Favorite Books for Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)

Favorite Books for Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)

Hi readers! Today I want to continue my book recommendations series and share some of our favorite books for the preschool age. As Julia gets older, stories continue to be not only something we use for enjoyment but also as a tool for learning about everything from the environment to emotions and everything in between. There are so many incredible children’s books out there to discover!

You’ll notice that I added two purchase links in the description of each book. We buy a looot of books in our household. I personally love owning books and have a large collection myself. I’ve always liked taking notes in my books and highlighting favorite passages. I only have one surviving book from my childhood (Shell Silverstein’s The Giving Tree) and I have always dreamed about my children having their own little library of books.
However, books are expensive! So once we moved out of board books and baby books, I began looking into more affordable options and stumbled upon ThriftBooks. This website sells used books at very discounted prices. You can choose the quality of the book (acceptable, good, very good, like new) and for Julia, I usually will get good or very good. They also have free shipping with a low minimum purchase of $10. To date, I have had no issues or concerns with the quality I have received and I have been able to save a ton of money.

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite books for preschoolers (age 3-5)!

How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
ThriftBooks , Amazon

Every moment matters.

Each of us has an invisible bucket. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful. Yet most children (and many adults) don’t realize the importance of having a full bucket throughout the day.

In How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids, Felix begins to see how every interaction in a day either fills or empties his bucket. Felix then realizes that everything he says or does to other people fills or empties their buckets as well.

Follow along with Felix as he learns how easy it can be to fill the buckets of his classmates, teachers and family members. Before the day is over, you’ll see how Felix learns to be a great bucket filler, and in the process, discovers that filling someone else’s bucket also fills his own.

This book has been a great one as far as teaching Julia the impact of how we treat others. The full / empty bucket concept is easy to understand at this age and it has been a great tool for us to remind her to be aware of how her words and actions can affect others.

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
ThriftBooks, Amazon

Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string. “That’s impossible!” the children insist, but still they want to know more: “What kind of string?” The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love.

I’m always looking for books to help guide us along life changes and this book was one of my picks for easing Julia into preschool. As a stay-at-home mom, all Julia has ever known is being home with me. I worried that starting preschool may trigger some separation issues. A few months before she started I picked up this book and we began reading it together. The concept of an “invisible string” forever connecting us to the ones we love is something that can be comforting for adults and children alike! As it turned out, Julia wound up doing great starting preschool and did not suffer any issues with separation anxiety. Once in a while, she will even tell us that she pulled on her invisible string at school and ask if we felt it.

Chavela and the Magic Bubble by Monica Brown
ThriftBooks, Amazon

Chavela loves chomping chicle—chewing gum. And she loves blowing bubbles even more. One day, while out with her abuelita, she finds a mysterious kind of gum she’s never seen before. She pops it in her mouth and blows a giant bubble that lifts her up into the air and carries her on a magical journey.

Luscious, candy-colored paintings illustrate this fantastical story with an ecological twist. An afterword provides information on natural chewing gum, the rainforest, and sustainable farming, as well as music to a traditional Latin American folksong.

This book is well-loved in our home. From the magical story to the beautiful artwork inside, it takes you on quite the journey! This story is included in a book we have that is a collection of “girl power” stories and this particular one is one of Julia’s favorites.

We’re All Wonders by R.J Palacio
ThriftBooks, Amazon

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, now a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio. Over 8 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders , she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world–a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

This book is one that Julia actually picked out on her own! It caught her eye at Target one day and after reading the description, I decided it would be a great book to add to our collection. This book is a great way to start the conversation with young kids about diversity – and how it is so important to be kind to everyone. This book has sparked Julia to ask many questions and it is one that we revisit often.

Curious George series by Margret Rey and H.A Rey
ThriftBooks, Amazon

Julia is a big fan of both the Curious George book series as well as the television show. What I love about Curious George is that these books are such a fun way to teach kids about a variety of topics. There is a book about George’s first trip to the hospital, about voting, holidays, and so much more. George is a funny character that kids quickly come to love.

I’m Just a Kid by Chandele Morris

What can Ben do when he gets angry or upset? What does his mom do when Ben does not know how to calm himself down?  

“Ahhhh, it’s not working!” Have you ever been so frustrated that you just want to scream? Ben is a kid who loves to play, especially with his puzzles, which help him learn and grow. But he often experiences many BIG emotions when things don’t go his way. Like many other kids, he has to learn different ways to help him cope with his anger so he can calm himself down.

In I’m Just a Kid, Ben’s big emotions can be overwhelming, but with a little help from Mom, he learns how to engage more mindfully, self-regulate, and develop emotional resilience.

Learning emotional regulation is a big theme in the preschool age and like many other families, this is an area of struggle for us at times. This book has been a great help for Julia. The character, Ben, is easily relatable and this book includes a calm down technique that actually resonates with Julia, unlike some others we’ve tried.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and maybe found a new book to read to your preschooler!
Please let me know what some of your family favorites are in the comments below.

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