Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Picture Books for a Three Year Old Boy

Continuing to share some of our favorite picture books. See also Winter Books and Agrarian Books. Spring is also book sale season, so start checking the dates of sales in your area.

Have you noticed that boys and girls like different books? At least mine do. Not that they don't enjoy hearing me read the same books but several books have been poured over by our boys which only had a passing glance by our daughters.

Both of my boys are early birds. I don't usually mind but on a rare quiet weekend, Ed and I do relish a lazy morning. We had to train our boys to  go look at a book, if they woke before us. Maybe this is telling how lazy I am but I couldn't begin to count how many mornings I went to the living room to find our boys engrossed in these books. Sometimes it was barely light enough for them to see the pictures.

Several of these books we are on our second copy, though, of course, I get my books second hand so they were probably already well loved before they arrived in our house!

Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry.
I can't say I enjoy reading aloud Richard Scarry books and I usually don't buy them but this book and What Do People Do All Day have been exceptions. No other book has been enjoyed for as many hours as these.

The Complete Adventures of Curious George: 70th Anniversary Edition
The Complete Adventures of Curious George by  Margret and H.A. Rey
Who can't like the humorous antics of a monkey? We like the original tales in this book better than the newer stories adapted from the Rey's characters.

Jennifer and Josephine
Jennifer and Josephine by Bill Peet
The rich vocabulary and wonderful pictures in Bill Peet's books make many of them favorites at our house - though some of his books I don't like. This one I can't read without being reminded how important that I don't turn into a Mr. Frenzy.

 The Little Red Train Storybook by Benedict Blathwayt

This one may be harder to find (though I see it is at Amazon for 1 cent) but it is worth the hunt. I am partial to authors who illustrate their own books. This book is compiled of four simple stories but the pictures are so detailed that they hold even my attention. Personally I like this book far better than the Thomas Train books - or maybe I just hate fads!

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
 Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
This is one I probably could read in my sleep. Actually, did you ever catch yourself reading an entire story and realize your mind was planning supper or your grocery list? I can actually do character voices and great expression and have no idea what I'm reading. I'm not sure if I should be scared or  glad that we moms can multi-task!

Now I'm hoping you will share your favorite books for boys.


  1. If you like authors who illustrate their own books, you'll love the Billy and Blaze series. They are a longer story picture book. They are available in paper back, but if you can find older publications the illustrations are printed in better quality and more of the beautiful details are able to be seen. My son loves these books.

  2. Our boys liked Mike Mulligan also. I have several books that Race really likes. Sammy and the dinosaurs and Goodnight Froggy. I have no idea where they came from. Just turned up and he is really enjoying having them read to him.


  3. One of my hubby's faves is The Biggest Bear =) I must have found our copy when our younger son was about 2yo ~ He loves it too!

    ...He was a trial and a tribulation to the whole valley...
    (if my memory is correct)


  4. My 2yo is sleeping with Mike Mulligan right now :) Our favorite books at that age are the ones by Iza Trapani. She expands on children's songs like How Much is That Doggy in the Window?; Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (You'd really like that one- it's about dealing with gardening pests); Row Row Row Your Boat; and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Because you sing them, the little ones quickly learn them and then can sit down and "read".

  5. Oh, I agree with Melanie, "The Biggest Bear" is a fun and clever story that all of my children have loved hearing read out loud over and over again. Another wonderfully wholesome story is "Down Down the Mountain" by Ellis Credle. I absolutely love this sweet story. Children's literature is a subject I quite enjoy :-)! And yes, my son was more fascinated with Richard Scarry's Busy Town characters than my girls ever were.

  6. My 17 yr. old son loved Richard Scarry books, also Curious George. Other favorites were Little Bear, Henry and Mudge, Hoot, and anything by Eric Carle or Maurice Sendak.

  7. My almost 4 year old boy also loves the original Curious George. He'll read Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel a lot too. Other favorites are Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni (or anything else by Leo Lionni), the Moon Bear books by Frank Asche. Jamie O'rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola (as well as his Knight and the Dragon book). The Lyle the Crocodile books are pretty popular here too.

  8. As you know we don't have boys, but the Papa Small books by Lois Lenski are terrific.....looks like they are pretty expensive on Amazon, but if you ever find them the illustrations are wonderful!
    Also, my hubby's favorites were Dr. Seuss, he still has many of them memorized :)

  9. We love Bill Peet's books also. We have the Caboose That Got Loose and Ella (about an elephant). Richard Scary gets pored over by the boys and bypassed by the girls here. Our children go by spirts--for a week the 2yo had us read Hunting the White Cow all the time. I LOVE book sales so we just have a real accumulation that they go through. When they get older they like The Magic School Bus books. The Biggest Bear here too.

  10. ha - I can read books with different voices and plan just like you can! I never told anyone that because I wasn't sure it was good.

    My son currently adores a book called Racer Dogs by Bob Kolar. We had checked it out randomly at the library, and my son fell in LOVE with it, so we did buy our own copy for a treat. Ben is two and he has this book memorized and sleeps with it. It's an author illustrated book and the rhyming is good - I'm picky about rhymes. I also like that no one wins the race or gets mad about it and all the dogs take baths and go to sleep at the end of the book.

    Ben has some books about trucks. He does like Richard Scarry. He also loves a library book called Sam Goes Trucking about a little boy who goes trucking with his dad for a day; it's illustrated with photos of Sam and his dad, which is really neat.

    Do you know about Shirley Hughes? She's one of my favorite author/illustrators - her books are wholesome and funny and tender and have GREAT illustrations. We like anything by Shirley Hughes, and Ben particularly likes Dogger, a story about a little boy who loses and then finds his favorite stuffed dog.

    Going to check out Bill Peet.

  11. ok, we got Jennifer and Josephine from the library and Ben now sleeps with it too. . . along with Racer Dogs.
    I really like this book too! Thanks for a great recommendation.


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