10 Great Books For Toddlers That Every Little Library Needs!

By Paula McLaren •  Updated: 01/18/22 •  10 min read  •  Toddler » Toddler Play

Finding the best books for toddlers will be a journey full of funny characters, beautiful stories, morals, lessons and lots of bright colours!

Toddlers now understand what the world around them is all about and so you can begin to incorporate more complex and longer stories into their library!

Of course, firm favourites from their early years will still remain, but now is the perfect time to expand their bookshelf and vocabulary with new books!

These 10 beautiful books for toddlers will inspire endless hours of storytelling fun and my top 10 tips for choosing the best books for toddlers are designed to ensure you and your little one have a smile on your faces over and over again when choosing books to read!

(Just be prepared to read them a hundred times… and then maybe a couple of hundred times more!)

The 10 Very Best Books For Toddlers!

Out of the literally thousands of books for toddlers on the market, these are my 10 absolute favourites that I believe every little library should include!

1. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton ticks the wacky rhyming box while tackling the issue of your toddler’s natural reluctance to go to bed. It is short and to the point so it makes a great book for toddlers.

Sandra Boynton has nailed this book as she understands how to capture a young child’s attention with humour and fun!

The Going-To-Bed Book By Sandra Boynton
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2. Silver (Four Seasons of Walter de la Mare)

I love this whole series of books for toddlers that encapsulate Walter de la Mare’s beautiful poems.

They are a wonderful way to introduce your toddler to poetry enhanced by Carolina Rabel’s lovely illustrations and Silver is a stunning example to add to your toddler’s library.

Silver (Four Seasons of Walter de la Mare)
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3. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr Seuss

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr Seuss is a classic book that your older toddler will absolutely love!

For generations, this book has helped children learn their colours and to count while keeping them fascinated with quirky rhyming and cute illustrations.

Dr Seuss: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
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4. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Each Peach Pear Plum By Janet and Allan Ahlberg is one of my all-time favourite books for toddlers and one that my son loved too!

It has repeating text and beautifully detailed illustrations that encourage your little one to find well-known nursery characters, which is guaranteed to keep your toddler engaged over and over again!

Each Peach Pear Plum By Janet and Allan Ahlberg
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5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Another classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar with its clever cutouts, teaches little ones counting and the days of the week in charming fashion.

From babyhood, through the toddler years and beyond this book will be a favourite for life!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle
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6. Press Here by Herve Tullet

Press Here by Herve Tullet is a surprisingly simple little touch book that gives instructions on the page to jiggle, turn and mix up the dots to the guaranteed delight of both reader and young listener. 

Toddlers will love the simplicity of this book and it will help with the learning of colours and how to follow instructions.

Herve Tullet is an innovative and talented author whose unique approach to books for toddlers will certainly stand the test of time!

Press Here By Herve Tullet
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7. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is an award-winning simple book with few words that is ideal for toddlers.

It makes a lovely bedtime story that allows both parent and child to tell this hilarious story together as they watch the zoo animals follow the zookeeper home to bed.

Good Night, Gorilla By Peggy Rathmann
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8. Richard Scarry’s Best Collection Ever

Richard Scarry’s collection of books for toddlers is full of detailed illustrations that help toddlers to learn the words for the world around them.

They are guaranteed to provide hours of reading fun for your little one and inspire lots of conversation too.

Titles in this set include:

9. No More Diapers by Campbell Books and Marion Cocklico (Big Steps)

Potty training is a huge event in your toddler’s life and No More Diapers has proved to be a huge favourite with parents when helping their little one through this process.

Reading about a current situation that is going on in your toddler’s life will make overcoming an issue or addressing concerns so much easier to do!

No More Diapers By Big Steps
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10. The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas 

Toddlers experience intense emotions and are often frustrated by not being able to express them properly…

However, The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas helps your toddler explore these new emotions through the medium of colour and allows you and your toddler to tell each other how you are feeling in a way that they can easily relate to. 

The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions By Anna Llenas
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My 10 Top Tips To Choose The Best Books For Toddlers

It’s no secret that I am a huge book fan… 

And believe me… I’ve done my well over my fair share of research, buying and reading books for toddlers!

And over the years, I have come to realise that there are 10 things every parent needs to look out for and include in their toddler’s library!

So what are these 10 things that make a good book for toddlers? And how can we ensure the books we choose for our children will be enjoyed?

Well, it can be quite overwhelming knowing which ones are going to capture your little one’s attention and help develop their language, emotions and life experiences…

So here are my top 10 tips to help you choose the perfect books for your toddler!

1. Keep Them Short And Sweet

Toddlers are not able to concentrate for long periods of time so the ideal book needs to capture their interest quickly and not take too long to read.

2. Read About Relatable Subjects

During the toddler years, your little one will be going through a roller coaster of emotions and experiencing more developmentally than they will at any other time in their lives. 

Using books for toddlers to help them understand what they are feeling and experiencing, is a great way to teach them how to talk to you and for you to show them that you understand what they are feeling. 

Carefully chosen books can help them through the ups and downs of potty training, the arrival of a new sibling, bedtime struggles and so much more.

3. Ensure There’s Repeatable Text

As your toddler’s language develops they will love to repeat new words and books with repeatable texts are ideal for this. 

Toddlers will never tire of hearing the same words over and over again and they will eventually start to repeat them with you.

4. Include Rhyming And Fun Texts

Rhyming text, especially funny rhyming text will capture your toddler’s attention and have them coming back again and again. 

Make sure you have some rhyming books in your toddler’s library and mix it up with funny whacky rhymes as well as the more traditional ones too!

5. Have Interactive Features

Another great way to get toddlers interested in books is to choose ones that are interactive. 

Toddlers love to take part and especially love to do things with you, so an interactive book ticks both those boxes and has the added bonus of improving fine motor skills, improving language and teaching your little one how to follow instructions. 

So look for books for toddlers with flaps, cutouts and a variety of textures.

6. Have Look And Find Objectives

In addition to interactive books for toddlers, ones that require your toddler to find things on a page are also perfect for this age group. 

These books improve concentration and will also have longevity in your little one’s library.

7. Incorporate Books Without Words

As well as books with words you should try and include a few books that are purely picture-based. 

These books for toddlers allow you and your little one to explore the pictures together and talk about what you see and how you both think the story is developing. 

These types of books also give your toddler the opportunity to develop their imagination and ask lots of questions.

8. Include Simple Learning Books

Don’t be afraid to include some simple learning books that teach concepts like colours, shapes and numbers. 

Although your toddler may not understand them at first, repeating the colours, shapes and numbers as you read will be establishing these concepts in your little one’s brain, long before they can vocalise and use them.

9. Always Have Good Night Books For Bedtime

Your bedtime routine is not complete without some bedtime books, so make sure you have a few bedtime favourites to hand! 

Reading a bedtime book is an ideal way to get your little one ready for sleep, encourage healthy bedtime routines and is a wonderful bonding experience too.

10. Include Books You Enjoy Too!

As you will be doing a lot of reading to your toddler, it is important that you choose books for toddlers that you enjoy too! 

If you have to read something over and over again your toddler will get far more out of it if you are enjoying it together. 

Look back and choose some of the books that you loved reading as a child… chances are your toddler will love them too!

As an extra book for you dedicated readers, Billy’s Beetle was my and my son’s absolute favourite book to read together and he still reminisces about reading it over 27 years later!

It is a beautiful story about a boy losing his beetle and going on a journey to find him whilst meeting a collection of characters along the way! I highly recommend this book as it’s a lovely read for both adults and toddlers.

Billy's Beetle By Mick Inkpen
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I hope you enjoyed this post about the best books for toddlers as I loved writing it!

If you have any other book recommendations that I should check out, or if you would like me to write an article about books for other ages, let me know by emailing me at [email protected]… It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

Have a lovely day and until next time, with love and support, Happy Parenting!

Paula McLaren

Paul Mclaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and has been in the child care industry as a Norland Nanny since 1982. Since then, her mission has been to help parents become the best they can possibly be. And each year, she continues to help more families understand their child's development, the trials and joys of parenting and of course, how to care for their little ones.

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