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5 Must Read Books to a 4-Year-Old in 2022

When it comes to reading, books with a purpose that open up a child’s imagination and help teach a lesson are fantastic.

Here are the top 5 books recommended for 4-Year-Olds in 2022 as well as some tips on how you can help your 4-year-old get a head start on literacy before they begin school.

Tips for Reading with 4 Year Old’s

4-year-olds are in their prime for developing cognitive abilities through reading. If you want to help your child have a head start on literacy before they begin school – help your child develop a passion for reading.

During a child’s 4th year of life they start to be able to approach things curiously, build an expansive vocabulary, recognise letters, some words and write their name.

To help a 4-year-old develop these skills here are 4 simple tips:

  • When reading a story to your 4-year-old point to words as you read the book.
  • Pause throughout the book every now and again to ask questions about the book such as things they see, how a character may feel and so forth.
  • For any new words whether it be in books or in conversation, take the time to explain to your child what it means. For example, ask them do they know what ‘success’ means, if not explain what it means and if you are unsure ask Google 😊.
  • Introduce them to Level 1 basic Sight Words (get a free list here), these are everywhere and you can point to them and ask your child if they recognise them. Start with the basic words such as the, I, a, is, to and so on. Also, there are lots of fun Sight Word Games available such as Swat A Sight Word Game.

5 Must Read Books to a 4-Year-Old in 2022

1. The Adventures of Willy and his Sunburnt Bum!
By Tara Pavlovic-Shepherdson, Illustrations by Stacey Sherwood 

The Adventures of Willy and his Sunburnt Bum! by Tara Pavlovic-Shepherdson, Illustrations by Stacey Sherwood

One hot summer day, Willy runs away from his mum when she tried to put sunscreen on and plays outside all day without anything on! He gets redder and redder, until he gets burnt.


This is a hilarious cautionary tale that will have kids rushing to put on their hats (and pants!) and have sunscreen applied (plus my kids just love that the book is about a bum 🤣). This book is also great to use as a reference to remind kids why we put sunscreen on when they complain as we do it. 

2. Back to Sleep
By Zoë Foster Blake, Illustrations by Mike Jacobsen 

Back to Sleep by Zoë Foster Blake, Illustrations by Mike Jacobsen

This is a warm and funny bedtime story where it’s the parents who won’t go to sleep.

Finn is looking forward to drifting off to sleep in his cosy warm bed, when Mummy appears wanting a drink. Finn resettles her and has just fallen asleep, when he’s woken again . . . this time by Daddy, who’s had a bad dream. And so, it goes. Just when Finn has one parent back to sleep, the other wakes up! Who can relate to this with their children? I know I can!

This is a clever, playful and funny story that recognises the ups and downs of family life. The book also helps children begin to develop emotionally thinking of how their actions can affect someone. Hopefully that will mean they will ask less questions before going to bed 🤣.

3. Captain Kangaroo Saves the Day!
By Mandy Foot 

Captain Kangaroo Saves the Day! By Mandy Foot

The book tells the story of a group of Australian animals who fight bushfire “out the back of Bourke” just before drought breaks.

This is the perfect way to introduce kids to become aware of bushfires and all the hard work our fire fighters do.

4. Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
By Carol McCloud, Illustrations by David Messing 

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud, Illustrations by David Messing
This is a beautiful book to encourage positive behaviour as it uses the concept of an invisible buckets to show readers how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love to others by “filling buckets.”

I love that this book teaches valuable lessons about showing goodwill and gratitude which I believe are valuable for not only children however adults too. We can all benefit with reminders of positive thinking and positive behaviour.

5. Roary the Lion
By: Rory H. Mather, Illustrations by Patrick Corrigan

Roary the Lion by By: Rory H. Mather, Illustrations by Patrick Corrigan


Roary is having trouble finding his voice and roaring especially as he's supposed to be the King of the Jungle!

Children can use this story to reflect on when they are having trouble finding their voice (as we all do). The book provides a fun way to generate discussions with kids about building confidence, yet still being yourself.

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Have you read any of the titles on our list? What are your thoughts? Do you have any books you recommend? We want to know, please leave a comment below! 👇👇👇

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