A picture of several books for three-year-olds on a bright green background

Image: Alex Francis/Penguin

Books for pre-schoolers

Don't Hug Doug (He Doesn't Like It) by Carrie Finison & Daniel Wiseman (2021) 

Some people love hugs and some people don’t. Doug finds them a bit too squeezy and squashy. What he does like though is high fives – and low fives and side fives! This fun picture book will encourage first conversations about being different, consent, and setting boundaries. Ideal for kids who have started going to pre-school.

Hey Duggee: 123 (2020)

Extend your pre-schooler’s grasp of numbers with this entertaining activity book. Duggee and the Squirrels will take little ones through the numbers 1 to 10, plus there are 55 stickers for them to use as well as activities to do as they go along. This is the perfect companion book for children learning to count.

Peppa Pig: Peppa at Playgroup Sticker Activity Book (2020) 

Featuring over 50 stickers, activities and pages to colour in, Peppa at Playgroup follows along with Peppa Pig and her friends as they have fun at playgroup for the day. A great one for cold and wet days when you're stuck indoors, Peppa fans will be occupied for hours as they colour, cut and stick along with the characters.

Hey Duggee: The Hand Washing Badge (2020)

A very topical lesson from Duggee – the Squirrels are learning to wash their hands properly before pizza time in order to earn their Handwashing Badges. Toddlers can learn the special handwashing song and understand the importance of personal hygiene, especially during the coronavirus era.

Magic Windows: My Body by Libby Burns (2021)

In Magic Windows: My Body little ones will learn about how their body moves, why food is important and why we need to sleep at the end of a busy day. They will love pulling the sliding mechanism to reveal the surprise in each magic window. This is a perfect book for curious toddlers who also want to play as they learn.

Hey Duggee: ABC (2019)

What could be more fun than learning your ABCs with the help of Duggee and the Squirrels? Including stickers and all the characters from the BAFTA-winning CBeebies show, little ones will love the bright colours and interactive format of this engaging activity book.

Peppa Pig: Yum! Yum! Yum! Sticker Activity Book (2019)

Introduce your fussy eater to a huge variety of food with the help of every pre-schooler’s favourite, Peppa Pig. With over 100 stickers to keep them entertained, this activity book is full of delicious things to eat, from Mummy Pig’s cookies to Grandpa Pig’s home-grown vegetables. Children can even help Peppa decorate a tasty pizza, and with so many things on the menu, this is a wonderful way to coax young ones to try different foods.

Bedtime books

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Dragon by Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton (2021) 

These two might be just the sweetest dragons you’ve ever met but they are not sleepy! Follow Flicker and Flash as they use their best tactics to avoid going to bed. But soon the excuses turn to a genuine reason when they find an egg that has lost its mother. Can they get it back safely to where it belongs before it’s time to be tucked up for the night? You’ll have to read along to find out! Don't forget to check out the rest of the Ten Minutes to Bed series.

Peppa Pig: Peppa's Countdown to Bedtime (2021)

Peppa doesn’t think she’s sleepy enough to go to bed yet. But when she and her family start counting all of the things she loves best about bedtime, she soon finds herself drifting off. This delightful story will help even the liveliest of toddlers settle down for a peaceful night's sleep.

My Big Boy Bed: A Pirate Pete book (2014)

Pirate Pete is moving out of his cot and into a big boy bed. It’s a little bit scary, but his new bed is lovely and comfortable. This delightful interactive book is great for introducing little ones to the idea of moving over to a big bed, from getting rid of the cot to choosing new bedding, to staying in bed for the whole night. They will also love pushing the reward button to cheer Pete on, and feel encouraged to try it out for themselves. There's also a Princess Polly version of this book.

Brilliant audiobooks

Ladybird Funny Stories for 3 Year Olds read by Katy Wix & Rhashan Stone (2021) 

Who is up for a giggle? Featuring funny sound effects and a hilarious collection of engaging stories written by Serena Patel, Ladybird Funny Stories for 3 Year Olds is guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained. Plus, at just over an hour long, it’s the perfect companion for long car or train journeys.

Ladybird Bedtime Stories for 3 Year Olds (2020)

A perfect addition to any toddler’s bedtime routine, Ladybird Bedtime Stories for 3 Year Olds will encourage little ones’ minds to switch off in time for sleep. This collection of original tales with soothing music has been designed to wind kiddies down after a busy day. This audiobook is great for you to switch on when you're maybe just a little too tired to read to them yourself at bedtime!

Potty training books

Pirate Polly's Potty (2019) 

Potty training can be stressful, but Pirate Polly is on hand to help in this brilliant board book, which comes complete with a noisy red cheer button. Perfect for pre-schoolers getting to grips with toilet training, Pirate Polly’s Potty is an engaging story full of fun, colourful pictures, designed to ease any anxieties about moving on from nappies. Press the button to reward a successful potty or toilet trip with a resounding cheer.

Pirate Pete's Potty sticker activity book (2014)

Pirate Pete is moving out of nappies, but it’s not as easy as it sounds… Motivate even the most potty-resistant child with this activity and sticker reward book. Children will enjoy following Pete on his adventures, using the 70 bright stickers to interact with the story as Pete progresses from nappy to potty. They will also find a reward chart of their very own, and lots of incentives to keep going with their own potty training. 

Pirate Pete's Potty (2009)

Pirate Pete is learning to use the potty and we need to cheer him along! Three-year-olds who are also potty training will enjoy pressing the noisy button and will be encouraged to try out the potty for themselves, just like Pete. This thoughtful book makes potty training a positive experience for both parents and toddlers embarking on this exciting new stage.

Princess Polly's Potty sticker activity book (2014)

Get your princess-loving child out of nappies and onto their very own throne with this sticker activity book, which celebrates the potty-training adventures of Princess Polly. With 70 colourful stickers that can be used to decorate a special reward chart, this entertaining and interactive book offers lots of opportunities to talk with little ones about potty training, helping them feel more confident and secure. 

Books for playtime

Busy Day: Athlete by Dan Green (2021) 

Are you ready to hit the running track and learn the ropes with a professional athlete? You'll need to warm up first, perform a pole vault and dive into the pool – and little ones can do all this by using the interactive action flaps. The clever flaps will encourage discussions while also developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Little World: Building Site by Samantha Meredith (2021)

Bring the big wide world into your home with this fun and interactive book for toddlers with busy hands and busy minds. From a cup of tea to start the day to digging up the earth and churning cement, little readers will love going behind the scenes on a building site. The push and pull elements on every spread will keep children engaged and the charming artwork will provide them with plenty of things to spot and see.

Hey Duggee: Treasure Hunt (2021)

Treasure hunting is one of our favourite things to do, and it looks like the Squirrels are working on getting their Treasure Hunt Badges. So, help them out by lifting the hide-and-seek flaps in this board book! Featuring everyone’s favourite characters from the hugely popular CBeebies show, this book makes the perfect gift for a Duggee superfan.

Peppa Pig: Peppa's Talent Show (2021)

Magic tricks, playing a musical instrument, or singing – everyone seems to have one talent they can show off. But what will Peppa’s be? Join Peppa and George at the talent show and prepare for it to be noisy! Encourage your three-year-old to think about what they’d like their talent to be as they enjoy pressing these 18 brilliant sounds. A great one to enjoy together at playtime.

How Are You Today? (2019)

As children grow they start to develop empathy and understanding for others, and this entertaining book is a great way to teach them about facial expressions in a fun and interactive way. Sit down together and flip the flaps to create lots of different expressions, encouraging young ones to match the expression on the page to their own face. This board book will generate plenty of laughs and it’s a great starting point for discussion too.

Books to prepare for new siblings

I’m a New Big Brother: A Pirate Pete book (2013) 

Becoming a big brother is a big deal, and Pirate Pete isn’t quite sure what to expect. This gentle and uplifting board book would make a great present for any little boy who is also about to become a big brother. With simple text, bright illustrations, and an interactive button that children can press to hear a baby giggle, it perfectly describes all the fun and excitement of a new sibling. 

I’m a New Big Sister: A Princess Polly book (2013)

Princess Polly is about to become a big sister. She’s very excited – but what does it mean for life at home? This bright and comforting story talks through all the fun and confusion of having a new sibling, helping new big sisters understand what might happen when a baby joins the family. They will enjoy pushing the button to interact with the story, and the simple text offers plenty of opportunities to talk about the similarities between Princess Polly’s story and their own. 

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