Follow the sweet unnamed boy in How to Catch a Star, Lost and Found, and The Way Back Home.

This boxed set makes a great gift for your favorite little boy!

Great Books for 4 Year Old Girls

These reads will delight little girls (and some boys) too!

24. How to Catch a Unicorn by Adam Wallace (Ages 4-10)

#1 New York Times Best Seller

How to Catch a Unicorn: Good books for 4 year old girls

Is your little girl obsessed with unicorns?

Read this silly story as the author explores STEAM concepts and crazy traps, all in the hopes of catching that elusive rainbow unicorn.

25. Pinkalicious: 5-Minute Pinkalicious Stories by Victoria Kann (Ages 4-8)

*It’s only 5 minutes!

5 Minute Pinkalicious Stores girls will love

Fans of the Pinkalicious television show will adore these short stories for 4-year-olds. Not only is it fun to follow along on the adventures, but they make for great bedtime stories that don’t drag on before bed.

See the Pinkalicious stories here >>

26. I’m Ready to Read with Minnie Interactive Read-Along Sound Book (Ages 3-7)

*Great for early readers!

Minnie Mouse sound book

Help your child take their first steps towards reading with Minnie Mouse! The book features 10 sound buttons that make for an interactive experience and keep your young reader coming back for more.

Best Learn to Read Books for 4 Year Olds

This list includes great books for 4-year-olds to read themselves. They cover basic sight words, phonics, and more.

27. I Can Read Phonics: Pete the Cat by James Dean and Kimberly Dean (Ages 4-8)

*Learn to read with Pete the Cat!

I can read with Pete the Cat: best books for 4 year olds to read themselves

Use these 12 beginner Pete the Cat books to start your child on their reading journey! This set was reviewed by a phonics expert, and features examples of long and short vowel sounds, as well as common sight words.

28. Learn to Read: Phonics Storybook: 25 Simple Stories & Activities for Beginner Readers (Ages 3-5)

These simple stories use phonics and colorful pages to help your young reader gain confidence and skill. You’ll find 25 funny stories, essential word families, and educational activities that help kids remember the sounds they’ve learned.

Learn more about this phonics book here >>

29. How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills (Ages 3-7)

*New York Times Best Seller

How Rocket Learned to Read

Make reading fun to your beginning reader with this heartwarming story that follows your favorite dog Rocket, and his yellow bird friend. In this book, Rocket learns his alphabet and how to sound out words all on his own.

30. There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems (Ages 3-6)

*Award-winning books for 4 year olds

There is a Bird on Your Head: best learn to read books for 4 year olds, award winning too

Gerald discovers first one, then two birds on his head! Will Piggie be able to help her friend?

Read There is a Bird on Your Head to find out! >>

Video: Our Favorite 4 Year Old Books

Watch the video to see what we love most in our house. Then, keep reading for amazing nonfiction books for 4-5-year-olds too!

Non Fiction & Educational 4 Year Old Books

Need an introduction to educational and activity books for 4 year olds? This is a great list!

31. My First Book of Planets: All About the Solar System for Kids by Bruce Betts PhD (Ages 3-5)

*Teacher’s pick

My First Book of Planets: educational books for 2-4 year olds

This book is perfect for your space explorer at home! With big beautiful images, easy-to-understand descriptions, and fun facts, your young astronomer will be captivated by the wonders of space.

32. The Backyard Bug Book for Kids by Lauren Davidson (Ages 3-5)

#1 Best Seller

The Backyard bug book for kids; non-fiction; science; educational

The Backyard Bug Book is the ultimate educational adventure!

Engage your little one with captivating pictures, facts, stories, and activities as they delve into the fascinating world of bugs. Discover common insects found during the day.

33. My First Book of Pencil Control: Practice Pattern Writing by Wonder House Books

See this fun activity book that’s perfect for the early learner! By following arrows, dotted lines, and patterns, your little one will develop pencil control and fine motor skills. 

34. In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek (Books for 2-4 Year Olds)

best 4 year old books about emotions

Our hearts can have so many feelings–angry, sad, excited, happy, disappointed, scared–and each child should celebrate their feelings of all kinds.

This whimsically written and illustrated book helps children identify their emotions and articulate how they are feeling. 

35. First 100 Animals Sticker Book by Roger Priddy (Ages 3-6)

*Over 500 stickers!

Help your preschooler learn about animals with this fun activity book! Increase their vocabulary and improve hand-eye coordination with interactive stickers, colorful images, and animal names.

Check out more engaging interactive books for preschoolers here!

36. Kindness is My Superpower by Alicia Ortego (Ages 3-7)

“The best social-emotional learning (SEL) book for raising kind children.” – Amazon

Kindness is My Superpower: books about kindness for 4-5 year olds

Over 90 percent of parents say they want their kids to be caring, but how do we help them see the power of empathy and compassion? This book will help!

Follow Lucas as he learns about what it means to be kind through everyday examples.

Check out more great kindness books!

37. Ocean Animals Preschool Activity Book: 75 Games to Learn Letters, Numbers, Colors, and Shapes (Ages 3-5)

*Vibrant ocean activities that make learning fun

Ocean animals preschool activity book; writing; learning; educational

Go on underwater adventures with your favorite sea creatures to learn about colors, numbers, shapes, patterns, and more.

See this fun learning activity book here >>

38. Carson Dellosa Trace Numbers Workbook for Preschool-Kindergarten—Number Tracing Practice Book (Ages 3-5)

*Great price and value!

This activity workbook features 32 pages of focused practice on early writing and phonics skills. This book is perfect for the classroom, at daycare, and in homeschool settings.

39. Little Kids First Big Book of Reptiles and Amphibians (Ages 4-8)

Little Kids First Book of Reptiles and Amphibians; nonfiction; science

Explore the exciting world of reptiles with your child!

This reference book for young kids answers fun questions like “what’s the biggest reptile in the world?” and will have your young one coming back to it again and again.

40. Fun to Find!: Search the Page by Krissy Bonning-Gould (Ages 3-5)

Fun to find: search and look educational learning books for 4 year olds

And finally, this Fun to Find book will keep kids busy as they explore colorful scenes. They’ll search and find things like a shooting star or a dog with a frisbee. Every page is a new adventure!

Tips on Making Reading Fun

Now that you have your good books for 4 year olds, these tips will make your kids’ reading experience exciting.

how to help kids read books by age

Bookmarks – Have kids color these bookmarks to use when they read their books (prints from the post). Or buy a special bookmark that highlights an interest of your child.

Coupons – Challenge your kids to read for so many minutes a day or a certain number of books. When they hit the number, let them pick out one of these free coupons.

Go to a different library – Instead of going to the same library each time, switch it up occasionally. Kids will love exploring new surroundings.

Read together – Finally, don’t forget the study in the introduction! Reading aloud at any age is great for kids’ development – and can be a fun family thing too.

Try out Healthy Happy Impactful Storytime to watch great read-aloud stories.

*For more reading templates to get kids hooked on reading, see the bonus section of the Kids Routine Pack.

Free PDF of 4 Year Old Kids Books!

Print here:

What’s Next?

Use this list for birthday and holiday gifts. Also, take it with you to the library to keep your kids reading!

Next, do you have a child who’s a different age? Try out these book lists too:

What books do 4 year olds read?

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