5 Great Books For 4 Year Olds

There are so many choices at the library for children so it's difficult sometimes to know where to start. Here are some features I look for when choosing books for this age group:

  • Colorful and appealing illustrations 
  • Great storyline - not too wordy
  • Opportunities to stop and have a discussion with the new reader
  • Key words so that I can point these out as their reading skills start to develop.
  • A clear beginning, middle and end. 
  • Age appropriate themes
  • Rhyming words are a great bonus.
  • Books that I have come across when teaching or that are popular with my colleagues - ones that stand the test of time. 
  • Stories that are well received by boys and girls and are also a hit when I have taught overseas. 

Here are some titles that have gone down well in my experience with children who are around the 4 year old mark.


Monstersaurus by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. 

A really fun story line about a scientist creating monsters until he comes across the fantastically scary (but not to scary) monstersaurus. This has also been a play in the U.K.  Click here for the facebook page to learn more. 


The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

A very popular book with the under fives. All about a clever mouse getting the best of its predators until he comes into contact with the Gruffalo where he has to again use his wits to save his life. This is a great link to food chains as it shows all the animals that could possibly eat a mouse and what a mouse likes to eat. 


Handa's Suprise by Eileen Browne

This is a very popular book with Early Years teachers, especially in the U.K. and in international schools. It tells the story of a little girl who is going to bring a gift to her friends in another village. Along the way she meets some animals who take a fancy to the fruit she is carrying. It is a great book for cross curricular links and for discussions about friendships, fruit, animals and things working out even if some there is a little trouble along the way. The illustrations are wonderful and lots of details to hold children's attention. 


Peace At Last by Jill Murphy

This is a fun and wonderfully illustrated book about a father bear who just wants to get a good nights sleep. Lots of fun for children as they see daddy bear struggle with trying to get some rest. This will generate lots of discussion and giggles along the way. This has also been a popular play. Click here for details if you are in the U.K. I saw this performed for KG (Reception) and Year 1 in London and the children thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Click here for more details. 


Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

Mog is one of those classic books that so many children enjoy. This tale is about a family cat who is a bit of a nuisance. He is very popular in the U.K. Judith Kerr's cat is well loved worldwide. Just check out this fun advert from a British Supermarket (*Not sponsored). I have used this short video in lessons when we are looking at the Mog series of books.