Staff Picks: Ages 3–6

It's perfectly fine and normal for kids to have different reading levels and interests—and it's important for the adults in their life to grow the love of reading by honoring their reading choices. 

However, if you're looking for help in identifying a book that is a perfect fit for your child, feel free to ask an MCPL staff member or try the 5 Finger Rule: open the book to a full page of text. Read the page to yourself. Every time you come across a word you don’t know, hold up a finger. If you hold up five fingers before the end of the page, you should find another book. If you hold up four fingers or less, the book is right for you!

Take a look at some of our favorite books that typically work for ages 3–6.

Compiled by:
Alfie: (The Turtle that Disappeared)

Thyra Heder
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Hed)

Told from the perspective of both the girl, Nia, and her pet turtle, Alfie, and describes what happens when he disappears on the eve of her seventh birthday to find her a special present. Recommended for ages 3-6.

All We Need

Kathy Wolff
(Juvenile picture book - Ej Wol)

Soft illustrations and rhyming text remind us that all we need to be happy is the little hings - and celebrates the beauty of sharing with others when one has more than enough. Recommended for ages 3--6.

B Is for Baby

(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Ati)

B is for Baby. B is for Brother. B is for going to see Baba! One morning after breakfast, Baby's big brother is getting ready to take the basket of bananas all the way to Baba's bungalow in the next village. He'll have to go along the bumpy road, past the baobab trees, birds, and butterflies, and all the way over the bridge. But what he doesn't realize is that his very cute, very curious baby sibling has stowed away on his bicycle. Recommended for ages 3-6.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

Grace Lin
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Lin)

Reimagine the cycles of the moon as a mother bakes a Big Moon Cake and, despite Mama's request to wait, Little Star begins nibbling at it every night. Recommended for ages 3-6.

The Big Umbrella

Amy June Bates
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Bates)

By the door there is an umbrella so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath – regardless of who they are. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Frog and Toad Are Friends

Arnold Lobel
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Lo)

Five tales of the adventures of two lovable best friends. Recommended for ages 3-6.

The Greedy Goat

Petr Horáček
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Hor)

Goat is tired of eating grass. Goat spends Saturday wandering the farmyard in pursuit of some new fare. What will she eat next? Recommended for ages 3-6.

Green is a Chile Pepper

Roseanne Thong
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Tho)

*This item also available on Cloud Library and HooplaA little girl discovers all the bright colors in her Hispanic American neighborhood. Recommended for ages 3-6.

How to Hug a Pufferfish

Ellie Peterson
(Juvenile picture book - Ej Pet)

An affectionate group of sea creatures learn to ask permission to hug their prickly pufferfish friend.  Recommended for ages 3--6.

I Am (Not) Scared

Anna Kang
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Kan)

Two cuddly, fuzzy creatures go to an amusement park and discover that being frightened may not be as scary as one thinks. Recommended for ages 3--6.

Jabari Jumps

Gaia Cornwall
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Cornwall)

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board! Discover a moment between a patient father and a determined little boy you can't help but root for. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Knuffle Bunny

Mo Willems
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wil)

A trip to the laundromat leads to a momentous occasion when Trixie (too young to speak words) realizes that something important is missing and struggles to explain the problem to her father. Recommended for ages 3-6. 


Mies Van Hout
(Juvenile picture book - Ej Hou)

Follow two children in their interactive journey through trees, over sand dunes, across a river, on top of clouds, and inside a dark cave on their way to the playground. Recommended for ages 3--6. 

Trillions of Trees

Kurt Cyrus
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Cyr)

This rhyming story celebrates the importance of planting different trees (and introduces the concept of orders of magnitude) and presents diverse ecosystems. Recommended for ages 3--6.

Up, Tall and High

Ethan Long
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Lon)

Through illustrations and simple text, birds demonstrate the meanings of the words up, tall, and high. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Usha and the Big Digger

Amitha Knight
(Juvenile Picture Book - Ej Kni)

Usha and Aarti, and their cousin Gloria, all see different things when they look at the stars. 

We Are Growing!

Laurie Keller
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Kel)

Walt is not the tallest or the curliest or the pointiest or even the crunchiest. A confounded blade of grass searches for his 'est' in this hilarious story about growing up. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Who Wet My Pants?

Bob Shea
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej She)

When Reuben the bear brings doughnuts to his forest friends, they discover that his pants are wet and he angrily accuses them of the dirty deed. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Whose Footprint Is That?

Darrin Lunde
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 591.479 Lun)

A young, playful nonfiction picture book explores the connections between an animal, how it moves, and its tracks. Recommended for ages 3-6.