Sep 25, 2011

The Best Preschool Picture Books

As I've shared before... we love reading. Bedtime in our house usually includes at least three books (and then there's all the books we read throughout the day)! I have decided to put together a list of my family's favourite preschool picture books. Since we LOVE books so much, it was very hard for me to limit this list... but here it is, our favourite preschool picture books for children 3 - 5 years of age.

*This posting contains some affiliate links to some pretty fantastic books. All opinions are my own. For a full overview of my disclosure policy please go HERE*

I'm sure everyone has heard of it. The preschool picture book that is a must for every household... Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Join Max as he travels to another land and discovers some unusual friends.

Where the Wild Things Are

Another classic preschool picture book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. The rhyme and rhythm of this book is unmatchable and it's an essential "learning your alphabet" book.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition

One day while browsing for a new book for my daughter, I stumbled across this gem... Birdsong by Ellie Sandall. I immediately fell in love with the cute illustrations and the catchy beat of this book. Where else can you get away with, "Urrah! Urrah! Rah rah ree! Kitcha kitcha kee kee kee!"

Do you need a book that captures the imagination? Harold and the Purple Crayon does just that! Join Harold as he draws the story as you read it. This classic preschool picture book is a must have in every children's picture book library.

Harold and the Purple Crayon 50th Anniversary Edition (Purple Crayon Books)

Speaking of capturing the imagination, there's nothing like Antoinette Portis' dynamic picture book duo, Not a Box and Not a Stick. We love how she takes a box and a stick and illustrates all the things that a box and stick can be.

Not a Stick          Not a Box

Another favourite in our house is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. This is a clever story of a little mouse who holds his own against the Gruffalo who has, "terrible tusks and terrible claws and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws".

The Gruffalo [GRUFFALO]

Another Julia Donaldson favourite is A Squash and a Squeeze. This story is about a little lady who seeks help from a wise old man because her house is a "squash and a squeeze". Some great rhyming text and funny concepts.

A Squash and a Squeeze

No preschool picture book library is complete without Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type . This is a story of a farmer and his negotiations with the farm animals... "Cows that type, hens on strike... who ever heard of such a thing?" We love the rhyming text and there's many great words like "furious", "ultimatum" and "neutral".

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type   [CLICK CLACK MOO] [Hardcover]

Do you have a child who just has an ultimate favourite colour? Mabel Murple and Red is Best are great books about children who have a favourite colour! Mabel Murple has some fantastic tales about everything purple ("Mabel Murple's house is purple, so is Mabel's hair...."). Red is Best captures the relationship between a parent who just doesn't understand their child's need to wear things that aren't adequate (but little does mom know... "red is best").

Red is BestMabel Murple

Move Over, Rover! is a great tale about a stormy day. All the animal friends of Rover are finding shelter in Rover's doghouse but is there enough room? Great descriptive words and rhyming text.

Move Over, Rover!

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear is one of my daughter's absolute favourite books. A classic tale about a mouse and what he does to keep the red ripe strawberry away from the big hungry bear. In our house, we like to end this story with eating our own red ripe strawberry!

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear

Quick as a Cricket is probably one of the best books about feelings. This book goes beyond emotions of happy and sad, it also describes quick, slow, hungry and the feelings are used in conjunction with animals (i.e. "I'm as cold as a toad"). The illustrations are gorgeous! This is definitely a must-have book for every preschooler's library.

Quick as a Cricket

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is a touching story about a boy and his relationship with an elderly woman. When he overhears his parents saying she's losing her memory, he looks around his home to gather things to help her regain her memories. A brilliant, beautiful, and emotional story.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (Public Television Storytime Books)

That's just a few of our household favourites! Do you have any favourite preschool picture books? If so, please share them here!


  1. This list is great. Thanks!! I'm always looking for great books to read my 4 year old.

  2. What a great list!
    Right now we are stuck on two books that must be read every nap time and at bed time. One is an illustrated book based on the lyrics to Raffi's "Down By The Bay" song. My son cracks up every time we read it.
    The other one is a Robert Munsch book "I have to pee" son also cracks up every time we read it. Oh and he also loves Murmel Murmel by the same author.

  3. Adding them to the list, thanks for sharing. Henry has loved Chicka Chicka for a while. He used to bring it to me when he was first talking and go "boom boom"!

  4. Great post and great suggestions! Not a Box is one of my favorites! I also just did a post about some great bilingual books by Author Lucia Gonzalez. You can find it here if you're interested click on blog.

  5. My kids are 4 and 2, and they really enjoy the Lily and Milo books by Pauline Oud. There are so many others we love! my four-year-old is starting to enjoy much longer books, which is really exciting to me. I'm writing about picture books every day for 31 days at, so this topic is at the forefront of my mind. Thanks for your list!


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