12 Top Bedtime Stories for 4 Year Olds

I’m back for another round up of my favourite books to read as bedtime stories. This time I’m looking at books for 4 year olds. I would say this list isn’t going to be suitable for all four year old. It’s aimed at the more ‘well-read’ four year old. I know that sounds ridiculous, especially as my four year old aren’t actually the ones reading but being read too, but I’ll explain why.

This selection is for the four year old who consumes book after book. the four year old who knows all the traditional tales and the four year old who enjoys extended reading sessions.

Moving on from just Picture Books

We had worked our way through all the decent picture books at the library and so I began looking at the books for older children. This year is an perculiar one in that there is really no limit to which books I can choose. As it is still me reading, we are not resticted by the text other than ensuring I choose ones they can understand.

As of next year, when they begin to read books to themselves, I guess we will go backward to simpler text. Hopefully, they will retain their passion for stories and be motivated to read even when the stories are drier and less exciting.

I figured if I was going to be reading longer books and novels, I may as well turn to some of the best children’s authors. The girls were already familiar with some but now they have heard stories from an even wider pool.

In no particular order, here are some stories we’ve been enjoying.

The Tale of…. series – Beatrix Potter

The Beatrix Potter stories are classic. However these have been some of the trickiest to read as the language is quite advanced. I’m sure these are books we will revisit in a year or two.

The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters – Janet & Allan Ahlberg

This is a well loved and well read version from my own childhood. I have only just introduced it to the girls. This story needs children to be familiar with other traditional tales such as Red Riding Hood and The Three Bears for it be most appreciated.

A Faraway Tree Adventure – Enid Blyton

A perfect transition into chapter books with lots of colourful pictures and large text. There is still something to look at on every page in this series and the stories are whimsical and engaging.

A Dragon in the Castle – Disney Princess Lego Series

A fantastic idea of a story set inside a child’s Lego creation that changes as she plays. This story combined two of my girls’ favourite toys; lego and the Disney characters and was a story we read over and over until we returned it to the library.

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book – Julia Donaldson

Every one of my lists has a Julia Donaldson book. This year I choose Charlie Cook as, like the Jolly Postman, it required previous reader knowledge to fully appreciate it. There are so many hidden elements that my girls’ enjoyed spotting.

I’d also highly recommend The Magic Paintbrush; a traditional Chinese story reworked by Donaldson that makes for a fantastic story to read aloud and with a powerful message too.

Roald Dahl Collection

I really struggled to pick just one Dahl book to include in this list. The first one we read to the girls was Fantastic Mr Fox. It is short and still has quite a few pictures. Esio Trot and The Magic Finger are also shorter ones to begin with.

However, we’ve now worked up to the longer texts too and have loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and George’s Marvelous Medicine. These definitely take a bit more stamina and explanation at times but are well worth the perseverance.

Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

Another classic story from an amazing author. This is a book I’ve also had for many years and now can share with my girls. There are some illustrations and the sections are short.

I’m Absolutely too Small for School – Lauren Child

We do still read picture books and this one has been a great one to get the girls talking about school. We’ve been a fan of the Charlie and Lola books for a while now and love Lauren Child’s style.

Rae the Rollercoaster Fairy – Daisy Meadows

There are loads of these magical stories in the series and I know they are incredibly popular with early readers and so I thought we’d give them a try. This story is simple and easy to follow with short chapters and fun characters.

Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World – Kate Pankhurst

The only non-fiction book in my list but it’s a great one. Every night the girl’s chose a woman each and we read about them. I think it’s fantastic that they now know about inspirational people such as Rosa Parks and Anna Frank. The layout of each page is also engaging and fun.

The Diary of a Killer Cat / PramBusters – Anne Fine

Anne Fine is one of my all time favourite children’s authors and I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting the lovely lady too on a school trip a few years ago. These two books have been a great introduction to her work.

Malorie Blackman, Michael Morpurgo & Dr Seuss

Here are a few other stories on our must read list by well know authors written specifically for a younger audience. We’ve not actually got around to reading these yet but I know we will very soon.

If you’ve got any books your four year olds have been enjoying, please let me know as we are always on the hunt for new stories.


Over 20 suggestions for great books for a well read four year old.

If you enjoyed this post I’m sure you’d love the same post for 3yr olds and 2yr olds.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.