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Classic Books for 3-4 year olds


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I am working on starting a cooperative preschool program for children who are 3-4 years old. Since we are overseas I need to preplan what books we will use. What are some classic books that work well for this age range that should be included. So far I have though of



Jessebear, What will you wear?

The foot book

Along came a spider

Big Pumpkin

Mrs. Wishy Washy

Little red Hen

Old McDonald

Three little pigs

Click clack Moo

Big red barn

The Mitten

The snowy day

Little Blue Truck

Truck Stuck

Fire Truck

The little red caboose

Freight Train

Trashy Town

If you give a mouse a cookie

Blue berries for sal

Monsters don’t eat broccoli

Carrot Seed

Very hungry caterpillar

The little rabbit

The tiny Seed

Kitten’s first full moon

Llama, Llama Red Pajama



We will be doing monthly themes which I am thinking wil be..


All About Me

Down on the farm

Fall & harvest


Community helpers & Safety

Health & Food

Spring & Growing things & weather


zoo animals

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The books in the Story Stretcher books are really good. Don't forget nonfiction.


Know that there can be some overlap in your themes, and don't try to overtheme your curriculum. :)


FWIW, I did a fun Houses and Homes unit--We pulled in 3 Little Pigs, and a few non-fic books showing homes around the world; put lots of interesting building materials in the blocks, including bricks we made out of mud/clay and straw formed in milk cartons (small ones), and then built with them; had an Architect center with old blueprints, chalk, blocks to trace and blue paper; ironed sandwhichs to make grilled cheese (thin bread, cheese, wrap in foil and then iron); hung clothesline and washed doll clothes and hung to dry; made a phone book of the kids numbers and put it in dramatic play with a phone so they could "call" each other...


Gosh, I miss preschool.

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These are all big hits with my preschoolers:

The Little House

Harold and the Purple crayon

Where the Wild Things Are

Beatrix Potter


Curious George

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

The Story of Ferdinand

The Mitten

Gingerbread Baby

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Brown Bear Brown Bear

Put Me In the Zoo

The Cat and the Hat

Go Dog Go

A Fly Went By

Wacky Wednesday

The Tiny Seed

A House For Hermit Crab

The Mountain that Loved a Bird

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Can you define "classic"? People here have very different ideas of what "classic" means. Many here define "classic" as books originally written in Greek and Latin, and other define is at books listed in the "Great Books" lists. Still others mean just about anything written before 1900 or 1940. Some people mean anything of "quality" and then we need to define that term.


I don't know what you are asking.

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Thanks a bunch! Do you think Make Way for Ducklings would work for a 3-4 class? I love that book but though of it more as a 4 year old book.
I think it would since it has great illustrations, you can count the ducklings, find the policeman etc.

... that's an interesting discussion: my older child didn't like it until this year (he's 7) and the tot, 2 1/2, adores it. ChicoryChick is right that there are things you can point out as you move along, and in the beginning I beefed up the storyline a bit, filling in glossed-over bits of plot so that BotBot could connect the dots.


This is not a classic, but is one that is amazingly well-targeted to the preschool psyche (IMHO):

The Day the Babies Crawled Away. It's quite visually distinctive, and ought to suit a group setting well.


Other than that, I can't think of any to add! (well, Lobel's Mother Goose is one we like, and Here's a Little Poem is a marvelous anthology -- it has an advantage over the Mother Goose collections in being multi-ethnic. )

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