10 of the best books for toddlers

Author Neil Gaiman once said, “A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” What a wonderful gift then to give to a child!

best toddler books

Reading is one of the best things you can do with children if you want them to have a great start in life and grow up with active minds, boundless imaginations and large vocabularies.

Many studies show that students who love learning and do well in school are exposed to reading before preschool. It builds their attention span, listening skills, thinking skills (such as cause and effect) and their understanding of colors, shapes, numbers, letters, people, relationships and situations. It also sets a foundation for later in life as reading problems can be hard to fix the longer you leave them.

It’s never too early to start reading either. You can even begin when your child is in the womb! Reading is a wonderful relationship builder as it strengthens your bond with your child, calms them and promotes good communication between the two of you.

It’s really important for children to have positive attitudes towards reading throughout their lives and this starts at home. So to help you, we have put together some top reading tips as well as a list of the 10 best books for toddlers.

How to read with toddlers

  • Try to share at least two books each day and have a special reading space like a chair, lounge or beanbag that’s big and comfortable.
  • Make reading relaxed and fun so that your child looks forward to it. Choose a time when you are both not tired and rushed and turn off the TV.
  • Let your child choose their favorite book and be prepared to read it again and again. Repetition is how they learn.
  • Ask your child questions about the book and take the time to listen to their answers. Toddlers have strong opinions and interesting ideas about the world around them so encourage your toddler to tell you what he or she thinks. This process will help to build language skills and confidence.
  • Teach your child to treasure books and treat them with respect.
  • Fill your home with books so your child can easily reach them anytime.
  • Take books to places where you have to wait for a long time, like the doctor’s office or when traveling.

What to look for when choosing a book

  • Books with rhyme, rhythm and repetition are always winners.
  • Short books to begin with will help hold their attention.
  • Books about a favorite topic, such as animals, cars, princesses, super heros, space, trains and families are great.
  • Books that relate to your child’s current environment are a clever way of teaching them about their life or preparing them for change such as potty training, school, or moving to a new house.

Look for books with only a little text on each page so as not to overwhelm them.

Simple drawings and bright colors are top picks as well.

10 Best books for a toddler reading list


  1. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney: This heartfelt tale with its gorgeous watercolor pictures will have you both beaming from ear to ear.
  2. Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak: In the forty years since Max first cried “Let the wild rumpus start,” Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time.Every child should own one.
  3. Room on the broom by Julia Donaldson: Kids will adore this rhyming classic about a witch and her growing gaggle of animal friends.
  4. The day the crayons quit by Oliver JeffersThis charming book with have kids creating their own humorous adventures with their crayons and coloring books!
  5. Madeline by Ludwig BemelmansSet in picturesque Paris, this tale of a brave little girl’s trip to the hospital is as appealing today as it was in 1940. The combination of spirited heroine, timelessly appealing art, cheerful humor, and rhythmic text makes “Madeline” a perennial favorite with children of all ages.
  6. Juno Valentine and the magical shoes by Eva Chen: Juno embarks on an epic journey through time and space, stepping into the shoes of female icons from Frida Kahlo and Cleopatra to Lady Gaga and Serena Williams. Each pair of shoes Juno tries brings a brand new adventure―and a step towards understanding that her very own shoes might be the best shoes of all.
  7. Ferdinand by Munro Leaf: Translated into more than sixty languages, this classic tale of a peace and flower-loving bull has been a favorite of readers across the world for generations.
  8. ABC Book by Dr. Seus: With Dr. Seuss as your guide, learning the alphabet is as fun and as funny as the feather on a Fiffer-feffer-feff!
  9. Little People, Big Dreams – Rosa Parks: Discover the incredible life of Rosa Parks, ‘The Mother of the Freedom Movement’, in this inspiring story. In this true story of an inspiring civil rights activist, Rosa Parks grew up during segregation in Alabama, but she was taught to respect herself and stand up for her rights.
  10. Time for bed by Mem Fox: The day is done, darkness is falling and little ones are getting sleepy. With rhythmic verse and gentle illustrations, this book is ideal for reading before bedtime.