Some of my favorite picture books belong to this age group. Whereas baby stage books are focused mainly on fun sounding language, reassuring themes, and bold artwork, in the 3-5 category we still get all that - plus imaginative stories that have more characters, interacting with each other and making discoveries about life. Joke books and silly stories are also part of this group's favorites, as they begin to develop and undertand their own sense of humor.
Take for instance, A Hole Is To Dig, by Ruth Krauss. (Think: A Blog is to Write). This is a hilarious book of "first definitions for children" and my kids adored the text and pictures. The book really would not be complete without the endearing artwork of Maurice Sendak. (Sendak wrote and illustrated Where the Wild Things Are).
"What is a hole?
A hole is when you step in it
you go down.
A hole is
for a mouse
to live in...
Mashed potatoes are to
give everybody enough.
A face is so you can
A face is something to have
on the front of your head."
Exceptional Picture Books for Preschoolers - and their siblings! (I'm loving even typing up this list because just seeing the titles brings back such happy memories of many hours of reading aloud to my own children!!!)
The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper
Make Way For Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey
Madeline (series), by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Napping House, by Audrey and Don Wood
Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
The Freight Train, by Donald Crews
Good Dog, Carl (series), by Sandra Day
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
The Story of Babar (series), by Jean de Brunhoff
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (series), by Laura Numeroff
Angelina Ballerina (series), by Katherine Holabird
Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag
The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack
Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Lewis Stevenson
Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Miss Rumphius, by Babara Cooney
Hattie and the Wild Waves, by Barbara Cooney
Bread and Jam for Frances (series), by Russel Hoban
Chrysanthemum (series), by Kevin Henkes
If I Ran the Circus, by Dr. Suess
All the Places to Love, by Patricia MacLachlan
Hillside Lullaby, by Hope Vestergaard
Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel
Little Bear (series), by Else Homelund Minarik
The Growing Story, by Ruth Krauss