Best books for pre-school girls

My 3.5 year old daughter loves reading books, but it can sometimes be hard to find great stories. Traditional fairytales are full of wicked stepmothers, spineless fathers and helpless princesses, while other stories are full of brave boys and girls who dream of becoming princesses. We often (at my daughter’s insistence) change the gender of the lead characters, but even better are the books which don’t resort to stereotypes.

So, in roughly age-appropriate order, here are my favourite books for inspiring pre-school girls:

  • That’s not my Robot for young toddlers, this has touchy-feely patches on every page. “That’s not my…” is a huge range, but IMHO this one has the most interesting range of textures of the ones we’ve read.
  • What the Ladybird Heard – many of the Julia Donaldson books are a pleasure to read, even after the 100th repetition! This one in particular proved really popular: a tiny ladybird outwits two thieves intent on stealing the prize cow.
  • The Crunching Munching Caterpillar with sounds! The story of a caterpillar who dreams of flying, but it’s really the sounds in this that my daughter loves.
  • A House in the Woods, Bear, Moose and the two little pigs build a house so they can all live together.
  • Look Inside: Your Body my daughter is fascinated with this book, and it has loads of flaps to look behind. The text is quite advanced, but easy enough to simplify for younger kids. There’s a whole range of ‘Look Inside’ books that cover lots of science topics.
  • Animal Stories for Little Children 5 beautifully illustrated stories from around the world
  • I am Amelia Earhart, about the famous pilot who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer, we haven’t actually read this one yet, but I put it on the list because any book about a female Engineer has to be great!
  • Alice in Wonderland once upon a time, in desperation as my daughter wouldn’t go to sleep, I began telling her a story based on what I remembered of Alice in Wonderland. And since that day it’s been a popular choice at bedtime, though we’ve now graduated to reading chapters of the original.
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