Four and Five year olds are able to understand more complex story lines and are starting to envision stories in their heads as they prepare for chapter books. These are a few of my family’s favorite books – perfect books for 4-5 year olds!
1. Froggy Books by Jonathan London
Froggy is a completely believable, completely lovable “kid” who is experiencing all of the normal growing-up experiences – from learning how to swim, to getting homesick during his first sleep-over, to learning how to use a “pooper-scooper” after getting a new puppy- in this cute series of books.
Curious George is a little monkey with a penchant for “big” trouble. But, as my kids always remind me, “He doesn’t know. He’s just a monkey.” This beautiful book is a collection of the original stories which are longer but much more fun than the newer spin offs.
3. Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems
My kids love every book in the Elephant and Piggie series. The illustrations are extremely simple cartoons (with tons of expression) and the words are few and easy, but the humor is just right for 4 and 5 year olds all the way through adults. My kids enjoy reading these over and over again.
If your kids have any special toy or blanket, they will enjoy the Knuffle Bunny series about a little girl named Trixie and her beloved stuffed bunny. Knuffle Bunny is about the bunny being left behind, Knuffle Bunny Too tells about Trixie taking her stuffed animal to school for show and tell, and Knuffle Bunny Free is about Trixie getting old enough to let Knuffle Bunny go.
In this classic, Max is naughty and sent to bed without supper where he imagines himself the king of the Wild Things on a faraway island. Eventually, Max realizes that home is the best place to be. The illustrations are hilarious and the story line is adventurous and fun.
This is another charming classic children’s story that has stood the test of time. Corduroy is a little stuffed bear for sale in a big department store. He wants only three things – a button, a friend, and a home.
These little books are full of gorgeous photos and amazing facts that will keep both you and your young scientist interested. When my son was five years old, he had little interest in story books, but was fascinated by these science books. Topics include Weather, Under the Sea, Chicks and Eggs, Tadpoles and Frogs, Caterpillars and Butterflies, and How Flowers Grow.
My family loves the Harry the Dog series. We understand why he hates baths, doesn’t like to wear the rose knitted sweater, can’t stand his neighbor’s singing, and gets confused by all of the beach umbrellas. These fun stories have engaging story lines and are also longer than the average picture book, providing a nice bridge into beginning chapter books.
Olivia is one of my favorite people – or pigs, as the case may be. She is sure of herself, a bit of a diva, and very exasperating yet loveable. Kids and parents alike will laugh as they see themselves in the pages of this book, doing the same things that Olivia does. If you do buy or check out Olivia books, try to get the books that are actually written by Ian Falconer and not the spin offs which are not nearly as good.
If your 4 or 5 year old is ready to venture into the world of chapter books, I can think of no better place to start than with Ruth Stiles Gannett’s book, My Father’s Dragon. This book reads like a fairy tale for boys. It tells the story of a young boy named Elmer who travels to an island inhabited by wild creatures to rescue a baby dragon. The chapters are short, the sentences simple, and there are gorgeous pencil illustrations throughout the book, but not on every page. My four and five year olds were begging me to keep reading when I first introduced them to this book.
Do you have any other books for 4-5 year olds that you or your kids have enjoyed? I would love to hear your suggestions for good books. Please comment below.
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