People, characters, are pretty much the reason we read any story. Your MC doesn't have to be perfect, they don't even have to be all that nice, but there is one single important thing they must do to gain the readers' admiration.
Keep toddlers and preschoolers busy with these Book Inspired Kid Crafts. It's fun to read the stories with them then create art projects related to the story. Great practice for cutting and gluing too!