Top 20 Books for 4-Year-Olds - Baby Chick
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Top 20 Books for 4-Year-Olds

Introduce your child to a world of imagination and wonder with our list of books with humor, fairy tales, and lots of animals.

Updated April 29, 2024

by Natalie Cook

Certified Reading Specialist and Early Childhood Educator

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Four-year-olds are a bundle of energy, creativity, and curiosity. They love exploring the world, asking questions, and learning new things. And what better way to fuel their imagination and foster their love of learning than with some of the best books for 4-year-olds? Whether your child is a budding artist, a little scientist, or a lover of animals, countless books will capture their attention and keep them engaged for hours on end.

We’ve rounded up the best books for 4-year-olds, from classic favorites to new releases, that will surely become staples on your child’s bookshelf. This list of books includes heartwarming stories about friendship and family and funny tales of adventure and discovery. All are perfect for snuggling up with your little one and getting lost in a world of imagination and wonder.

Books for 4-year-olds With Humor

These books for 4-year-olds have plenty of humor to keep your little one laughing throughout.

1. See You Later, Alligator

"See You Later, Alligator" Book Cover
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This book features colorful illustrations and catchy rhymes and teaches children about different animals and their unique characteristics. The story follows a group of animals as they bid farewell to their friend, the alligator, who is going on a journey. It is perfect for teaching children about the animal kingdom while improving their reading skills and vocabulary.

2. Dragons Love Farts

"Dragons Love Farts" Book Cover
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This hilarious and silly book is guaranteed to make your four-year-old laugh out loud. The story follows a young dragon named Dexter, struggling to control his flatulence. Through its colorful illustrations and witty rhymes, the book teaches children that it’s okay to be different and that everyone has unique quirks. The book’s fun and playful tone will keep children engaged and entertained from start to finish.

3. Attack of the Underwear Dragon

"Attack of the Underwear Dragon" Book Cover
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The story follows a group of brave knights battling a fearsome dragon attacking their kingdom. What makes this book unique is that the dragon is not your typical fire-breathing beast; instead, he’s wearing enchanted underwear that gives him incredible powers. With its witty humor and engaging narrative, Attack of the Underwear Dragon will surely become a favorite among children and parents.

4. The Best Joke Book for Kids

"The Best Joke Book For Kids" Book Cover
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This entertaining book is sure to have children laughing out loud. Packed with hundreds of jokes and riddles, this book is perfect for kids who love to tell jokes and make their friends and family laugh. What sets this book apart is that it includes jokes appropriate for children, so parents can rest assured their kids won’t come across any inappropriate content. The book’s colorful illustrations and easy-to-read format make it accessible for young readers, and it will become a go-to resource for jokes and laughs.

5. The Book with No Pictures

"The Book with No Pictures" Book Cover
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As the title suggests, the book has no pictures, but the text is full of silly and ridiculous phrases that will have kids in stitches. Novak’s writing style is playful and engaging, making the reading experience even more enjoyable. The book encourages children to use their imagination and think outside the box regarding storytelling.

Books for 4-year-olds With Animals

These books for 4-year-olds will teach them about animals in fun and exciting ways.

1. I Spy Ocean Animals

"I Spy Ocean Animals" Book Cover
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This engaging and interactive book will take your young reader on an exciting underwater adventure. Your child will explore the ocean’s depths and discover many fascinating marine creatures. Each page presents a vibrant underwater scene teeming with hidden animals, challenging children to spot and identify them. As they search for cleverly concealed creatures, children enhance their observation skills, vocabulary, and knowledge of ocean life.

2. A Frog Ate My Sandwich!

"A Frog Ate My Sandwich!" Book Cover
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Your four-year-old will be laughing out loud at this story that follows an adventurous and mischievous frog who develops a taste for sandwiches, much to the surprise and dismay of the character. The lively and colorful illustrations bring the comical antics of the frog to life, adding an extra layer of delight to the story. Through the amusing narrative, children will learn about the consequences of unexpected encounters and the importance of sharing. This playful tale is perfect for interactive read-aloud sessions and will leave children eagerly anticipating what silly adventures the frog will embark on next.

3. How to Catch a Dinosaur

"How to Catch a Dinosaur" Book Cover
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Get ready for a thrilling prehistoric adventure with this imaginative and action-packed picture book that will take your four-year-old on a wild quest to capture a dinosaur. Filled with clever traps, ingenious plans, and witty rhymes, the story follows a group of determined kids as they devise creative strategies to outsmart the elusive creature. The vibrant and dynamic illustrations bring excitement to life, immersing readers in a world of dinosaur chases and clever escapades. This story will surely spark your four-year-old’s imagination and ignite their curiosity about these ancient creatures.

4. Wild Symphony

"Wild Symphony" Book Cover
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Through a symphony of words and illustrations, author Dan Brown introduces young readers to a diverse cast of animal characters who each have their musical compositions. Readers can listen to the accompanying musical tracks as they journey through the pages by scanning QR codes, enhancing the multisensory experience. The beautifully detailed illustrations by Susan Batori bring the animals and their musical world to life, making it an immersive and enchanting read.

5. Big Shark, Little Shark

"Big Shark, Little Shark" Book Cover
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This adorable and humorous book introduces your four-year-old to the concept of size and friendship. The story follows two contrasting shark characters, one big and one little, as they navigate the underwater world together. As the sharks encounter various ocean creatures, they learn important lessons about teamwork and acceptance.

Books for 4-year-olds with Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are timeless, and these three collections are great books for 4-year-olds. They contain enchanting moral tales and imaginative stories.

1. Five-Minute Stories

"Five-Minute Stories - Over 50 Tales and Fables" Book Cover
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With various stories ranging from classic fairy tales to original adventures, this book offers a perfect balance of fun and learning. Each story is carefully crafted to be read aloud in just five minutes, making it ideal for quick bedtime stories or on-the-go reading. The colorful illustrations bring the characters and settings to life, sparking children’s imagination.

2. A Collection of Stories for 4-Year-Olds

"A Collection of Stories for 4 Year Olds" Book Cover
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This charming collection is sure to captivate the imagination of your four-year-old. It features various engaging stories encompassing a range of themes, from friendship and bravery to kindness and adventure. Each story is written in a language accessible to young readers and accompanied by vibrant and colorful illustrations that bring the tales to life. It allows children to develop their love for reading and expand their vocabulary.

3. Aesop’s Fables

"Aesop's Fables Hardcover: The Classic Edition" Book Cover
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This is a timeless collection of moral tales that have enchanted readers for generations. This beautifully illustrated book brings to life the beloved fables through intricate and captivating artwork. Each fable is accompanied by a moral lesson that imparts wisdom and teaches important values. From “The Tortoise and the Hare” to “The Lion and the Mouse,” the stories in this collection will inspire reflection and spark conversations about ethics and human nature with your four-year-old.

Nonfiction Books for 4-year-olds

If your little one is interested in learning about the world around them, try one of these nonfiction books for 4-year-olds.

1. Odd Beasts; Meet Nature’s Weirdest Animals

"Odd Beasts: Meet Nature's Weirdest Animals" Book Cover
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Your four-year-old will be introduced to some of the most unusual creatures in the animal kingdom. The book takes readers on a journey to explore these unique creatures’ extraordinary adaptations and behaviors. Each animal’s quirks are brought to life, piquing curiosity and sparking a sense of wonder. The book also highlights the importance of biodiversity and encourages readers to appreciate the diversity of life on Earth.

2. Supermoms! Animal Heroes

"Supermoms!: Animal Heroes" Book Cover
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Through engaging storytelling and vibrant pictures, the book introduces readers to diverse animal species and showcases their extraordinary nurturing abilities. From the dedicated emperor penguin mothers who endure harsh conditions to protect their young to the incredible strength and protective instincts of lionesses, each story highlights the unique superpowers of these animal moms. This book teaches children about the animal kingdom and instills a sense of empathy and admiration for the dedication and sacrifices mothers make across species.

3. Who’s Hiding on the River?

"Who's Hiding on the River?" Book Cover
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This delightful and interactive picture book will take your four-year-old on a playful adventure along the riverbank. This book invites children to discover and identify various adorable animals hiding in their watery habitats. As children eagerly lift the flaps and engage with the rhyming text, they’ll develop their observation skills and learn about the fascinating creatures that call the river their home.

4. Dream Big, Little One

"Dream Big, Little One" Book Cover
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This book introduces young readers to well-known women from various backgrounds and fields. It highlights the achievements and dreams of trailblazing women such as Serena Williams, Mae Jemison, and Frida Kahlo. This book serves as an inspiring reminder to children that they can pursue their dreams and positively impact the world, regardless of their gender or background. It encourages young readers to embrace their passions, believe in themselves, and reach for the stars. It is a perfect read to inspire and empower children to follow their dreams and create their own extraordinary paths.

5. Cactus and Flower; A Book About Life Cycles

"Cactus and Flower: A Book About Life Cycles" Book Cover
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Your four-year-old will follow the journey of a cactus and a flower as they experience growth, change, and the cyclical nature of life. This book not only introduces children to the life cycle of plants but also emphasizes the connections in nature and the importance of adaptation. This book sparks curiosity and encourages a deeper understanding of the natural world.

6. Underground: Subway Systems Around the World

"Underground: Subway Systems Around the World: US Edition" Book Cover
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This is an engaging book that will take your four-year-old on a global journey through the fascinating world of subway systems. The book introduces young readers to subway networks in various cities, including Tokyo, New York, and London. This book provides an exciting glimpse into the transportation systems that keep cities bustling.

7. Yummy Yoga: Playful Poses and Tasty Treats

"Yummy Yoga: Playful Poses and Tasty Treats" Book Cover
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This book combines the benefits of yoga with the joy of healthy eating. Your child will be introduced to various yoga poses inspired by delicious and healthy foods. From the “Banana Split” to the “Pretzel Twist,” each pose has a fun description that encourages children to embrace movement and mindfulness. The book also includes simple and tasty recipes that complement the yoga poses, making it a wonderful resource for promoting healthy habits and positive body awareness.

These are just some of the best books for 4-year-olds, but the options are endless. Instilling a love of reading in your child is never too early. There are so many excellent and entertaining books. Whether you’re reading to them before bed or encouraging them to explore books independently, these books will surely captivate and engage your child’s imagination. So go ahead and add these titles to your reading list and get ready for some quality bonding time with your little one as you discover the magical world of children’s books together.

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Natalie Cook
Natalie Cook Certified Reading Specialist and Early Childhood Educator
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Natalie Cook graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and a Master's in Reading Education. She is a certified Reading Specialist… Read more

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