Books We Love: for new 3s

My three-year-old (wow!) and I have been spending many hours reading books together over the last few weeks, as I recuperate from chemo and he snuggles close. We’ve made the transition into big-boy books, with interesting stories, actual plots, and beautiful use of language. I’ve brought out more stories from my childhood, and (since I can’t get out and shop) asked my friends for their recommendations as well. Inspired by Mad, I’m posting here some of our top picks for new 3s and their siblings.

Beautiful books:

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Mole Music and other books by David McPhail (he’s a master illustrator)

Bear Snores On and other books by Karma Wilson

Childhood Favorites/Collections:

Madeline and Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans (although we’re not quite ready developmentally for Madeline and the Bad Hat, I think it’s fun too)

Mike Mulligan, The Little House, Katy and The Big Snow, and Maybelle the Cable Car by Virginia Lee Burton

Richard Scarry‘s Busy Day books, oversize treasuries like What do People Do All Day?, and The Best Story Collection EVER!

Books we’re looking forward to:

Flotsam, by David Weisner (better for older 3s, I think, but just stunning in illustration and implementation)

Three Questions, by Jon Muth (but the story comes from Tolstoy); he also has illustrated beautiful editions of Stone Soup and Zen Shorts

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss (we do read this one, but I wonder if we really should just yet)

What books do you and your toddler just love to read over and over again?


16 Responses to Books We Love: for new 3s

  1. Stimey says:

    The books about Duck by Jez Alborough are also HUGE hits in our house. Oh, that silly duck. I laugh just thinking about him.

  2. Danielle says:

    We also love “Bear Snores” on in this house. I love the rhythm of it. My 3-year-old loves the Daisy series by Jane Simmons (specifically “Hide & Seek” and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” – the illustrations are adorable) and “Humphrey’s Corner” by Sally Hunter (so sweet!).

  3. motherofbun says:

    LOVED RIchard Scarrey as a child. A few years ago, I came across a thick book filled with all sorts of the stories. I recognized it — got it for christmas one year when I was 5-ish. The newer version hadn’t changed. So I bought it for my mom. SHe recognized it too. And when Seth’s over, they read that book. When I’m over at her house with him, I read the book too. Brought back alot of wonderful memories of my mom and I snuggled on the couch together.

    Thanks for making me think of that.

  4. Danielle says:

    Oh, and “Gossie” and “Gossie and Gertie” – both by Olivier Dunrea. I love the illustrations – so vibrant.

  5. Alice C says:

    We loved books by Martin Waddell and there is one which we read over and over again called ‘Owl Babies’. You may find useful as you may have periods when you need to be away from your boys. If you are not able to find it in the States let me know.

  6. mumof4 says:

    No David! By David SHannon. Itdoesn’t have a lot of text but your little one can describe why the no has been given in each case.

  7. The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson)
    The Seven Silly Eaters (Mary Ann Hoberman)
    Custard the Dragon (Ogden Nash)
    The Caboose Who Got Loose (Bill Peet) — more for 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds
    Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Mo Willems)

  8. MammaLoves says:

    No David is a biggie here as well as Tuesday. Also anything with flaps to lift.

  9. Ally says:

    Wow, great list, and thanks for sharing it with all of us. I don’t have many of those so I’ll know what to look for next time I’m book-shopping.

  10. I have a 5, 3 and 2 (all boyz!) and we are big readers. The current faves are the “Olivia” books, the “Froggy” series, and of course, the Mercer Meyer books. All very age appropriate for a 3 year old!

  11. mayberry says:

    I love your list! From our favorites, I’d add 10 Minutes ’til Bedtime, by Peggy Rathmann. Or any Peggy Rathmann.

    And I ditto Slouching Mom on The Gruffalo. There’s a sequel called The Gruffalo’s Child that’s equally great, and another one we love by the same author/illustrator team is Room on the Broom.

  12. K says:

    Great list.

    Our current favorite is “Roxaboxen” by Alice Mclerran – a magical story about a magical place. And it always makes me cry at the end. From the first time I read it to the 101st time…

    To me it is very similar to Miss Rumphias, just all about the kids and the world they create.

  13. maggie says:

    We just got Stellina, which is a dear book about a little bird, found in the city and adopted by her people. Lovely text and illustrations.

  14. Holly says:

    Loud Emily (Alexis O’Neill)
    Anything by William Steig
    Anything by Kevin Henkes

  15. Robin says:

    For great books to read with your children check out (free literary website) its where I found what is now a personal favorite of mine that is great not just for children but for adults facing difficult times is called “Courage”. Books are such a great and enjoyable way to escape with children.

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