3 Books for Your 4-Year-Old

BORING, right? Right. Who cares what your preschooler reads? Not me. Nope. I’ve got enough problems of my own, like how to not look so unattractive every Wednesday. Why are the stars so out of alignment regarding my hair and apparel choices on that day? Why must hump day always equal frump day? These are questions for the ages.

Last week I wrote about Drew’s obsession with his Christmas book Drummer Boy, and how reflective and slightly creeped out the story makes me. Then I got to thinking that it’s been a while since I’ve really recommended any books to you, mostly because I know your kid is going to like the book he is going to like, no matter how much a strange blogger may praise or scorn it. That’s how it’s always been for Drew. I have the sweetest collection of vintage Peter Rabbit books and he would just as soon convert them into Hotwheel ramps or dip them in queso and stick them to my back.

But now that Christmas has come and gone and left in its wake a trail of new books, I thought I’d pick my top three. Because they’re not my top three at all. They are Drew’s. I actually asked him what he thinks for a change.

So without further ado, here are Thing One’s top picks, in the order in which he named them:

Oh The Places You’ll Go

Just because I call him Thing One doesn’t mean Drew is a natural Seussophile. I was actually surprised he named this book first, especially since we have had it since before he was born. It’s an oldie but a goodie, in his book at least. Pun intended.

When I left my job at the advertising agency, the staff bought this book for me and signed the inside covers. So betwixt witty farewells and pithy pronouncements of blessing and remorse, the book now has apple juice rings and a growing plethora of rips and tears. Just the kind of irony I like to enjoy with a glass of wine and artisan cheese.

Llama Llama Red Pajama

So this is also one of MY favorite books because of how Drew pronounces it: “Yama Yama”. It is also one of my favorites because of this example of riveting prose: “Please stop all this llama drama and be patient for your mama.” The story is about a baby llama that becomes inconsolable when his llama mama takes a little too long responding to his calls from bed. What has she been doing? Oh, nothing much, just doing the llama dishes, and answering phone calls from other llamas. She’s just an everyday llama with no bells and whistles and no alternate llama agenda. And that’s what I love about it — no propping up of old llama stereotypes, no romanticizing the llama lifestyle, no denigration of llama hygiene as we have come to expect in most llama literature.


Of course he named this one. I’ve written about my frustration with this book — how open-ended it is for the child to make it as long as possible — and so I’m only recommending it in the sense that your child will love it, even though you might want to go all Fahrenheit 451 on it at the end, and perhaps drink a handle of whiskey. It’s funny that Drew actually still remembers this book because I’ve been refusing to read it to him since the middle of last October. Bless his heart. It’s the only book he really has every truly loved. Trucks is his Juliet. I suppose a kid can dream. But I am a Capulet with a capital C.

So there you go. Three books for your four-year-old. I’d be interested in what you would recommend, too.

Just as long as they pass the queso test.
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