We’ve always been huge book fans, and I’ve been reading to Dilan for as long as I can remember. I’m a big believer in encouraging a passion for reading from a young age, because books can be the key to so many things as they grow. Books enable us to learn and to pursue our passions, or they help us to relax and escape from our every day world. Books can be powerful and magical things.
As Dil has grown up and his interests have changed we have been through 100s of favourites. Now that he’s less of a toddler and more of a young child I thought I’d share our current favourite books for this kind of age group. I’m really really picky about books, and I will often read the whole thing in the shop before purchasing, so you can be pretty sure we’ve got a decent selection here. We obviously love the classics like Gruffalo and Stuck but I’ve tried to include some of the lesser known kid’s books that you may not already have on your bookshelf.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase anything via the link I will get a very small percentage of your spend – at no extra cost to you. All of these books were either purchased by myself or given to Dil as gifts by family and friends.
The Best Books for Almost Four Year Olds
The Book With No Pictures
The Book With No Pictures is definitely Dil’s top choice, and the one that gets randomly quoted throughout most days. Although the book lacks any pictures or illustrations it’s packed with entertainment. The premise is that adults have to read all the words on the page, no matter what they say. The result is the reader being forced into saying some pretty silly things – obviously to their audience’s delight. The book is great but it is all in the delivery so this one does require a little effort on your part.
Continuing on the trend of saying silly things, this is another book that always gets some laughs. Poo Bum is all about a rabbit who can only say one thing – poo bum. Two words that most young children find hilarious = guaranteed winner. Disclaimer: this book does contain the word fart, which one of my friends was particularly horrified by, so avoid if you’re (very very) easily offended.
The adventures of a potato shaped superhero are bound to go well with most audiences. This is the first in a whole series of books about Supertato, and all the veggie adventures that take place once the supermarket is closed. In this story, which is our favourite so far, Supertato takes on an evil esca-pee who’s causing havoc in the aisles. I really enjoy the humour in this book, there’s enough to keep readers of all ages chuckling. We also have Barry the Fish With Fingers and Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell by the same author, but Supertato is a clear winner for me.
We’ve had this interactive picture book for a long time now and I often wonder if Dil is getting to old for it, but each time we read it it gets the same joyful reaction. In Press Here children are encouraged to press, blow on and shake the book in order to move the coloured dots around the pages. A really simple concept but very entertaining and quite a bit of fun. Also great for little ones still learning their colours as it encourages them to press the yellow/red/blue dot etc.
The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business
If you’ve sensed that my child may enjoy books based around poo then you are correct, and here’s another. In The Story of the Little Mole, a mole has unfortunately been pooped on, but he didn’t see who did it. He takes a walk to try and figure out which animal left this present on his head, and learns all about how different animals poo. Once he discovers who the culprit was he gets the ultimate revenge… As silly as the plot sounds I think this is a great little book, and it has just the right amount of repetition to have your audience shouting along with you – did you do this on my head??
Little People, Big Dreams series
This is a lovely series of non-fiction books detailing the lives of inspirational women like Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelou and Marie Curie. The language is suitable for younger children and they all share a lovely style with engaging illustrations. Each starts when the star is a child and gives a short summary of their lives, providing a great introduction to some important historical figures.
I Want My Hat Back
I always enjoy books that include a little dry humour, and although parts of this are a little over Dil’s head he really enjoys this one. It’s another that we will jokingly quote to each other during the day thanks to it’s engaging repetition. The plot is very simple, a bear has lost his hat and is searching for it. He asks each animal he comes across if they have seen it, but none of them have. The illustrations in this book are lovely and simple, and it’s one we read again and again. Anything by Jon Klassen always comes highly recommended, and next on our list to buy are the other two books from this hat related trilogy.
A House in The Woods
I bought this far more for myself than for Dilan, as the illustrations are dreamy, but he adores it just as much as me. A House in The Woods is a very simple story about a moose, a bear and two little pigs who set out to build their own home in a beautiful woodland. They end up building what is certainly my dream home with the help of a team of beavers and it’s a really lovely, comforting read. The book feels very cosy and autumnal so it’s a great book to read while snuggled up under a blanket. I particularly like that this book doesn’t encourage any kind of gender stereotypes, and it really is just such a lovely, gentle book. One of our favourites for sure.
Books by Nancy Tillman
We have had these books in board version since Dilan was born and I love them now even more than I did when we bought them. Although they are probably aimed at a younger audience (2-4 years according to Amazon), Dil will often pick them from the bookshelf and it warms my heart every time he does. Beautiful words and gorgeous illustrations make these books really special, and they perfectly sum up so many feelings that parents will undoubtedly relate to. If you haven’t read these you really really should, and I truly hope that Dil ends up reading them to his children and thinking of me when he does. There are lots but our favourites are On the Night You Were Born, It’s Time to Sleep My Love and Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You.