15 Best Books For 4-Year-Olds 2021: Engaging Stories For Boys & Girls

15 Colorful, Captivating And Stimulating Books For Busy 4-Year-Olds

December 26, 2019 Updated February 17, 2021

Feature – 4-year-old books
Amazon

Looking for the best books your 4-year-old can get into? It’s still hard to believe that tiny bb you just brought home from the hospital basically yesterday is now a talkative, wisecracking, *strongly* opinionated 4-year-old. We’re betting their interests look a little bit different now, and that goes for everything including the food they want to eat, the toys they play with, and the books they want to read.

Four years is a transition period—your kiddo is through with board books but not quite old enough to sit through longer picture books or chapter books juuuust yet. It may also be a time when they’re transitioning into preschool, where they’ll be coming across all different kinds of kids. So it’s important to include some books that address and celebrate the diversity among younger children. We’ve added a few books to this round-up that are must-haves for your kids bookshelf and must-reads before starting school. (And shockingly, none of our picks include the same Disney characters your kiddo usually gravitates toward – *gasp*!)

Books for 4-year-old kids “should offer fun opportunities of engagement—both visually and rhythmically,” says author and illustrator Sujean Rim, who wrote the Birdie series. “Look for picture books with captivating images for a child to point to, ask about, or giggle at, or find a story with a rhythmic cadence,” she notes. The most important thing? Books for this age group should be super fun to read aloud to make story time enjoyable for kiddos—and for parents.

Below are 15 of our favorite books for the 4-year-old in your life: From how to deal with separation anxiety, to a magical knight’s tale about accepting who you are, to a mystery complete with a map and clues for sleuthing—we’ve found your (and your 4-year-old’s) new fave read.

The Best Books for 4-Year-Olds

The Kissing Hand

Chester the Raccoon is feeling nervous about starting up school and does not want to go. Mrs. Raccoon shares with Chester a family secret called the Kissing Hand which helps reassure him of her love any time he finds the world to be a little scary and overwhelming.

Ever since first being published back in 1993, The Kissing Hand has become a children’s classic that has helped children and parents in time of separation, especially when going to school or away to camp.

$15.40 AT AMAZON



Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Written by former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry, Hair Love charmingly chronicles a sweet relationship between a father and daughter. When Zuri’s mom is away, it’s up to Dad to style Zuri’s gorgeous natural curls. The two figure out a new super special hair style together—your kiddo will chuckle at all the tangly attempts along the way.

$6.90 AT AMAZON

Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack

This modern fairy tale puts forth the simple truth that not every prince wants to marry a princess. Cheer on the prince as he finds his match and lives happily ever after. Teaching kids early on that true love comes in many forms.

$11.29 AT AMAZON

Lucy and Company by Marianne Dubuc

An easy intro to chapter books, Lucy and Company features three sweet, humorous, cozy stories about a little girl named Lucy and her animal friends. Each chapter centers around their daily adventures: a birthday party, a picnic gone awry, and finding a new home for a few new baby chicks. If you and your LO loved Winnie the Pooh, you’ll swoon over these, too.

$16.95 AT AMAZON



The Invisible Alphabet

Perfect the curious kid who wants to not only learn the alphabet, but words. Joshua David Stein’s unique take on the ABC’s is meant to spark creativity and conversation, and includes frame-worthy illustrations, too.

$15.39 AT AMAZON

Skin Like Mine

From the same creators behind the books Hair Like Mine, Skin Like Mine is a fun and easy read for beginners. The story is an entertaining, yet very creative, way to address and celebrate diversity among young children.

$8.95 AT AMAZON

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be a tough, but as you learn, different types of people make our world a more beautiful and vibrant place. In the book, Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor uses her own experience as growing up as a child with diabetes to write about other children will all sorts of challenges. It encourages kids to ask each other questions about one another, because too often we’re too afraid to ask or address the topic which does more harm than good.

$14.00 AT AMAZON



Spend It! By Cinders McLeod

Sonny the bunny struggles with how to spend his allowance of three carrots a week. Does he have enough carrots to buy a bouncy house? Follow along as Sonny’s mom helps him make the smart choice about spending on things that are really worth his carrots.

$13.86 AT AMAZON

Help Find Frank by Anne Bollman

Your sweet little sleuth will love following along on this mystery adventure. Frank the Frenchie is lost but has left clues all over town. Track him on the map to bring Frank home—just watch out for his cloud of smelly toots! Be prepared for giggles.

$16.95 AT AMAZON

The Sea Book by Charlotte Milner

Do you have a tiny Jacques Cousteau living under your roof? If so, they’ll adore The Sea Book, an informative read about life under the sea complete with beautiful illustrations and a message about the problem with plastic—helpful for future recyclers to hear!

$12.69 AT AMAZON



The Snail and the Whale

The Snail and the Whale is a story about an unlikely friendship between a tiny snail and a big humpback whale. The tiny snail has big dreams of seeing the world, so she catches a ride on a friendly whale. Together they travel visiting beautiful places, but one day the whale swims too close to shore and gets stuck. Now it’s up to the tiny snail to save her new friend, but will she be able to?

$4.70 AT AMAZON

The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah O’Hora

Oskar, Teddy and their dad spend most Saturdays at their local library with books (and donuts), but this Saturday, something *strange* happens. Laugh along with the five-headed monster’s hangry antics and watch as Oskar and Teddy realize they both hold the secret to taming the unruly (and rude!) beast. Your kid will love this cute and quirky read.

$17.99 AT AMAZON

Pink Is For Boys by Robb Pearlman

This empowering picture book relays the message that pink is for everybody— and so is baseball, playing dress-up, racing cars, and liking unicorns. Reframe gender stereotypes for your kiddos with this simple and refreshing story, complete with gorgeous watercolor illustrations.

$14.39 AT AMAZON



Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

This colorful tale follows a blue crayon mistakenly labeled as Red, who suffers an ensuing identity crisis. No matter how hard he tries, Red is *still* blue. A friend helps Red find a fresh perspective—and Red starts to realize how he can show the world his true colors.

$13.43 AT AMAZON

The Ultimate Book of Cities

We love a pop-up book that can engage kids for seemingly hours on end (OK, maybe 15 minutes but that’s something!), and any budding architect is sure to be transfixed by The Ultimate Book of Cities with its multitude of flaps, sliding actions and top-notch pop-up structures. Learn all about the planning and parts of the city and the people who live and work there.

$8.56 AT AMAZON

 

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SHOP THE STORY
stroke red
Birdie’s Big-Girl Shoes by Sujean Rim
$12
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
$6.90
Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
$11.29
Lucy and Company by Marianne Dubuc
$16.95
Who Left the Light On? By Richard Marnie...
$16
This Is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe
$12.33
Spend It! By Cinders McLeod
$13.86
Help Find Frank by Anne Bollman
$16.95
The Sea Book by Charlotte Milner
$12.69
Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book (Cook...
$14.95
The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah O...
$17.99
Pink Is For Boys by Robb Pearlman
$14.39
Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
$13.43
The Ultimate Book of Cities
$8.56
The Kissing Hand
$15.40
Skin Like Mine
$8.95
Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
$14.00
The Snail and the Whale
$4.70
The Invisible Alphabet
$15.39