Introducing the Classics: Our ultimate booklist for 3-6 year olds

If you haven't read at least one of these classics with your young ones, it's time to make it happen! 

Girl looking at books spread on floor

By Jessica Pilton | jessicapilton.com

What better way to explore a new world than with your child snuggled close on your lap while you enjoy a story together? I couldn't think of one.

In our home, we adore books, silly books, funny books, classic books, serious books, dramatic books, historic books... All kinds of books. I've compiled a list of books my children have enjoyed and still do enjoy that would be perfect for any 3-6 year old.

This list is in no way exhaustive but will start you off in the right direction for deep wonderful literature with your young ones, which will leave them with delight and wonder about their natural world and beyond.

Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne

Winnie the Pooh and A House at Pooh Corner are much-loved classics and Pooh is known by most children as that 'Bear with little brain.' Forget Walt Disney's Pooh Bear and go straight for the real thing. Not only will your child love the stories in the long chapters (read over a couple of days for this age group) but you will love them too.

Stack of children's books

Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary is the lovable scruffy dog most Australian children grow up with. Verses and rhymes litter the books and your kiddos will love hearing about all his woofy friends as well as getting a mock fright from Scarface claw (The cat all the dogs are afraid of!) There are quite a few titles that Dodd has penned from the first, Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy to Hairy Maclary Scattercat, Hairy Maclary's Bone and Hairy Maclary's Rumpus at the Vet.

The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter

Most well known for The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter has penned many classics for children. What my children love most about these tales is while they are fanciful, they all hold an element of truth. The fox cunning Mrs Puddleduck, Mr MacGregor wanting to put Peter into a pie, The rats wanting to eat Tom Kitten. While it sounds morbid on the get go, children love these tales with slight suspense and connect with the element of realism that Ms Potter brings to her stories.

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Mother Goose

Mother Goose sits on most nursery shelves and never really sees the light of day after the toddler years go by, yet these are perfect little rhymes to help children connect words with meaning as they grow. Collections like this aren't just for the very young. Your 3 to 6-year-old will enjoy them maybe even more.

Wish Soup

Wish Soup is a magical and enchanting book with Australian seasonal themes - something that was lacking in our literature as most seasonal tales are created in the northern hemisphere. There are 12 tales within the book as you follow the characters through enchanted forests, rambling gardens and magical kingdoms, as they overcome challenges and experience the bond between the natural world and the human heart. Set amongst the unique beauty of Australia's flora and fauna.

Children of the Forest By Elsa Beskow

Children of the Forest is a delightful picture-book fantasy was first published in Sweden in 1910. It is a celebration of the natural world, and of the seasons of the year, as seen by a family of tiny woodland sprites. Mother, Father, and four children - Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy - all live together in a snug little house "under the curling roots of an old pine tree." The four siblings have many adventures in their forest home, playing with their animal friends, attending the school taught by Mrs. Owl, and working together with their parents, to gather the food they need for the long winter.

Jesus storybook Bible

The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible. At the centre of the Story is a baby, the child upon whom everything will depend. Every story whispers his name. From Noah to Moses to the great King David - every story points to him. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will pick up the clues and piece together the puzzle.

This post was originally featured on jessicapilton.com and has been republished here with permission.

* For your convenience, we've linked to books in this post and some include Jess' affiliate links. If you found it valuable and want to buy one of the books recommended, consider supporting Jess by purchasing using her Book Depository link.

What are your favourite classic picture books for young children? Share in the comments below.

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Jessica Pilton

Contributor

Jess is a wife and homeschooling mother to three. She blogs about her life homesteading on a nine-acre property in Perth, Australia, with a focus on grace-based parenting and home education. You can find Jess' writing at jessicapilton.com and on Instagram and Facebook.