Four to Six Years Old

This page lists books to read to children or for them to read to themselves. For books about children and childraising, see Education.

In addition to the books listed here, an excellent source of both book lists and information about children's evolving need for books is Babies Need Books.

Many books listed on the pages for earlier ages continue to be suitable for this age, and may be appreciated with a growing sophistication.

Most of these books continue to be suitable for reading at one sitting, but some longer books are introduced, books that should be read in installments.

Books

  • Aesop's Fables by Aesop (editor). Short, literate stories, each with a moral, allowing a child to get the idea of drawing a generalization from a story. The brevity makes them understandable as wholes and a manageable size for older children to read.
  • Another Mouse to Feed by Robert Kraus. When yet another mouse baby arrives in the family, mom and dad become overtaxed, so all the other children pitch in industriously and soon all is prosperity. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen, John R. Maslen (Illustrator). Five boxed sets of small books use simple stories and clear illustrations to guide a learning phonics student from the basic letter sounds to long vowels and more advanced letter combinations.
  • Chanticleer and the Fox by by Geoffrey Chaucer, Barbara Cooney (Illustrator). A rooster learns the danger of following flattery.
  • Cinderella by K. Y. Craft. Beautiful illustrations and typography partner with a text adapted from the The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book and Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book.
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. The Greek myths told for young readers. The illustrations and stories convey much of the original, pagan flavor, values and detail.
  • Dinosaur Pizza by Lee Wardlaw, author; Julie Durrell, illustrator. Jill has trouble pleasing her new friends. Ingeniously, she figures out how to meet their wacky tests. She also realizes that she has her own values, distinct from theirs.
  • Dogger by Shirley Hughes. A loved toy is lost and then found.
  • Down Comes the Rain by Franklyn M. Branley, author; James Graham Hale, illustrations. All about water vapor, evaporation, slow, sleet, and -- of course -- rain.
  • Greek Myths for Young Children by Marcia Williams. Greek myths condensed and illustrated with dramatic, colorful drawings.
  • Happy Birthday, Sam by Pat Hutchins.
  • Hector's Hiccups by Lee Wardlaw, author; Joan Holub, illustrator. Hector has hiccups. Can his brother and sister cure them? Many cures are tried, but Hic! Hic! the hiccups are back. What will work?
  • I Wish that I had Duck Feet by Theo. LeSieg, author; BTobey, illustrator. A boy wishes that he had animal parts, but realizes that while they would bring advantages, they would also cause him real problems, and concludes that being himself is the best thing of all.
  • Katie Morag by Mairi Hedderwick. Katie Morag McColl lives on the island of Struay, in Scotland. Her adventures are adventurous, and never sacharine or preachy.
  • Kids Baking by Chuck Williams, general editor; Abigail Johnson Dodge, recipes and text. Cookies, cakes, pies and breads that kids can bake. Real recipes using real equipment give children a clear sense that they can create something important.
  • Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein.
  • Pegasus by Marianna Mayer, author; K. Y. Craft, illustrator. The young hero, Bellerophon, is condemmed by an envious King to undertake the dangerous mission of slaying the Chimera. First, he must win the trust of the winged steed Pegasus, who can soar through the clouds and has been tamed by no man. Through bravery and skill, Bellerophon triumphs.
  • Punia and the King of Sharks by Lee Wardlaw, author; Felipe Davalos, illustrator. Punia is brave and resourceful as he defeats the King of Sharks repeatedly and secures for himself and his mother the cave of delicious lobsters.
  • Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky. An accurate retelling of the story of a young woman locked in a magical tower by an enchantress, marrying and eloping with a prince, pursued, lost, seeking and finally finding each other.
  • Read-Aloud Poems for Young People, An Introduction to the Magic and Excitement of Poetry by Gloria Hale, Editor.
  • Rhymes for Annie Rose by Shirley Hughes. Cheerful rhymes about and for Annie Rose and her family. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Saturday Night Jamboree by Lee Wardlaw, author; Barry Root, illustrator. When Mom and Dad go dancin', the baby sitters whip up rootin', tootin' entertainments. But the best night of all is Saturday, when Mom and Dad have a jamboree at home.
  • The Children's Book of Heroes by William J. Bennett, Michael Hague (Illustrator). William Bennett has selected for this book stories of heroes that a child might look up to, people of courage and high moral stature. But, you must use this book selectively because the morals depicted range from the selfish, this-worldly orientation of Greek myths to the altruism of Father Flanagan and Mother Theresa. Fortunately, the former predominate.
  • The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer, retold and Illustrated by Marcia Williams. The entire Iliad and adventures of Odysseus, in brief, with colorful, cartoon illustrations.
  • The Kid's Cookbook, A great book for kids who love to cook! by Chuck Williams, general editor; Abigail Johnson Dodge, recipes and text; Leigh Beisch, photography. Enticing photographs and clear directions for yummy foods that a child can make (with adult supervision and/or assistance).
  • The Lighthouse Keeper by Ronda Armitage and David Armitage. Industrious Mr Grinling, his clever wife, Mrs Grinling, and masterful cat, Hamish, tend the lighthouse, get into one scrape after another, but always find a solution.
  • The Little House Series, (9-Book Boxed Set) by Laura Ingalls Wilder. These fascinating stories recount the life of Laura, Mary, baby Carrie, Ma and Pa from the late 1870s in a log house in Wisconsin, to a sod house on the Kansas prairie and on as they grew up. They are readable by a young though not beginning reader. Children from about four on can enjoy having these read to them, though only the first three books are suitable for the youngest listeners.
  • The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack, author, Kurt Wiese, illustrator. Ping the duckling does not return, as he should, to his houseboat one evening, but hides instead to avoid a spank. The boat sails away without him; he then has several adventures, and is nearly a dinner, before discovering his houseboat again. This time, he chooses to be home, even at the cost of a little spank.
  • The Tales of Grandpa Cat by Lee Wardlaw, author; Ronald Searle, illustrator. Three cat children visit their grandpa at the retirement home, expecting to be bored, but instead discover the adventurous histories of the residents and come to a new appreciation of their grandparents. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • The Wizard of Walloby Wallow, Jack Kent. A mouse, tired of being a mouse, wants to be something else. After the Wizard gives him an unlabled bottle of potion that will turn him into "something else," he weighs-up the advantages of other animals versus his own values, and concludes that he likes being himself. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Titch by Pat Hutchins.
  • Tomie de Paola's Favorite Nursery Tales by Tomie de Paola. Stories, poems and fables for children, including several from Aesop, Stevenson and Lear.
  • Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett. A young girl repeatedly outwits trolls trying to steal her dog. With marvelous, detailed illustrations.

  • Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant, pictures by Sucie Stevenson. Henry and his big dog Mudge love each other and have cheerful adventures in each of this series of chapter books.
  • Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Nate the Great uses confidence, observation and logic to solvea a baffling puzzle in this, the first of a long series of clever stories.
  • One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey.
  • Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault, author; Fred Marcellino, illustrator; Malcolm Arthur, translator. Puss, through ingenuity, turns her master from a penniless orphan to a lord. Beautiful illustrations augment this classic French tale.
  • Railways and Trains by Caroline Young and Colin King. The exciting story of the invention and variety of trains.
  • The Golden Mare, the Firebird and the Majic Ring by Ruth Sanderson. A brave hunter seeking adventure wins a golden mare, captures the firebird and finally, through his cleverness, wins the hand of the most beautiful girl in the kingdom and the kingdom itself. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • The One-Eyed Giant, and other monsters from the Greek Myths by Anne Rockwell. Ten tales of monsters and the heros who defeated them.(out-of-print, see sources.)
  • The Robber Baby, Stories from the Greek Myths by Anne Rockwell. Tales of Hermes, Apollo, and other gods, heros and adventures.(out-of-print, see sources.)
  • The Trojan Horse. A short book designed for early readers, it tells the story of Odysseus's defeat of the Trojans.
  • Tom Thumb by by Marianna Mayer, author; pictures by K. Y. Craft. Tom Thumb, though small, through cleverness and bravery dispells the most fearsome giant and becomes a knight of King Arthur.
  • What Do You Say, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin (author), Maurice Sendak (Illustrator). Hilarious settings and winsome drawings introduce children to manners.

Audio Recordings

  • Ballet Stories by retold by David L. Angus; Jenny Agutter, narrator. Coppelia, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, the Nutcracker, Swan Lake
  • Celtic Treasures by as told by Jim Weiss, with music by Paul Machlis. Ancient stories of bards and warriors told with passion and sensitivity.
  • Greek Myths by as told by Jim Weiss, Greathall Productions. Kign Midas, Arachne, Perseus, Medusa and Hercules come alive in this telling of the classic Greek myths.
  • Heros in Mythology, Theseus, Prometheus, Odin by as told by Jim Weiss.
  • King Arthur and His Knights by as told by Jim Weiss.
  • Philadelphia Chickens by Sandra Boynton and Michael Ford. How silly can you get? 17 and 1/2 songs from a musical review featuring a bovine chorus line, jazz chickens, intermezzo ardvarks, rope-skipping dinosaurs and more!
  • Rhinoceros Tap by Sandra Boynton. Cheery, tappy dance tunes and other clever songs featuring personable animals.

Videos

  • Dumbo by Walt Disney. Politically incorrect and all the better for it. Dumbo is jeered by others but learns that bravery and conviction will allow him to triumph.
  • George Shrinks. George is resourceful, optimistic and brave. He is also about four inches tall, which in this video series is not a handicap but an opportunity for adventure.
  • Lilo and Stitch by Walt Disney. An orphaned girl finds a best friend in an outcast alien who discovers that he can be good, not destructive.
  • Monsters, Inc. by Walt Disney. Two monsters who make a living scaring children discover that they love children, and that selfish love is stronger than envy and dishonesty.
  • Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat by Amy Tan and others. A court cat in ancient China learns various lessons in bravery, honesty and self-reliance.
  • Skeleton, Eyewitness. Animals, birds and fish all have skeletons. See what purpose is served by the skeleton and the history of our knowledge about it,
  • Toy Story by Disney, Pixar. Woody overcomes his jealosy and Buzz Lightyear his delusions when they realize that the values they hold in common are more important than their rivalry.
  • Toy Story 2 by Disney, Pixar. Woody discovers that a finite life full of values is better than a value-empty immortality.
  • Wallace & Gromit. Gromit, the intelligent, expressive and tolerant dog, lives with his master, Wallace the inventor. They travel to the moon for a cheese holiday in a home-built rocket, survive techno-trousers controlled by a diabolical boarder, and defeat a sheep rustling scheme that hides something even worse than its already sinister surface.

  • Flight, Eyewitness. Birds fly, even some mammals and reptiles fly, and, of course, man knows how to fly. This video explores the variety and history of flight. Like the other videos in the Eyewitness series, it is visually rich but shallow on explanation and mixes science and myth carelessly.
  • Weather, Eyewitness. Storms, clouds, sunshine, rain, wind and fair weather: all of the variety and effects of weather. Like the other videos in the Eyewitness series, it is visually rich but shallow on explanation and mixes science and myth carelessly.

Links

  • Kids Need History Early – You want to include history in your homeschooling curriculum, but you face a lot of tough questions. At the top of the list are what to teach, and how. But if you want to help your child to appreciate history, an equally important question is when to start teaching it. The sooner children start learning the right history, the greater the chance they will learn to love it.
  • Why History? – Why should kids study history? Why should anyone, for that matter? Here is why.



Katie Morag Delivers the Mail

Katie Morag Delivers the Mail



Mr Putter and Tabby Feed the Fish

Mr Putter and Tabby Feed the Fish

Treva climbing Mount Baldy, from 

Trouble with Trolls

Treva climbing Mount Baldy, from Trouble with Trolls

Sal and her Dad, from 

One Morning in Maine

Sal and her Dad, from One Morning in Maine

Nate the Great

Nate the Great