Recently I tried an experiment. I picked up my husband’s old copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to read to Jacob, our almost 4-four-year-old. My hopes weren’t high—the kid doesn’t exactly get gold stars at circle time—but I figured it was worth a try. Turns out, he was just as enthralled as I was with the world of chocolate rivers, everlasting gobstoppers, and blueberry tinged ne’er-do-wells, and reading together soon became our favorite activity.  For the next week, at bedtime or when he woke up early (or really any time we had a moment of quiet), we curled up together and read. It was glorious.

I’m not sure I’m exaggerating when I say this is why I became a mother. 

Roald Dahl was such a hit, I thought we’d try Matilda, another relic of my husband’s childhood. I was quickly reminded, however, of the darker and more mature side of the author’s canon. When I asked myself what’s the best way to explain verbal abuse to a 4-year-old? I decided it was probably time to find something more age appropriate.

I was at a loss—he seemed ready for the language and plot aimed at older kids, but not ready for the emotional complexity that often accompanies those kinds of stories.

He was already asking for which book we were reading next, so I reached out to my online network of nerdy mom friends. Within an hour, I had a list of titles and series that is sure to keep us occupied until he’s packed his bags for college.

If your preschooler is tired of toddler books, try a few of these chapter books:

What would you add to this list?

Looking for more resources? Try out these links:
What We Do All Day Book Lists for Preschoolers and 3 Year Olds=

Read Aloud Revival

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