Our 5 Favorite Books for 3-Year-Old Boys

Nurture early literacy skills in your child through books. Spend time each day reading to your toddler.


It’s never too early to introduce your toddler to books. While most young children can only sit for a few minutes at a time, reading provides meaningful stimulation that can exercise the brain, improve concentration, and develop the imagination.

“One of the most important benefits of reading to kids is that it plays a large role in language and literacy development,” says Mom365. “Storytelling also offers children the opportunity to learn about feelings as they sympathize with the characters in the book. Children who are read to not only improve their literacy skills, their language skills improve, too.”

Whether you’re book shopping for your own child or a young loved one, inspire your early reader with classic picture books and read-alouds that will get your toddler excited about reading.

Best Books For 3 Year Olds

Our Favorite Books for 3-Year-Old Boys

As toddlers are frequently on the move, find books that are short and to the point. Picture books, along with books that encourage your tot to learn counting, colors, and their ABCs, are great choices. Of course, many young boys will also like themed books, such as dinosaurs and monster trucks. Learn what other features to look for in books for 3-year-old boys.


One of the most important features of books for 3-year-old boys is age-appropriateness. Most toddlers do not have the attention span to listen to long-winded or complex stories. Instead, they enjoy simple text that matches fun, colorful pictures. Toddler books should have no more than one to two paragraphs of reading per page.

Interesting Themes

Your toddler is much more likely to sit and listen to a story if the book interests him. If your little boy loves Mickey Mouse, find a Mickey Mouse-themed book. You may also want to choose books that mimic events in your child’s life. For example, if your tot is in the midst of potty training, read him a children’s book about potty training.

Colorful Images

As most 3-year-olds cannot yet read, they must listen to the words and match what they hear to the pictures in the book. Try to choose books with large, colorful pictures that really portray the words on the page. Your toddler will not only enjoy looking at the images, the pictures may also help him better understand the storyline.

All By Myself (Little Critter)

Best Books for 3 Year Old Boys Little Critters

Little Critter books have long been a kid-favorite. While there are dozens of Little Critter books for children, All by Myself by Mercer Mayer one of the most popular.

In this well-illustrated book Little Critter wants to show your tot all the things he can do by himself, such as tying his shoes, riding his bike, and coloring a picture. Your toddler will soon want to do all the things Little Critter does. All by Myself is an excellent read to teach your toddler about independence.

Brightly named All by Myself in their ’10 Must-Have Books for 3-Year-Olds’, calling Mayer’s Little Critter “one of the most enduringly popular characters in the children’s book world.”

Things to Keep in Mind

Little Critter is a paperback book, meaning your toddler will need to take proper care of his book to prevent the pages from ripping. Fortunately, the book sells for under $3 meaning an excellent value for a small investment.

Who’s it Best for?

This Little Critter book is suited for preschool-aged children up until grade 2. The book contains 24 pages which may require a more patient child who can sit and listen for a longer period of time.

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?

Best Books for 3 Year Old Boys Diggers

Make bedtime fun with a story that will lull your little one to sleep. Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres is a best-selling children’s book focusing on a fun construction theme.

The bedtime story tells the nighttime rituals of little diggers and dump trunks. As the mommy trucks tuck their little trucks into bed, the daddy trucks sing a goodnight song. The heartwarming story is the perfect tale to tell before tucking in your own child for a peaceful night’s rest.

Things to Keep in Mind

This book is available in both hardcover and board book form which is perfect for rambunctious toddlers. It is also available via Kindle which is a great option if you don’t want to wait for the physical book to arrive in the mail.

Who’s it Best for?

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? is best suited for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. It is also a great option for little boys who enjoy playing with trucks or other digging toys.

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Best Books for 3 Year Old Boys Giraffe

Available in hardcover, paperback, or toddler-friendly board book, Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae is a bestseller written by an award-winning author.

The vibrantly colored book tells the story of Gerald the giraffe whose main desire is to learn how to dance. However, with his thin legs and crooked knees, it’s not easy. With some encouragement from an unlikely friend, Gerald learns how to dance in his own unique way. The inspirational story encourages children to never stop trying to achieve greatness.

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a top pick by BornCute who gave the book a five-star rating. “The story actually resonates in real life wherein children learn the value of individuality and how you can still “fit in” despite being “different,” says BornCute. “Guy Parker-Rees’ wonderful illustrations further add to the magic of Gerald’s moves and transformation.”

Things to Keep in Mind

The book contains 32 pages which may be too long for some toddlers. However, due to the fun storyline you may find that your tot becomes engaged with the text and photos.

Who’s it Best for?

Giraffes Can’t Dance is recommended for children ages 4 and up. However, most 3-year-old boys will be able to understand the story and enjoy the colorful pictures.

Have You Seen My Dinosaur?

Best Books for 3 Year Olds Dinosaur

Available as a hardcover or Kindle edition, Have You Seen My Dinosaur? by Jon Surgal is a fun and colorful book that tells the story of a little boy and his dinosaur.

After a little boy and his dinosaur decide to play a game of hide-and-seek, the large, green dinosaur goes missing. Will the little boy find him? You and your toddler will have to read the book to find out. The funny rhyming beginner book is ideal for toddlers just learning how to sound out simple words with help from the illustrations.

Things to Keep in Mind

This book is fairly long with 48 pages. However, if your toddler enjoys dinosaurs he’ll likely stick around for the whole story.

Who’s it Best for?

Have You Seen My Dinosaur? is recommended for children between the ages of 4 and 6. It is also an excellent choice for little boys who enjoy reading about dinosaurs or parents who want to help their 3-year-old to start sounding out simple words.

Where the Wild Things Are

Best Book For 3 Year Olds Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is a Caldescott Medal-winning picture book and one of the most best-loved children’s books of all time.

The book follows Max, a little boy donning a wolf suit, who gets sent to bed without supper after getting into trouble. After a forest begins to grow in his bedroom, Max aims to tame the ‘Wild Things’ by becoming their king and leading them on a wild rumpus.

Where the Wild Things Are was called one of the ‘Best Cuddle-Time Books’ for children ages 3 to 5 by Scholastic. The incredible children’s book has also inspired a movie and opera.

Things to Keep in Mind

The Wild Things in the book can look a little scary at first. However, most toddlers will soon overcome their fear of the “monsters” and actually find some of the illustrations to be humorous.

Who’s it Best for?

This best seller is suitable for children ages 3 through 8. It’s also a fun story for boys who enjoy whimsical adventure books or monsters.

Looking for stories to read together with your 3-year-old boy? From stories about dump trucks and dinosaurs to giraffes that can’t dance and wild things that live in the forest, you’re sure to find books that your toddler will love reading again and again.


Brandy Dishaw

Brandy is a content specialist and proud mother of two children. She enjoys writing engaging content on parenting, children’s health, and educational topics, and has been published on websites like Modern Mom, Yahoo! Shine, and Livestrong.com. With more than a decade of experience as a writer and mom, she combines research and personal experience to provide her audience with insight to the world of parenting.

About The Toddle

We’re a media company helping parents get clearer answers to questions about raising smart, healthy kids. Get in touch to learn more about our mission.

7119 E Shea Blvd #109-176, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(623) 226-8142