Books of Threes

Did you know November 29th is the 333rd day of 2021? To mark the occasion, I wanted to share a list of “books of threes” perfect for early learners ages three and up.

Some of our best-beloved stories feature three characters (bears or billy-goats). Or three acts (“A Christmas Carol”). Or three installments (“Knuffle Bunny”).

Three is also a surprisingly useful number for building early literacy skills. We can use “The Three Little Pigs” to illustrate how:

  • Three plot points (beginning, middle, and end) help children recognize elements of a story, even before they begin to read.
    • Three pigs build their houses, then the wolf comes, finally the pigs chase away the wolf.
  • Three items involve more comparisons than two items. This increases vocabulary and improves classification skills.
    • The houses are made of “straw” and “sticks” and “bricks.” Why did only two houses fall down?
  • Three steps are more complex than cause-effect stories. They build cognition skills and help develop critical thinking.
    • The wolf ruins two houses before the end of the story. Which house was strongest? Why?

Invite your little one to make up a story with three components. Offer to write it down so you can re-read it for years to come. Or, ask them to draw their three-piece story and “read” it back to you. Check out these books of three for some inspiration!

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at

The Three Lucys

A young Lebanese boy must learn to cope with loss and hope for a peaceful future after losing one of his beloved cats because of The July War. Based on the month-long conflict between Lebanon and Israel during the summer of 2006.

Trio: The Tale of a Three-Legged Cat

A kitten born with only three legs loves doing the same things as the chickens who share a garage with him, including sitting on a nest.

Where Three Oceans Meet

Traveling to the southern tip of India, Sejal, Mommy, and Pati find their way to Kanyakumari, where three oceans meet, and delight in making it to the end of the earth together. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.