Books for 3-5 year olds

Spark your child's love of reading with these brilliant books for 3-5 year olds.

Toddler years are when most children start to recognise letters, sounds and written words and are the perfect time to get them ready for their first school days. If you're the parent of an energetic preschooler or looking for a gift for a little one in your life, read our edit of the best books for 3-5 year olds.

For more inspiration, discover our best picture books for kids

The Tooth Fairy and the Crocodile

by Julia Donaldson

Ruth Mary is used to collecting teeth from under the pillows of sleeping children, not animals. But when the Fairy Queen sends her off to the jungle, Ruth Mary doesn't mind. That is until she collects the tooth of a crocodile, who wakes up and decides Ruth Mary looks like a tasty snack! And with her wings not working, how will the tooth fairy escape? Full of fun and packed with adventure The Tooth Fairy and the Crocodile is perfect for any child with a wobbly tooth!

Victor, the Wolf with Worries

by Catherine Rayner

Victor is a wolf with a head full of worries. He worries about almost everything, from whether he’s brave enough, to what he’s going to have for dinner. One day, Victor shares how he feels with his friend Pablo, who helps him learn how to make his worries feel a little smaller. Giving children the tools they need to talk about and understand their worries, this book is a wonderful tool for carers and educators to help young children talk about how they are feeling.

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My Hair is as Long as a River

by Charlie Castle

People don’t always understand the boy with long hair. But he knows that his hair is a part of who he is and who he can be ­- soft and strong, wild and still, fierce and gentle. My Hair is as Long as a River is a joyful celebration of being proud of who you are, from debut picture book creators Charlie Castle and Emma Farrarons.

It Wasn't Me!

by Marta Altés

Ellis and Charlie are the best of friends. They live on an island, they share everything, and they do everything together. Until one day, things start to go missing, and the friends don’t know who is to blame. A fabulously funny story about the highs and lows of friendship, It Wasn’t Me! will help to teach young children that sometimes friends fall out, but how easy it can be to forgive and make up.

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Wolf and Bear

by Kate Rolfe

Wolf and Bear are the best of friends. Every day they play together, exploring the world around them and learning new things. Until one day, Bear doesn’t want to play anymore and Wolf has no idea why. This heartwarming and hopeful story of two best friends offers a sensitive and age-appropriate way to talk to early years children about the often difficult-to-discuss topic of depression.

Cat Nap

by Steve Antony

Meet a cat, in need of a nap. But it’s hard to find time for sleep when you’re busy playing! Will he ever close his eyes? Style, simplicity and humour combine to make this original and engaging look at naptime a must-read for all young children and their grown-ups. Fresh, funny and utterly relatable, with a playful, pitch-perfect text, Cat Nap marks the launch of a new character-led picture book series.

Sammy Striker and the Football Cup

by Catherine Emmett

Sammy Striker eats, sleeps and breathes football, so when she’s spotted at the park by a scout who wants her to play for the National Under 8s team, she can’t believe her luck. But as her debut in the Football Cup gets closer, Sammy’s shots start to miss the target. Can she hold her nerve and follow her dreams? Sammy Striker and the Football Cup is an empowering story for young football fans.

The Girl Who LOVES Bugs

by Lily Murray

Little Evie loves the great outdoors. Every spare moment she can find, she’s outside searching under logs to find new critters to add to her secret bug collection, much to the distaste of her mums and brother. On the day that Evie’s scary Great Gran is meant to arrive, she discovers her bugs have escaped, and are scuttling all over the house! The Girl Who Loves Bugs is a fun story of family love and the power of curiosity.

You Can Do Anything, Tyrone!

by Sir Lenny Henry

When Tyrone starts to build a rocket ship to shoot him to the moon, everything seems to go wrong and he’s ready to give up. Luckily, his Grandad Cleveland steps in to teach him that sometimes, all you need to succeed is your imagination and the belief that you can do anything, no matter how tricky it seems. Celebrate the power of positivity in this illustrated story, written by national treasure, Lenny Henry.

The Gardening Dog

by Cindy Wume

Lewis doesn’t find it easy to fit in with other children. So when he meets The Gardening Dog, who has all but given up on being adopted from the rescue centre where she lives, the two strike up an unlikely friendship and work together to create a community garden for everyone to enjoy. A touching story about friendship and togetherness, The Gardening Dog encourages us to celebrate our uniqueness and be ourselves.