The interests and experiences of 3- and 4-year-olds vary widely, and book themes encompass many topics. Anyone who wants to choose or write books that 3- to 4-year-olds will like should seek out children's literature lists, read recommended stories, look through picture books and visit children's libraries and bookstores. To learn about 3- and 4-year-olds, observe, talk with and listen to your own children, their friends, your relatives and kids at local preschools. Humour, wordplay, captivating illustrations and photographs, and relevant themes appeal to 3- and 4-year olds.
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Most 3- and 4-year-olds love learning about wild and domesticated animals in picture books with simple text, such as “Owl Babies,” by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson, and “Baby Wild Animals,” by photographers Dennis and Esther Schmidt. They also enjoy books in which animals take on characteristics of children, especially if the books are funny and feature young animals to whom preschoolers can relate. Laura Numeroff’s books “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” and “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” are a popular series for 3- and 4-year-olds.
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Alphabet, Counting and Numbers
New knowledge excites 3- and 4-year-olds, which is why so many alphabet, counting and number books are available at libraries and bookstores. Topics include nearly everything that can be counted or alphabetised. Children enjoy books such as \"Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables From A to Z\" by Lois Ehlert; \"Arf! Beg! Catch!: Dogs from A to Z\" by Henry Horenstein; \"Roar!: A Noisy Counting Book\" by Pamela Duncan Edwards; and \"In My Garden\" by Ward Schumaker.
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Colours and Shapes
Colours and shapes interest 3- and 4-year-olds, who often enjoy classics such as \"Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?\" By Eric Carle and \"Harold and the Purple Crayon\" ?by Crockett Johnson. \"Afro-Bets: Book of Colors\" and \"Afro-Bets: Book of Shapes\" are part of a culturally conscious series of preschool books ?by Margery W. Brown and Culverson Blair.
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Family and Home
Preschoolers socialise with others, but 3-year-olds' primary relationships are still with their immediate families. According to Education.com, 3-year-olds \"have expanded their repertoire of emotional responses.\" They can be sad, jealous or frightened and, while temper tantrums are less common than when they were 2, some 3-year-olds' behaviour disintegrates when they are tired, hungry or in need of attention. At 3 and 4, many youngsters must deal with the arrival of a new baby, so books that focus on family, siblings, jealousy and the need for attention—such as \"Noisy Nora\" by Rosemary Wells and \"Peter's Chair\" by Ezra Jack Keats—give voice to uncomfortable feelings young children sometimes experience.
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At preschool, many 4-year-olds begin exploring what it means to be friends. Friendship books entertain while helping children understand the challenges, joys and complications of these new non-familial relationships. In addition to classics such as \"Stone Soup\" ?by Marcia Brown and \"Little Bear's Friend\" by Else Holmelund Minarik, children also identify with characters such as those in the more recently published book \"Margaret and Margarita,\" ?Lynn Reiser's bilingual story about a friendship between two girls.