Best Books for Toddlers Ages 1-3
Books are important for children of all ages, especially for toddlers ages 1-3. Toddlers are constantly touching, looking, and processing the world around them. They are learning about animals, colors, shapes, and even their bodies. They are starting to pay attention to details and activities for longer periods of time. The toddler years are important for developing a love of books. Reading books with colorful pictures, rhymes, and silly phrases allows them to step into the world of imagination. Board books are great for little hands to hold and are more durable than paper pages. Here are 15 of the best books for toddlers.
Best Picture Books for Toddlers with Flaps and Mirrors
Open the Barn Door, Christopher Santoro. Go down on the farm in this interactive lift-the-flap book. This book introduces children’s favorite farm animals including cows, horses, chickens, and pigs.
Peek-A-Who? Nina Laden. Great for young toddlers, this book uses simple rhymes, bright pictures, and cut out windows to engage the youngest readers. Children can guess and giggle all the way through to the surprise ending.
Check out this quick tip about books with mirrors!
Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell. What animal makes the best pet? This interactive board book lets children lift flaps to discover different types of animals as they find the perfect pet.
Best Bedtime Stories for Toddlers
I Love You Through and Through, Bernadette Rossetti Shustak. Toddlers are full of love and affection. In this sweet story, your child can find out just how much you love each and every part of them.
Goodnight, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann. Follow along as the zookeeper closes up and says goodnight to the animals, but are they really going to sleep? Colorful images and simple wording will keep children engaged in this cute bedtime story.
Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? Brianna Caplan Sayres. This book gives a twist to bedtime routines by applying the rules to trucks. Children who love cars and trucks will enjoy the rhymes, routine, and reminder that their toys will be waiting for them when they wake up in the morning.
Best Picture Books for Toddlers with Rhymes and Chants
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle. This book gives toddlers more animals to see and sounds to make. Bright colorful pictures and repetitive phrases keep children engaged.
The Pout-Pout Fish, Deborah Diesen. Although his friends try to convince him otherwise, the pout-pout fish thinks he will always be glum. The bright colors and playful rhymes are sure to turn any frown upside down.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen, and Helen Roxenbury. With repetitive rhymes and fun to act out phrases, your toddler is sure to love chiming in with this classic story. Children can cross a river, wade through tall grass, and run through a forest on their quest to find a bear. But, what happens when they actually find that bear?
Check out our list of books with rhymes and songs.
Best Picture Books That Encourage Toddlers to Touch and Move
Press Here, Herve Tullet. Every toddler loves to push buttons and shake things up a bit. This book plays on that need to touch. Just follow the instructions and embark on a magical journey.
Don’t Push the Button, Bill Cotter. There’s only one rule. What happens if you don’t follow it? Children will laugh at the crazy effects as you follow (or don’t follow) the directions in this interactive book.
From Head to Toe, Eric Carle. Can you bend your neck like a giraffe or wave your hands like a monkey? I can do it! Colorful pictures and fun animals invite toddlers to use their own bodies to act out the motions in this book.
Barnyard Dance!, Sandra Boynton. Get up and dance with animals on the farm. Make animal noises, twirl with a pig, and follow along with Sandra Boynton’s silly rhymes.
Best Books That Encourage Thinking Outside the Box
Mouse Paint, Ellen Stoll Walsh. Get a lesson in color when mice hide from a cat and use red, yellow, and blue paints. Simple, easy-to-follow images keep children engaged as they watch the colors mix and listen to the story.
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, Audrey Wood and Don Wood. Children will laugh at the mouse’s actions as he tries to hide his strawberry from the big, hungry bear. This book is fun to read and act out and is sure to be a favorite for years.
Snuggle up with your toddler and step into an entire world of touch, imagination, and play.
Get your Reading Boots on and enjoy 15 of our favorite books for toddlers!