Buying books for 3 year olds is difficult because there are just so many options out there! While, of course, you want to buy books based around the child’s interest, you should also look for books that will keep them interested, share an important message, and help them grow.

The team at Sawyer has put together a list of the best books for 3 year olds and the best bedtime books for toddlers so you can help your child fall in love with reading!

Photo of best books for 3 year olds

Best books for 3 year olds

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Why do 3 year olds love Dragons Love Tacos?

This fun and silly book is a huge hit with 3 year olds, 33 year olds, and everyone in between! It helps teach children about different types of tacos (yum!) and keeps them entertained along the way. Just be careful because if the dragons eat salsa, we're all in trouble!

Buy Dragons Love Tacos

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Why do 3 year olds love The Story of Ferdinand?

There is certainly a reason why The Story of Ferdinand is a classic toddler book that brings joy to families from generation to generation. It is a great story about loving yourself and others despite differences and the importance of kindness. 

Buy The Story of Ferdinand

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

Why do 3 year olds love Antiracist Baby?

Parents and toddlers are engaged and excited by the images and messages in Antiracist Baby. While the ideas may seem complex, Kendi masterfully explains these principles so that children can understand and implement them as they start going to daycare and preschool.

Buy Antiracist Baby

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard 

Why do 3 year olds love Fry Bread?

Told in beautiful verse, Fry Bread depicts a modern indigenous family and their culture, foods, and celebrations. It is immensely helpful to begin conversations with your toddler about other types of traditions and can be a great book to prepare for Thanksgiving. Check out our full list of resources written about and by indigenous people to keep this conversation going.

Buy Fry Bread

I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Why do 3 year olds love I Love My Hair?

A staple book for Black toddlers, but one that can and should be enjoyed by all children, I Love My Hair tells the story of a girl named Keyana who discovers the magic of her hair. It’s a great way to share joy and encourage self-love and confidence.

Buy I Love My Hair

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Best bedtime books for toddlers

Getting your toddler to sleep might seem like an insurmountable task each night. However, if you set up a routine that includes reading a good night story, they are more likely to enjoy getting in bed. Here are some of the best bedtime books for toddlers so you can make nighttime better for everyone.

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

Why is Ten, Night, Eight a great bedtime book?

Not only does Ten, Nine, Eight help toddlers practice their numbers, but also it helps them learn about bedtime expectations and gets them in the right place to lay their head down to sleep.

Buy Ten, Nine, Eight

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Why is Goodnight Moon a great bedtime book?

The absolute classic bedtime story, Goodnight Moon helps children learn that going to bed can be fun as long as you say goodnight to everyone and everything around you. It’s nostalgic and beautiful and your child will love it as much as you did!

Buy Goodnight Moon

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres

Why is Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? a great bedtime book?

For the truck and construction obsessed toddler, this book is a great way to connect going to sleep with their favorite things. Get them excited to get in bed with the opportunity to listen to their favorite book and dream about trucks, diggers, snowplows, and more.

Buy Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?

Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Why is Good Night Gorilla a great bedtime book?

Another classic from the days of yore, Good Night Gorilla is a silly book about putting the animals in the zoo to bed. It helps children relax and giggle before bedtime and teaches them about animals at the same time.

Buy Good Night Gorilla

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen

Why is How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? a great bedtime book?

This hilarious book includes treasures like the names of each dinosaur hidden in the images, which will have your toddler returning again and again. The goofy antics of the dinosaur-sized children will delight both you and your child as they get ready to slip into dreamland.

Buy How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

We hope that our list of best books for 3 year olds and bedtime books will help you find what you need to give the magic of reading! If you are looking for even more fun reading-related activities, Sawyer providers Book Nook Enrichment and L-M-N-O-Play have online read alouds and book clubs for children of all ages! Check them out, and more exciting activities, on the Sawyer marketplace.

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