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Pop-up Books for Preschoolers

Make reading a real adventure for your little one


Looking for a way to make books really come alive for your preschooler? Try a pop-up book. Beside words on a page and interesting pictures to look at, pop-up books are filled with things to do -- tabs to push and pull, full scenes to unveil, wheels to spin and a host of intricate details to discover. While care needs to be taken with pop-up books so they don't rip, these type of tomes are great for preschoolers. They are perfect for reading aloud with a special grown-up and do a wonderful job of inspiring a little one's burgeoning imagination and creativity.

Here our some of our favorite pop-up books for preschoolers.

The Amazing Pop-Up Geography Book by Kate Perry

The Amazing Pop-Up Geography Book (Amazing Pop-Ups) Kate Petty Jennie Maizels
Dutton Juvenile/PriceGrabber
Want your little one to learn more about the world around them? The Amazing Pop-Up Geography Book, written by Kate Petty and illustrated by Jennie Maizels is a gorgeous, fun look at the earth, its population and all of its features. Kids (and grown ups) are totally learning while they pull tabs, spin wheels and lift flaps, thanks to a quirky cast of characters (Sonny Sun and Disastrous Dan to name two) and the way the book is nicely organized. While some information may go over a younger preschooler's head, there is definitely a lot to take in and absorb. The pop-ups are truly super cool, and even includes an expandable globe that hangs on a string.

Definitely worth a look (or seven).

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The Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky

The Wheels on the Bus [Hardcover] Paul O. Zelinsky
Dutton Juvenile/PriceGrabber
If there was ever a song that was perfectly made for a pop-up book, it would be "The Wheels on the Bus." This interpretation, by author and illustrator Paul Zelinsky is a classic. Over two decades old, it completely encompasses all the lyrics of the song in a fun way, including doors that "open and shut," wipers that go "swish, swish, swish" and a baby that cries "wah, wah, wah." Aside from familiar lyrics and fun-to-look-at illustrations, Zelinsky does a great job of adding in all sorts of interesting details that add a lot to the story and are sure to peak both yours and your preschooler's interest. The trip on the bus concludes at the public library where the folk singer is singing a familiar tune.

A great book to read (and sing) anytime.

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Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book [Board Book] Rod Campbell
Little Simon/PriceGrabber

A great book for younger preschooler, Dear Zoo is the story of a little boy who is looking for the perfect pet. Now some might point him in the direction of the pet shop, but our hero is pretty sure he's got the right place. Lots of fun will ensure as your young reader will spend page after page lifting flaps and finding all the different animals and helping our protagonist rule out unsuitable choices (naughty monkeys for example). For an added learning experience, try making the different sounds as each animal is revealed. Can your child guess what type of animal is hidden behind the flaps?

It's easy to see why this book is over 25 years old and still immensely popular.

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Love the Beastie: A Spin-and-Play Book by Henrik Drescher

Love the Beastie: A Spin-and-Play Book by Henrik Drescher
Workman Publishing/PriceGrabber

Now this is a pop-up book. A follow-up to the popular Pat the Beastie (compare prices), this tale finds Beastie and his new best friends Paul and Judy having lots of fun together playing on the playground, brushing teeth and even playing dress up. There are so many great things to do on all of the pages and visually there are tons to look at. The text will make you and your kids giggle and the activities will definitely keep everyone busy.

A fun look at the importance of caring for a pet -- even if it's a monster.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle

Just when you thought the classic book couldn't get better, this version was issued, featuring all sorts of lovely pop-ups and things to tug and pull, including colorful fruit that springs from the page, a caterpillar that can be dialed across the ground and a brilliant, accordion cocoon in which the caterpillar eventually springs from. The best is the last page where the butterfly eventually spreads his wings, but until you get to the final spread, there is plenty for you and your preschooler to look at and do.

Eric Carle's beloved tale definitely lends itself to the pop-up format. It's a book you will find yourself pulling of the shelf again and again.

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The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner

The Wide-Mouthed Frog (A Pop-Up Book) Keith Faulkner (Author), Jonathan Lambert (Illustrator)

What does your preschooler like to eat? In this charming, beautifully-illustrated book by Keith Faulkner, a frog spends lots of time talking to his animal neighbors, trying to find out what is on their daily menus. From "worms and slugs" eaten by the bluebird and "seeds and berries" by the mouse, this book features lots of opportunities for fun pop-ups. Even at the end when we meet an alligator who apparently has a fondness for a particular type of green-skinned amphibian.

The ending of this classic tale will crack your preschooler up and will make it a book you'll read more than once.

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