10 Best Books For 4 Year Olds

books for 4 year olds

Reading a book to your child is so rewarding for both you and your child. Not only do you get to spend time with your child, but he or she is learning while you do so. As for you, you know that you are investing in your child’s future. Even more so, if you read to your child from these 10 best books for 4 year olds (presented in no particular order).

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

(This is an affiliate link. In fact, all images are).

This bestselling kids’ book, written by Bill Martin, Jr. in 1989, is great for teaching your child the alphabet. As you read it, your child will experience the letters of the alphabet racing up a tree.

In addition to learning the alphabet, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom will expose your child to repetition and rhyming.

Since rhyming is one of the basic components of phonemic awareness, reading this to your child will help prepare them for reading on their own.

Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes


As for this book, written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxbury in 2008, it’s one of the 10 best books for 4 year olds for several reasons.

First of all, it helps your child with counting.

Also, the books has an easy-flowing rhythm that helps our child learn the cadence of the English language.

Thirdly, the use of repetition promotes easy word recognition.

Finally, the book teaches cultural diversity and recognizes that, though different, people can be similar.

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


For this book, Bill Martin, Jr. collaborated with Eric Carle in 1967 to create a 28-page filled with colorful animals. As such, your child is exposed to color and animal recognition.

Even more, the simple vocabulary of the book includes many sight words. Not only that, this book is great because it prompts your child to respond to what is being read.

Overall, it’s such a great book that School Library Journal as one of the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time in 2012.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar


In 1967, Eric Carle came up an ingenious idea for this book. After an experience with a hole puncher, he decided to create a book in which a caterpillar eats holes in everything!

Your child will love the holes, and you’ll love that the book introduces your child to the days of the week.

Also, your child learns about how caterpillars are turned into butterflies.

Along with these great lessons, the book uses prediction clues. With all of these great benefits for your child, it’s not wonder that The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the 10 best books for 4 year olds.

Goodnight Moon


Margaret Wise Brown struck gold with this book in 1947. As she was writing the book, she made use of her experience and research as a student teacher.

For example, the rhythmic pattern of the text tunes into a child’s interest in the use of language.

It’s great as a bedtime story as the bunny in the story says goodnight to everything in the room.

Your child will feel connected to the story as mentions objects that are familiar to him or her. In the end, this book is a great learning tool to use at bedtime.

Green Eggs and Ham


Any list of the 10 best books for 4 year olds wouldn’t be complete without including at least one of Dr. Seuss’ books.

Choosing which one of his books is a completely different and harder decision.

The reason why Green Eggs and Ham made this list is two-fold. For one thing, the rhyming in the book is a prime example of the genius of Dr. Seuss. Your child will be mesmerized by the way the story unfolds as Dr. Seuss moves from rhyme to rhyme.

Yet, this is not the only great benefit of this book. Dr. Seuss takes this book to a whole other level by using a simple vocabulary of only 50 sight words.

By repeating these words over and over, your child is exposed to the level of sight word recognition that he or she needs to learn these sight words.

All of this in one book( I hope my enthusiasm for Dr. Seuss isn’t overly obvious)!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus


Mo Willems wrote this Caldecott Honor Award-winning book in 2003.

As for the book’s concept, it’s pretty simple. A bus driver takes a break and asks your child to not let the pigeon drive the bus.

Throughout the book, the pigeon directly addresses your child, and your child will respond. This interaction allows your child to connect to the book.

Even more, the illustrations don’t distract from the text.

Most importantly, your child gets to see what a tantrum looks like. In so doing, Willems taps into the emotions and personality of a child when he wrote this book

If You Give a Moose a Muffin


What does happen if you give a moose a muffin? Laura Joffe Numeroff answers this very question in a silly book that grabs kids’ attention.

Giving the moose a muffin causes a chain reaction of events that introduces cause and effect to your child.

As you read it to your child, he or she will get to practice his or her prediction skills.

Along with this, your child gets to use his or her imagination. While doing so, he or she will come in contact with short, simple sentences that help him or her connect to the text.

Where the Wild Things Are

10 Best Books for 4 Year Olds
Written in 1963, Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal winner struck a nerve with the public.

With its realistic portrayal of negative emotions, Sendak tells a great story of parental love and acceptance. To do so, he uses short narration that says so much.

Your child’s imagination will kick into overdrive when you read it to him or her, as will yours. Honestly, it’s a fun book to read as you can’t help but want to act like a monster dancing around a fire.

Because of all of this, it made the National Education Association’s “Top 100 Books for Children”.

Giraffes Don’t Dance


This book by Giles Andreae is another great book that teaches individuality and diversity.

In addition, it teachers your child self-confidence. It does so by telling the story of animals having a dance in the jungle. All the animals have a specific dance they perform, except for Gerald Giraffe.

As for literary devices, the book is full of alliteration, which is great for phonemic awareness with its use of beginning word sounds.

Why Are These The 10 Best Books for 4 Year Olds?

Yes, these books have been included on this list because of the lessons they teach your child. Yet, they do so much more.

In fact, these books also help to promote phonemic awareness through their use of rhyme, repetition, and sight words. By reading these books to your child, you will be preparing him or her for reading independently.

So, pick one of these books, several of them, or all of them, and read to your child.

What books make your 10 best books for 4 year olds list? Share your favorite kids’ book below in the comments.

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Author: Chris Meche

I'm a teacher that wants to help parents teach their children to read. I believe early reading is a powerful indicator of later success. I want to put the skills and resources of teaching children to read in the hands of parents.

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