Preschool Books

You have an opportunity to ignite a love of reading in your child which will last a lifetime. By reading your child the very best preschool books available, you will delight him with the wonderful illustrations and captivate him with the simple, fun stories.

preschool books

He will see from an early age what pleasures there are hiding between the covers of a book, and this is a feeling which can stay with him for the rest of his life.

But what are the best picture books for the under threes?

The best preschool books destined for children under three years old tend to have engaging pictures with only a few words to each page. The text has a strong rhythm, plenty of repetition and an emphasis on words that rhyme. Learning about rhythm and rhyme is important for your child and will help him later when he starts to learn to read.

If you are more interested in the best books targeted towards children three years old and over, check out these children's picture books.

To try to come up with a definitive list of the best preschool books for under threes I combined over 20 highly regarded lists of children's books including winners of prestigious children's books awards, reading lists from reputable sources and bestselling books of all time. Those books mentioned on more than one list are shown below, with books at the top receiving the most mentions.

It is perhaps not that surprising that "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", one of my own favourites as a child, tops the list. It appeared on no less than seven of the source lists. Three of the books have really stood the test of time, having been written over 60 years ago: "Goodnight Moon", "Make Way for Ducklings" and "The Runaway Bunny". The most recently written book to make the list is "Kitten's First Full Moon", which was written in 2004.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar 1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar book depository amazon
by Eric Carle
First published 1969

Goodnight Moon 2. Goodnight Moon book depository amazon
by Margaret Wise Brown
illustrated by Clement Hurd
First published 1947

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? 3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? book depository amazon
by Bill Martin Jr.
illustrated by Eric Carle
First published 1962

Make Way for Ducklings 4. Make Way for Ducklings book depository amazon
by Robert McCloskey
First published 1941

Mr Grumpy's Outing 5. Mr Gumpy's Outing book depository amazon
by John Burningham
First published 1971

Each Peach Pear Plum 6. Each Peach Pear Plum book depository amazon
by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
First published 1979

The Runaway Bunny 7. The Runaway Bunny book depository amazon
by Margaret Wise Brown
First published 1942

We're Going on a Bear Hunt 8. We're Going on a Bear Hunt book depository amazon
by Michael Rosen illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
First published 1989

Where's Spot 9. Where's Spot? book depository amazon
by Eric Hill
First published 1980

Dear Zoo 10. Dear Zoo book depository
by Rod Campbell
First published 1982

Kitten's First Full Moon 11. Kitten's First Full Moon book depository amazon
by Kevin Henkes
First published 2004

Meg and Mog 12. Meg And Mog book depository
Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski
First published 1972

Nice Work, Little Wolf 13. Nice Work, Little Wolf
by Hilda Offen
First published 1992

Owl Babies 14. Owl Babies book depository amazon
by Martin Waddell
illustrated by Patrick Benson
First published 1992

The Baby's Catalogue 15. The Baby's Catalogue book depository
by Janet and Alan Ahlberg
First published 1982

The Rainbow Fish 16. The Rainbow Fish book depository
by Marcus Pfister
First published 1992

If your favorite children's book is not on the list, then please do share it with us. We'd love to hear about it. Just click here to share your favorite preschool books and follow the instructions.

For more ideas of classic children's books, check out these lists of top children's books or these Caldecott Award winners.

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