Looking for some great books for 4 year olds? We’ve got you covered!
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Have you read to a 4-year-old lately?
I love it! By the time my kids are four, I’ve been reading to them for a few years. They love to sit for longer picture books and appreciate the subtle humor we often find in children’s literature. Here are our favorites!
Gregory the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat
This is one of my all-time favorite books from my childhood, and my kids love it too. Gregory the goat is a terrible eater. He won’t eat garbage! Instead he likes fruits, vegetables, meat, and other disgusting things. What will his parents do? We love the twist in the middle and the satisfying ending.
Baby Brains, by Simon James
Mr. and Mrs. Brains want their baby to be smart, so they read the newspaper aloud and play classical music to Mrs. Brains’ expectant belly. When the baby is born, all seems normal – until the next morning when he goes down the stairs and starts to read the paper! He announces that he wants to go to school, but after a day of kindergarten he’s off to medical school. We get a big laugh out of this one, and so will you!
The Cow Loves Cookies, by Karma Wilson
Here’s a funny rhyming book by the author of the Bear Snores On series. All the farm animals are happy with their traditional fare — the pigs love slop, the horses eat their hay, the chickens need their feed… but the cow loves cookies! This book’s clever and rollicking rhyme make it a great read-aloud.
Birthday Fish, by Dan Yaccarino
More than anything else, Cynthia wants a pony for her birthday. She’s so sure she’ll get it that she’s picked out the name: Marigold. But on her birthday she gets a terribly disappointing gift instead… a fish. As she is about to dump the fish down the drain, it promises to grant her a wish if she takes it to the lake instead. Over the long walk the two become friends, and instead of putting the fish into the lake, Cynthia names it “Marigold” and heads back home. This book would make the perfect birthday gift for a 4-year-old!
Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin
The book takes you through the daily life of Worm – going to school, eating his homework, teasing his sister, and playing with his friend Spider. The pictures are fantastic, and there are so many laugh-out-loud moments.
The Viper, by Lisa Thiesing
Peggy the pig enjoys a simple, carefree life until the day she gets a mysterious phone call. “I am zee Viper. I vill come in 1 year.” After consulting her dictionary, Peggy is horrified to discover that a viper is a poisonous snake. As the book takes us through Peggy’s year, she gets more and more nervous, especially as zee Viper keeps calling to remind her of his visit.
At the end of the book we find out that zee Viper is a friendly dachshund with a foreign accent. “I am zee Viper! I have come to vipe your vindows!”
Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White
This is one of those long picture books that doesn’t feel long at all. Even my two-year-old listens to the whole thing, and my Four requests it again and again.
When she was young, Rebecca’s family was so poor that they ate pumpkin after pumpkin. Now a white-haired older woman, she can’t bear the sight of them. So when a truck accidentally drops a pumpkin in Rebecca’s garden, she won’t even look at it. But after the growing season she’s astonished to discover a whole garden of big, beautiful pumpkins.
Rebecca makes the most of it, and we love what happens next.
Owl at Home, by Arnold Lobel
Owl is silly and lovable, and both parents and kids will laugh out loud at his antics. Our favorite chapter is when he makes tear water tea. To make the tears Owl must think of very sad things… like pencils that are too short to use, and mashed potatoes left on a plate because no one will eat them. We always laugh at the chapter where Owl is terrified of the bumps at the end of his bed (they are, of course, his feet under the covers). This is one of those classics that everyone should read.
Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen
Here’s a newer book (2009) that deserves to become a classic. On the day a lion comes to the library, Miss Merriweather (a stickler for rules), isn’t sure what to do. The lion, anxious to stay, learns to follow all the library rules — until an emergency. He breaks the rules in order to carry out a rescue, and Miss Merriweather learns that there are times to break the rules, even in the library.
Millie Waits for the Mail, by Alexander Steffensmeier
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 us laughing out loud.