HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Reading to a 3 Year Old

Reading to a 3 Year Old

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 17, 2009

Are you stuck on what books you should be reading to your 3 year old?

I have a 3 year old daughter. She is so much fun! Since her birthday I have really noticed her vocabulary increase and her imagination take off and soar to places where I only wish I could go. She definitely likes to be in charge — and at story time she can be, being in control of choosing which books to read is really satisfying for her.  The only role I play, besides doing the actual reading, is providing a selection of books for her to pick from that contain just the right amount of make-believe and/or reality for this very literal stage of life that she is in.  According to a recent Pampers article I read, by Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H., “It’s helpful to read slightly more complex books to your child at this age. Look for ones with short sentences composed of lots of action verbs, adjectives, and nouns, associated with appropriate pictures and a strong story.” Dixon also says, “Three-year-olds adopt rituals to keep a sense of sameness and control over their world.” So don’t be surprised if you end up reading the same book over-and-over-and-over!

In case you are wondering, these are the books that are perhaps giving my daughter that sense of sameness and control over her world, right now:


by George Ella Lyon

Puff the Magic Dragon

by Peter Yarrow

Wish Upon a Star: Whimsical Rhymes to Read and Sing

by Beth Gordon

Dear Zoo

by Rod Campbell


by Linda Newbery


by Victoria & Elizabeth Kann

How You Support The Children's Book Review
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by one of TCBR's regular contributors.

  • I have just found your site for the first time, and really liked the way you review the children’s books.
    I liked the sound of ‘Pinkalicious’ and ‘Bright Eyes, Brown Skin’ and the ‘Sleepsong’ sounds a real possibility.
    I am part of a family who have married into a mixed race family, and I am now the author of a new children’s book of 10 stories, the illustrations reflect this multi-race world.
    Maybe it would be of interest.
    Irene J Harvey

    February 21, 2009
  • Hi Irene:
    I’m so glad that you enjoy my reviews. All three of the books you mentioned are wonderful. I am looking forward to taking a look at the links you included.

    February 22, 2009

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.