Top 10 Best Classic Books for 3-year-olds

These classic tales have delighted little ones for generations. They feature enchanting characters, spellbinding stories and lots of gorgeous illustrations. Look no further for the best classic books for 3-year-olds.

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1. We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury

This beautiful children's classic features fun sing-song verse and stunning pictures. It follows a family going on a walk, squelching through mud and splashing through puddles, in search of a bear! But will they be prepared for the surprise that awaits them in the cave? Children will love this engaging story.

2. The Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters

Janet & Allan Ahlberg

This engrossing interactive book features a host of favourite fairy-tale characters and exciting stories. Discover letters tucked into the pages, including a letter of apology from Goldilocks to the three bears, a postcard from Jack to the giant, a solicitor's letter on behalf of Little Red Riding-Hood to the wolf who ate her grandmother, and more.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle

This classic picture book has enchanted generations of little ones with colourful collage pictures and a simple, sweet story. Featuring die-cut pages and finger-sized holes for toddlers to explore, the story of the hungry green caterpillar with a very big appetite is sure to delight little readers.

4. Dear Zoo

Rod Campbell

This engaging book features fun flaps to lift, guaranteed to enthral toddlers! Look under the flaps to find the perfect pet and uncover all sorts of exotic creatures. What will it be next - an elephant, a monkey, perhaps even a lion? With charming repetition and vibrant illustrations, this is a tried-and-tested favourite with toddlers.

5. Each Peach Pear Plum

Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Discover beautifully-illustrated characters such as Mother Hubbard, the Three Bears and Tom Thumb on each of the intricate pages of this lovely book. Little booklovers will have so much fun trying to find where each character is hiding! With easy-to-read text and lots to discover on every page, children will be captivated by this exquisite book.

6. Where's Spot?

Eric Hill

The adorable little dog Spot stars in this seriously fun interactive book. Spot's gone missing, and little ones will have heaps of fun searching for him under the flaps! With catchy repetition and bold illustrations, this book is hugely entertaining for younger readers.

7. The Snowman

Raymond Briggs

This classic winter picture book has been a much-loved favourite for years. It features a friendly snowman who comes to life one magical, snow-covered night, and goes on all sorts of adventures with the boy who built him. This enthralling tale is filled with beautiful, delicate illustrations, the perfect book to snuggle up with on a cold winter's night.

8. The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Judith Kerr

Just as Sophie and her mummy are going to have tea, there's a knock at the door. It can't be Daddy because he won't be home yet, and Sophie can't think who else it could be. She's a little surprised to say the least to discover that a tiger has shown up for tea! This exciting book features an exotic guest and lots of teatime fun.

9. The World of Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter

This enchanting series of books features an assortment of adorable animals and the exciting adventures they share. These tales have delighted young readers for generations, introducing youngsters to unforgettable characters like Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, all illustrated in a gentle and delicate style.

10. The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Featuring the famous half-grizzly bear, half-buffalo, this tale follows a brave little mouse, who believes the Gruffalo is nothing but fantasy - until he comes face-to-face with him! Complete with distinctive illustrations by Axel Scheffler, this story is guaranteed to captivate children and be remembered forever.

  • AHUCL 3 years +
    3 years +
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    "Each Peach Pear Plum" - the classic picture book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. "Each Peach Pear Plum" is a timeless picture book classic from the bestselling illustrator/author team Janet and Allan Ahlberg, creators of "Peepo!". Each beautifully illustrated page encourages young children to interact with the picture to find the next fairy tale and nursery rhyme character. In this book with your little eye, take a look, and play 'I spy'. Praise for "Each Peach Pear Plum": "Deceptively simple. "Each Peach Pear Plum" is a work of genius". (Elaine Moss). "This familiar rhyme has been given the brilliant Ahlbreg treatment to which no young child can fail to respond. It's a book which will be read over and over again ...just perfect!" (Child Education). "A charming, pictorial fantasia ...a warm, sunny, delectable picture book". (Brian Alderson, "The Times"). Allan Ahlberg has published over 100 children's books and with his late wife Janet, created many award-winning children's picture books. "The Baby's Catalogue" was inspired by their daughter, Jessica. The Ahlbergs' books are nursery bookshelf standards and have been the recipient of worldwide acclaim and awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal. Look out for these other classics by Allan Ahlberg: "Burglar Bill"; "Cops and Robbers"; "The Baby's Catalogue"; "The One and Only Two Heads"; "Son of a Gun"; "The Little Worm Book"; "Two Wheels Two Heads"; "Funny Bones"; "A Pair of Sinners"; "Happy Families"; "Peepo!"; "The Ha Ha Bonk Book"; "Help Your Child to Read"; "Ten in a Bed"; "Please mrs Butler"; "Daisy Chains"; "Yum Yum"; "Playmates"; "Foldaways"; "Woof"; "The Cinderella Show"; "The Jolly Postman"; "The Jolly Christmas Postman"; "The Jolly Pocket Postman"; "The Clothes Horse and Other Stories"; "The Mighty Slide"; "Starting School"; "Heard it in the Playground"; "The Bear Nobody Wanted"; "It was a Dark and Stormy Night"; "The Giant Baby"; "Baby Sleeps"; "Blue Buggy"; "Doll and Teddy"; "See the Rabbit"; "Please Mrs Butler"; "The Better Brown Stories"; "The Boyhood of Burglar Bill".
  • AHRFJ 3 years +
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    Everyone's favourite snowman, with a sparkly glitter cover and introduction by Raymond Briggs. One winter's night, a snowman comes to life and an unforgettable adventure begins. Raymond Briggs' favourite classic is a true piece of Christmas magic - narrated entirely through pictures, it captures the wonder and innocence of childhood and is now recognised throughout the world. In 2012 the 30th anniversary of The Snowman was celebrated with a brand new half-hour animation The Snowman and the Snowdog. It introduced a new adorable character, can you guess who? That's right, a lovable snow puppy!
  • The World of Peter Rabbit Complete Collection - 23 Books - Collection - 9780723275923 - Beatrix Potter
    WOPR 3 years +
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    • Just £1.52 per book
    Beautifully presented in hardback and featuring the classic white jackets, this complete boxed collection of Beatrix Potter's beloved Peter Rabbit books is a must for every child - and will make the perfect birthday or christening gift.

    Having enchanted young readers for generations, the timeless books in this charming set also include publisher's notes describing how she worked with her publisher to create the charming stories.

    Format: hardback
    Every hardback book in this collection has dimensions of 140 x 105mm
  • WXX2 3 years +
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    Bigger and brighter than ever before, this paperback edition of the first book starring Spot the dog is full of simple text, colourful pictures and a whole host of flaps to lift .

    Spot is hiding. Will your children be able to find him under the flaps? A favourite ever since it was first published in 1980, this is a book that belongs on your toddler's bookshelf.
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    A rhyming story of a mouse and a monster. Little mouse goes for a walk in a dangerous forest. To scare off his enemies, he invents tales of a fantastical creature called the Gruffalo. Imagine his surprise when he meets the real Gruffalo!

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    Award-winning children's classic, We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen, has a perfect sing-song verse for plodding along to on a family walk.

    Learning the words off by heart should be compulsory for children and grown-ups! Helen Oxenbury's illustrations beautifully capture the obstacles of squelchy mud and splishy-splashy river.

    The fabulous text and pictures are totally in tune and this simple book will have young children returning to it again and again.
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    Rod Campbell's Dear Zoo has been published in a sturdy board book format to suit very young children. The lively illustrations, simple story and engaging lift-the-flap fun guarantee the book's toddler appeal.

    With its repetition and appealing illustrations, this is bound to be a favourite choice at bedtime for toddlers from 1 and over.
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    Eric Carle's classic book has enchanted generations of children with its colourful collage illustrations and simple story.

    With die-cut pages and finger-sized holes for little ones to explore, the story of the hungry green caterpillar with a very big appetite is simply one of the best children's books of all time.

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is perfect for children from 1+ and good for talking with older toddlers about how caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies.
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    Judith Kerr created a best-loved children's classic with her story The Tiger Who Came to Tea, delighting generations of young children.

    The gentle illustrations coupled with the slightly anarchic story have unbeatable child-appeal and make this a perfect book to read aloud. If you haven't invited the tiger into your home yet, do so without delay!

    Toddlers from 1+ will love the big striped hero and his naughty antics.
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    The Jolly Postman delivers cards and letters to various fairy-tale characters. He has a letter of apology for the three bears from Goldilocks, a postcard from Jack for the giant, a solicitor's letter on behalf of Little Red Riding-Hood for the wolf who ate grandma, and so on. There are six envelopes in the book, each containing letters, cards, etc.