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.

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.

  • ABFHC 3 years +
    3 years +
    • £10.59
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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!

  • PPX2 Toddlers
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    Janet and Allan Ahlberg are the award-winning author-and-illustrator team of Each Peach Pear Plum. This board book version of the best-loved picture book will charm its young readers with a rhyming text and lots of familiar fairy-tale faces.

    On each beautifully illustrated page are characters such as Mother Hubbard, the Three Bears and Tom Thumb and there's tons of fun in store as readers have to find where each one is hiding. This would make a lovely gift for toddlers aged 1+.
  • JPO 3 years +
    3 years +
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    Bestselling author-and-illustrator team Janet and Allan Ahlberg will capture your child's imagination with the Jolly Postman's familiar faces and exciting back stories!

    There's 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 more!

    A lovely bedtime story for children aged 3 and over.
  • TGT2 3 years +
    3 years +
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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.
  • WSP2 Toddlers
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    Created by Eric Hill, Spot the dog has entertained generations of toddlers and this sturdy and interactive board book gives little ones the chance to have hours of fun searching under the flaps for him!

    Children will love the repetition of "Is he in the clock? Is he in the box? Is he under the rug?" and will enjoy predicting what's going to happen with the turn of every page!

    A fun and interactive children's book that will be returned to again and again - Spot books never fail to impress.
  • The World of Peter Rabbit Complete Collection - 23 Books - Collection - 9780723275923 - Beatrix Potter
    WOPR 3 years +
    3 years +
    • £34.99
    • RRP £137.77
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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 Christmas 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
  • DZO2 Toddlers
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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.
  • VHC2 Toddlers
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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.
  • AHRFJ 3 years +
    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!
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    'We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. Will you come too?'

    For a quarter of a century, readers have been swishy-swashying and splash-sploshing through this award-winning favourite from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Presented here in board book form, it's a bear-illiant, rhyming story that children will absolutely love!

    Children will love to follow and join in the family's excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. But are they ready for the surprise that awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest?