My 3-year-old grabbed his favorite dino books and pulled himself into my lap.
Some moms enjoy doing activities with their kids, playing with them, or taking them to crowded theme parks. But my favorite time is sitting and reading books with my children.
I spend a lot of time searching for the perfect books to make this time enjoyable for us. I want books that hold their interest and teach them about topics they’re already interested in.
My son continues to love dinosaurs but has outgrown some of his 2-year-old books. This is the new collection that I’ve put together for him as a 3-year-old. All of these books are perfect for any 3-year-old who loves dinosaurs.
The Best Dinosaur Books for 3-year-olds
1. Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp!* Margaret Mayo
This book has more of a storybook feel than many of the others on this list. Making it fun for both kids and adults to read. Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! brings many of the dinosaurs together in a rhyme that’s easy to fall in love with. With the tyrannosaurus rex at the end of the book going “stomp, stomp, stomp.”
It’s catchy and engaging, with bright illustrations, and includes a list of pronunciations in case you’re unfamiliar with some of the dinosaurs and how to say their names. It’s one of the best books you’ll find for 3-year-olds.
2. Night Night, Dino-Snores Nicola Edwards
This is one that my son liked as a 2-year-old, but reading through the paragraph on each page was a little brutal at that age and I found myself skipping sentences. As a 3-year-old, Night Night, Dino-Snores is right in line with where he’s at.
This is a great bedtime dinosaur story for young readers. It goes through many of the species as they go to sleep. It doesn’t give you the pronunciation or teach you anything new, but it’s a nice bedtime story for dinosaur lovers.
3. Dinosaurs Galore! Giles Andreae
This is another book with stunning illustrations, similar to Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! Dinosaurs Galore! gives the name of each dinosaur and a short paragraph of rhyming description.
I like that the pronunciation is on the page with the name (and not in an appendix). Though, if you’ve been reading dinosaur books for a while, you probably won’t need it.
There are a few extra dinosaurs in this book that aren’t often covered, along with all the regular favorites. Plus, the illustrations are beautiful. It includes a few basic facts about dinosaurs, but isn’t the best one if you’re simply looking for fact books (try Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? or Hello, World! Dinosaurs.
4. Ten Minutes to Bed Little Dinosaur Rhiannon Fielding
This is a book that my son has continued to love. Ten Minutes to Bed Little Dinosaur is a story about Rubble the dinosaur who goes out seeking an adventure with just ten minutes left until bed. He faces obstacles that are familiar to a typical dinosaur setting, like a volcano. I read this with him at 2, but he continues to get more from the story as a 3-year-old.
This is one of my favorites to read because it tells a story instead of just giving information. However, if you’re strictly looking for books your child can learn from, this doesn’t provide any specific dinosaur information. But it’s a great read for younger children who like stories about dinosaurs.
5. Hello, World! Dinosaurs Jill McDonald
This is another beautifully illustrated book. Similar to the others, Hello, World! Dinosaurs lists a number of dinosaurs, giving little bits of information about each. It’s a great introduction to the prehistoric world for 3-year-olds and great for a budding paleontologist. This one provides more information than some of the others. Bringing out relevant and little-known facts about some dinosaurs.
It also references the fact that dinosaurs aren’t around anymore, pointing kids toward museums to see them. It’s perfect for 3-year-olds who are starting to explore the pages and ask questions.
6. Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? Bonnie Worth
This book is still a favorite of mine and is perfect for a 3-year-old who loves dinosaurs. Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? is a great book for learning about dinosaurs. What I love about this one is that the name of the dinosaur and its pronunciation are in the book in a way that causes your child to repeat the name. This is fantastic for helping young children learn the names of dinosaurs with the correct pronunciation. And it includes a lot of dinosaur facts that young minds will love.
The book also uses the easy rhyming of Dr. Suess, making it full of funny rhymes and that are perfect for your little dino. Though it is long, it’s easy to get through and you can explore every aspect with your engaged 3-year-old.
My son continues to love these sound books. His new favorite is this Look, Listen, Roar! book from the Jurassic World collection.
In this Jurassic adventure, your child will encounter a few of the dinosaurs from Jurassic World. My son doesn’t know what Jurassic World is, but that doesn’t hinder his understanding of the book. It includes the roar button for 6 different dinosaurs and a textured pad that is supposed to feel like the Triceratops’ skin. It’s pretty simple, but I like that it includes a few dinosaurs that we don’t often encounter – stygimoloch and apatosaurus.
This book discusses different types of dinosaurs and gives various information about them. Even after reading many dinosaur books and watching Dino Dan and Dino Dana, this book taught us a few things we didn’t know.
Usborne Lift-the-Flap Dinosaurs includes many flaps and reads less like a story and more like bits of interesting information that you can explore through the pages. It’s great for 3-year-olds that have trouble focusing on a story but can explore bits and pieces as they go.
Note: Buy the hardcover. The paperback and board book are slightly different books.
9. Noisy Dinosaurs Jonathan Litton
What is it about toddlers and preschoolers and imitating sounds? My boys love copying to sounds that these books make.
This book isn’t as great as Clever Creatures and Boundless Beasts, but my kids love these sound books. The button is embedded in a textured piece on the page. They love pressing it, hearing, and imitating the dinosaur sounds. The actual story in Noisy Dinosaurs is somewhat unimpressive, but it encourages kids to repeat the sounds they hear. And they love it!
10. How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? Jane Yolen
Does your child thrash and whine when you try to put them to bed? This book has a clever way of teaching preschoolers to calmly say good night, just like a dinosaur. How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? includes different dinosaurs, names included. So when your child asks, “What kind of dinosaur is that?” The answer is on the page.
It’s a great way to teach a subtle lesson and grow their love and knowledge of dinosaurs.
11. Dinosaur Roar! Paul Strickland
This book is simple. It identifies many dinosaurs using one descriptive word – “dinosaur short, dinosaur tall.” I like this for 3-year-olds because it helps them understand opposites. Have you ever tried to describe something to your 3-year-old and felt like they weren’t quite getting it? This book will help them understand those specifics that aren’t easy to explain.
Dinosaur Roar! was originally published in 1994 and is now considered a classic (crazy for those of us who feel like 1994 was a few years ago). Because of this, there is one dinosaur that is described as “fat,” which isn’t a word I’d like to teach my 3-year-old. You can change this to “big” when you read.
These Melissa and Doug books include dots for kids to poke. I’ve found that kids of all ages love sitting and poking the dots (including our upper elementary kids). Poke-A-Dot! Dinosaurs A to Z is a dinosaur alphabet book with a dot to poke for each dinosaur. It also includes some fun facts about each dinosaur as they go through the alphabet. There are many well-known dinosaurs and quite a few little-known species. The book also identifies each dinosaur as either an herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore.
This gives kids alphabet exposure, but mostly it’s a fun dinosaur book with a unique element.
13. Dinosaurumpus! Tony Mitton
This book reminds me of a more advanced version of Dinosaur Dance! by Sandra Boynton (which I highly recommend for 1-2 year olds). Dinosaurumpus! is the perfect fun dinosaur book for 3-year-olds. Not only is it a fun rhythm book with a dinosaur theme, but dinosaur names and interesting facts are woven through the musical theme.
This is one of those good dinosaur books you won’t want to miss. With its catchy rhymes, it’s the perfect way to help your child learn to love reading.
14. Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs Giles Andreae
3-year-olds can be all over the place. Lately, reading with my son hasn’t been the easiest experience. He has questions about everything and nothing seems to hold his attention. Except for this book. It’s a little on the longer side, but there’s so much action and adventure that there isn’t a moment for his mind to wonder. This was the first quiet read we’ve had in a long time.
Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs follows Flinn who falls through the back of the craft closet at school (Narnia style) and lands in a world with ships, pirates, and dinosaurs. If your 3-year-old is as busy as mine, this is the book for him.
Dinosaur Books for 3-Year-Olds – Quick Shop
If you’re looking for some great dinosaur books for 3-year-olds, pick these up to make the perfect collection for reading time.
- Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp!
- Night Night, Dino-Snores
- Dinosaurs Galore!
- Ten Minutes to Bed Little Dinosaur
- Hello, World! Dinosaurs
- Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur?
- Jurassic World – Look, Listen, Roar!
- Usborne Lift-the-Flap Dinosaurs
- Noisy Dinosaurs
- How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?
- Dinosaur Roar!
- Poke-A-Dot! Dinosaurs A to Z
- Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs
I hope you use this list to build the perfect library for your 3-year-old so you can spend time reading together. I’d love to know which books are your kids’ favorites.
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