I love compiling book lists for each letter! And this was a fun one because you can go so many places with letter M… monkeys, mice, monsters and more. Since I had so many choices I was able to limit this list to my very favorites. So here you have it: 14 of the best picture books for kids ages 3-5!
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Millie Waits for the Mail, by Alexander Steffensmeier
I’m listing this book first because you have got to check it out if you haven’t seen it yet! Every day on the farm, Millie the cow anxiously waits for her favorite thing… scaring the mail carrier! She loves finding a new place to hide so that the mailman is scared right off his bicycle. The poor man tries sending Millie her own package so that she’ll start being nicer to him… it doesn’t have the effect he wants, but the happy surprise ending had me laughing out loud.
Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, by Beverly Donofri
We love this exquisitely illustrated book about a girl and a mouse living parallel lives in the same home. At the end of the story Maria’ s daughter and the mouse’s daughter end up sharing a house – and develop a special friendship. This is one of those books to read very slowly – so you can catch every detail in the pictures. It’s definitely gift-worthy.
Monster Manners, by Joanna Cole
Rosie Monster has a problem - she has terrible manners. She speaks politely, smiles at strangers, and plays nicely with her friends. What are her monster parents to do? In the end a family disaster leads her parents to realize that Rosie’s manners come in handy! It’s a favorite from my childhood and still one of my read-aloud favorites today.
If You Give a Moose a Muffin, by Laura Numeroff
You’re probably familiar with this book and the others in this growing series. If you give a moose a muffin, he’ll want jam to go with it. When he eats all the muffins, he’ll want some muffin mix – and on it goes in this fun story. Like all in the series, the lively illustrations by Felicia Bond might just be the best part.
The Monster at the End of This Book, by Jon Stone
It’s rare that I will recommend a book based on a TV character – in fact, I’ve never done it – but how could I leave this classic book off our Letter M favorites? Kids love being told, IN GIANT SCREAMING LETTERS, to please not turn the page – poor Grover is afraid of the monster at the end of this book. Like me, this may have been a favorite of your own when you were young … be sure to let this timeless book delight the next generation!
Mimi, by Carol Baicker-McKee
The first thing you’ll notice is the 3-D artwork created with paint, fabric, and clay. It makes this adorable book really stand out – but the story itself is wonderful too. Preschool-aged children will relate to Mimi’s day of playing, library school, and a visit to the park. This is another great book to give as a gift!
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton
Some of the vintage children’s books are a little long and tedious for kids today – but not this one. Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Anne, work hard. They dig deep canals for boats and hollow out cellars for skyscrapers – but they’re soon out of a job when the newer machines take over. Mike Mulligan has a final chance to save Mary Anne from the scrap heap if they can build the basement for the town hall in just one day. Kids will cheer for Mike Mulligan while learning a little about what things were like seventy-five years ago.
The Mitten, by Jan Brett
Like all of her books, Jan Brett’s artwork in The Mitten is breathtaking; she illustrates animals with both realism and personality. In this book, animals crawl one by one into Nicki’s lost mitten — stretching it beyond recognition until the bear sneezes, sending the animals everywhere. A favorite!
Are You My Mother?, by P. D. Eastman
I’ll admit — reading this one again and again gets a bit tedious for me, which is why I’m glad it’s at the doctor’s office waiting room and not on our bookshelf. But the story is an enjoyable easy reader and makes a great read-aloud for young preschoolers. My three-year-old can’t get enough of it!
Mouse Mess, by Linnea Asplind Riley
This rhyming tale of a mischievous mouse is a quick and fun read. ”Crackle, sweep, he rakes cornflakes — and jumps into the pile he makes!” When they were first learning to talk my older kids loved to fill in the rhyming word at the end of each page.
Maisy Big, Maisy Small, by Lucy Cousins
My toddler loves to look at books by himself, but getting my busy little boy to sit for a book is still a challenge. This was one of the first he’d listen to from beginning to end – and then page through it himself afterward. The giant, bold pictures and simple opposites are just right for young kids. Older children will enjoy it too.
There Was an Old Monster, by Rebecca Emberley
We loved this take on the favorite childhood song, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” The pictures are great, the story is funny, and the surprise ending is great. We love to sing along, starting with the opening verse: “There was an old monster who swallowed a tick. I don’t know why he swallowed that tick, ’Cause it made him feel sick!”
Mouse Went out to Get a Snack, by Lyn Rossiter MacFarland
A hungry little mouse leaves his mouse hole to get a snack. ”Something like a piece of cheese.” But what a feast awaits him when he finds a giant party spread on the dining room table! The mouse throws food over the side of the table as he counts: “1 piece of cheese, 2 plump plums, 3 baby carrots…” When the cat finds him, the mouse must abandon his giant platter — but escapes with one piece of cheese. You’ll love the simple text and hilarious pictures, and you won’t mind reading it again and again. A real gem!
Max’s Dragon Shirt, by Rosemary Wells
I’m a big fan of all the Max books (and nearly every book by Rosemary Wells!) , but this one’s my favorite. Max’s overalls are a mess – so his big sister Ruby must take him to the store to buy a new pair. But little Max only has eyes for a dragon shirt. Surely there’s no harm in just trying it on… I love the dynamic between the responsible big sister and wide-eyed little brother.
So which letter M favorites did I leave out? Be sure to let me know in the Comments! And for the rest of my Letter of the Week book lists, click on the image below:
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