By the age of three, most children’s attention span is long enough to enjoy listening to stories (as opposed to looking at pictures in books and talking about them). The best picture books are fun to read aloud, with art that really brings the story alive. Kids can get very absorbed in looking at the art while listening to the story.
Children of any age love to recognise themselves in books, which helps them connect with the story. They also like to read about different places and people, and feel their world expand that way. Specialists often talk about books as mirrors and windows for children.
Kids in the 3-5 age group tend not to be too picky about what type of book they read, often just as happy looking at information books as they are listening to stories. Picture books can be used to help children learn to manage emotions and navigate relationships, new experiences or life-changing events.
Many young children find comfort in familiar books and in book series with familiar characters that they can get to know over time. Below are some popular picture book series, both stories and more interactive books.