Best books for preschool children

Ignite your preschool child's imagination and love of learning and reading with these brilliantly, engaging books. Our parents and children have read each one and picked some of the best

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MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.

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all-about-families

1. All About Families by Felicity Brooks, Usborne, £9.99

Type: Early Learning for Children

Awards: MadeForMums 2019 Awards Preschool Book – Gold

This 32-page, brightly illustrated book delves into the many different family dynamics that exist; from adoption to divorce and single parenting to remarried.

A great book to help young, curious minds discuss and become familiar with their own family members and see how other families are made up differently. Great for starting some fascinating discussions with your little one, particularly before they start school so that they understand not all families will be like their own.

MFM judge Laura says: “I love this book. It would be great to read this before a child goes to school so they can understand not all families look like theirs. It’s a lovely size to hold, the illustrations are detailed, and easy to look at. It definitely encourages conversation!”.

Available from: Amazon, The Book People and Wordery

lifesize

2. Lifesize by Sophy Henn, Egmont, £6.99

Type: Nature

Awards: MadeForMums 2019 Awards Preschool Book – Silver

A clever and engaging book that takes readers on an adventure to discover what some of their favourite animals look like lifesize.

The book has been illustrated so that each animal is presented to scale. Each page only shows what would fit – in the case of the elephant, just 2 toenails!

This book is immersive and triggers the imagination allowing young minds to really think about the world around them – in scale.

We love how interactive this book is – children will want to hold up the pages, compare themselves and even become some of the animals.

MFM judge Becky says: “This book is fun, colourful and interactive, and both the children and I loved reading it and scaling up to the animals. A big hit!”.

Available from: World of Books, Amazon and The Book People

miffy-dear-grandma-bunny

3. Miffy ‘Dear Grandma Bunny’ by Dick Bruna, Simon & Schuster Children’s UK, £4.99

Type: Fiction

Awards: MadeForMums 2019 Awards Preschool Book – Bronze

A sensitively written, age appropriate book about the death of Grandma Bunny and how the family deal with her passing.

It is a useful introduction to discussions around death with the familiar Miffy characters taking centre stage and it works great as part of a collection of the other Miffy books.

This book is especially brave for tackling a delicate subject head on and making the approach suitable for younger children.

MFM judge Laura says: “It is a lovely idea to help adults discuss death with young children. I would definitely use it with an older child of 2/3+ to help talk about loss and would also recommend for school use. Clear, simple and comforting.”.

Available from: Amazon, Wordery and WHSmith

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4. Molly’s Magic Wardrobe: Search for the Fairy Star by Adam Guillain and Charlotte Guillain, Egmont, £6.99

Type: Fiction

Awards: MadeForMums 2019 Awards Preschool Book – Finalist

Molly’s grandma has a magic wardrobe, when Molly tries on an outfit and steps into the wardrobe, she’s transported on a brand-new adventure.

This 32-page book takes Molly to Fairy Land and it comes with a matching dress up set of fairy wings and a wand. It’s a great way to make the words of the story leap from the page and ignite some imaginative play by providing props that appear prominently throughout the story.

MFM judge Maeve says: “My son loves the dress up fairy wings and wand too- it’s really got him into dress up where before the book he wasn’t that interested. I think it’s great value for money and I’ll be looking out for others in the future!”.

Available from: World of Books, Amazon and WHSmith

if-i-had-a-dinosaur

5. If I had a Dinosaur by Gabby Dawnay, Thames and Hudson, £10.95

Type: Fiction

Preschool children often find rhyming a helpful way to learn, and this delightful book takes full advantage to share its charming story.

The simple rhyming prose tells the tale of a little girl who imagines what it would be like to have a dinosaur of her very own and encourages little ones to search for knowledge to fill their thirsty minds.

Parents and budding palaeontologists alike will enjoy the sweet, witty story and beautiful illustrations.

MFM judge Gabrielle says: “This beautiful book is vibrant and appealing, with bold illustrations and a pleasing story. Beyond the tactile cover design, the book invites participation from even the youngest readers thanks to pictures of small pets that children can name aloud. Large, thick pages are easy for tiny hands to turn and the story is silly-funny enough to appeal to most children’s and adults’ sense of humour.”.

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones and Book Depository

the-girl-the-bear-and-the-magic-shoes

6. The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes by Julia Donaldson, Macmillan Children’s Books, £6.99

Type: Fiction

When it comes to fiction for preschool children, no list is complete without Julia Donaldson.

Her talent at writing engaging, fun and cleverly told tales continues in this book with bright illustrations from Julia Monks that pack every single page with colour.

Our lead character, Josephine, has quite an adventure after buying some magic shoes that transport her across various terrains with a friendly bear in tow! It has a great ending – which will leave young readers guaranteed to be requesting it over and over again.

Available from: Amazon, WHSmith and Waterstones

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7. The Bear Cub Bakers by Caroline Baxter, Big Sunshine Books, £6.99

Type: Early Learning for Children

This fun story about six little bear cubs at baking school is a lovely way to engage your little one before helping them whip up some treats of their own.

Beautiful illustrations, fun rhymes and cute characters make this a lovely book to read, as the bears spend a week at Miss Betsy Bear’s school, learning how to create delicious dishes in their own bake-off.

But there’s an added bonus; follow their triumphs – and mishaps – before attempting to recreate the Bear Buns recipe at home.

Our reviewer says: “I loved the little recipe at the end! Really nice and good quality, my little one enjoyed reading this with me.”

Available from: Amazon, Wordery and Blackwells

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8. The Mini Adventures of Freddie (Book 1) by Kate Ball, Mini First Aid, £6.99

Type: Early Learning for Children

This book is written by Kate Ball, founder and director of Mini First Aid which offers Early Years first aid classes for pre-school and reception aged children.

Preschool littlies may seem young, but children as young as three and four have made the headlines before for helping out in emergency situations.

This unusual book introduces little ones to the concepts of lifesaving and first aid, covering the basics such as cuts and grazes, and calling 999, through the story of a little boy called Freddie.

Available from: Amazon and Mini First Aid

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9. The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Harper Collins, £7.99

Type: Fiction

Kids will love Drew Daywalt’s colourful tale that transforms these colouring staples into hilarious characters.

Poor Duncan just wants to colour in. But when he opens his box of crayons, he only finds letters, all saying the same thing: We quit! How can Duncan solve this crayon-based crisis?

Brought to life with wonderful illustrations by international bestseller Oliver Jeffers who creates delightful childlike drawings just perfect for this story book.

Available from: WaterstonesAmazon and WHSmith

riley-can-be-anything

10. Riley Can Be Anything by Davina Hamilton, The Ella Riley Group, £9.99

Type: Fiction

Uplifting and easy-to-read, Riley Can Be Anything is a tale that follows the adventures of cousins Riley and Joe. Together they explore their dream careers and discover that their potential for the future is limitless.

Clever rhyming verses and engaging illustrations bring the whole book together in one fantastically fun package. We have no doubt that this book will have little ones dreaming of a bright future.

Available from: Amazon, Davina Hamilton and Foyles

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