The best books for 3 to 5 year olds. This is the perfect age to get a child into books. During these years, a child is quickly developing and stories help them to start to understand their emotions and the world around them. We have collected books recommended by experts to help your child start on their lifetime of loving books and reading.
Our book recommendations are made by experts, who explain their choices in an interview. You can browse our database either by book or by interview:
In Your Hands
by Brian Pinkney (Illustrator) & Carole Boston Weatherford
The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson & Rafael López (Illustrator)
I Am Enough
by Grace Byers & Keturah Bobo (Illustrator)
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
by John Steptoe
by Purple Wong (Illustrator) & Zetta Elliott
Understanding the African American experience is not just about learning about suffering, it’s also about celebrating a vibrant culture and its roots across the millennia. Paula Young Shelton, author of Child of the Civil Rights Movement, recommends the best antiracist books for kids.
What should you read with your kids on Thanksgiving? Dana Sheridan of Princeton University Library’s Cotsen Children’s Library recommends five children’s books with themes of love, gratitude, belonging and sharing with one another—what the holiday is all about.
As young children grow, finding a vocabulary for their worries and anxiety is often difficult. Children’s author Chitra Soundar recommends five books that help children process their emotions and use fiction as a tool for talking about anxiety.
Kate Milner, winner of the prestigious Klaus Flugge Prize, discusses some of the trailblazing illustrators that have inspired her own career. She heralds artists whose imaginative works have given us some of the most exuberant storytelling for children over the last 50 years.
Since founding Andersen Press in 1976, Klaus Flugge has published some of the most well-known and best-loved names in the world of children’s books– he has launched the careers of some of our best-loved picture book illustrators, from Quentin Blake and Chris Riddell to David McKee, Tony Ross, Michael Foreman and Emma Chichester Clark. Here he expounds on his favourite books and why laughter is his favourite subject.
Acclaimed poet, Joseph Coelho, recommends five of the best kids’ books that celebrate the magical bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren. Positive intergenerational relationships have very real health benefits for the whole family! So get yourself settled on a comfy chair with a grandchild and take some time to enjoy sharing these delightful stories.
What are the best books to engage and educate young kids about the environment? Environmentalist and author Georgina Stevens has some ideas. She recommends her favourite environment books for kids, as well as a few websites that will help teach them (and their families) how to make a difference.
Children have almost universal responses to different kinds of weather: kicking fallen leaves in autumn, splashing in puddles in the rain, catching snowflakes on tongues when it snows. We talk to author and illustrator Tim Hopgood about the weather as an inspiration for children’s books.
Elves are often misunderstood or misrepresented over the Christmas period – Christmas cracker jokes have never been kind to these tiny heroes of the festive season. Here Igreth the Elf, great-great-great-grandson of Ilbereth the Elf, sets the record straight and introduces five children’s books that celebrate the extraordinary contribution these diminutive creatures make to Christmas itself.
Whatever your age, play is how we test ideas, define rules and see if they hold. New York-based artist and author Jon Burgerman talks to Five Books about his favourite titles that encourage kids to have fun and be playful, without worry or fear of failure, and simply enjoy the limitless possibilities of imagination.