Great Books for Toddlers

Toddlers are all about seeing, talking, moving, and doing, so the books on this list are all about participation, exploration, and excitement. Enjoy!

Taylor, Ann

This playful poem has a father and child dancing lovingly across sturdy boardbook pages. Try singing the words in this book to your child, making up your own tune or using a familiar one, like "Hush Little Baby".
Patricelli, Leslie

Toddlers enjoy these bright, bold illustrations. Giving name to the feelings the baby in the book experiences may help your child express their feelings in words.
Fleming, Denise

All the farm animals are where they should be, clucking and mucking, mewing and cooing, except for the missing goose. Encourage your child to make the animal sounds with you.
Wood, Audrey

A boy and his monkey watch the sky throughout the day. Relate the depictions of the sky in the book to what you see throughout YOUR day.
Campbell, Rod

Share this simple story with your toddler. Allow him or her to guess what animals are in the boxes before you lift the flaps.
Edwards, Karl

A young fly imitates his garden insect friends to try to figure out what he's best at. Have your toddler wiggle, roll, and jump along to this fun story!
Crews, Donald

Simple shapes, bright colors, a clean design, and TRAINS make this a perfect book to share with toddlers. Talk about the colors, the shapes, the names of the cars -- you are building your child's vocabulary!
Carle, Eric

This is an active book, perfect for active toddlers! Act out the movements in this book with your child. And be sure to exclaim "I can do it, too!"
Brown, Margaret Wise

Your child loves to hear the sound of your voice. This classic book is perfect for reading slowly and gently, just before bedtime.
Baicker, Karen

A child finds that with the help of her family, she can do many things! This is a simple story to share with your toddler, and includes many things you can pretend to do as you read. Try making up your own story together of other things your child can do.
Schofield-Morrison, Connie

On a trip to the park with her mother, a young girl hears a rhythm coming from the world around her and begins to move to the beat, finally beginning an impromptu dance in which other children join her.
Thomas, Jan

Chicken's cow visitors try to jump, dance, and wiggle on his couch, which is much too tiny for such exuberant activities.
Wheeler, Lisa

You won't be able to help bouncing and moving to the beat of the words in this book! Have fun with the sounds and the rhythm, and know that you're helping your child learn to hear and recognize the sounds in our language.
KIT J155.422 18-24 MOS., #6

Kits contain 8 age-appropriate books for toddlers, a parent guide and a DVD or music CD. Look for more Kits for Kids at the library!
Brown, Marc
J398.8 BROWN

Rhymes and fingerplays are such fun! Share some of the rhymes in this book with your youngster. Feel free to stop after one or two, or repeat the same one over and over (and over!) Rhymes make reading fun, and they also help children learn to hear and recognize the sounds in our language.
Braun, Sebastien

Meeow, a black cat, plays with a big box. But is it JUST a box? After reading this book with your child, brainstorm other things that could be made out of a box -- and then do it!
Shea, Bob

You can't help but catch the excitement about Leon the chicken's new socks. The bold illustrations are sure to capture your attention. Be sure to point out the text as you it them so your child associates that print with the words you are reading.
Steig, William

What do you do when Pete's in a bad mood? When it is raining and he cannot go out and play? Turn him into a pizza, of course!
Cooke, Trish

Relatives arriving in succession give in to their desire to squeeze and kiss and play with the baby.
Webb, Steve

This book uses animal names to introduce rhythmic language and rhyme, as Tanka the elephant and his friend Skunk play drums to keep the beat. You and your child won't be able help bouncing and clapping and rhyming along!
Trapani, Iza

There are many wonderful picture books based on nursery rhymes and songs. Try making up your own motions to the new verses in this book.
Hort, Lenny
J782.42164 HORT

In this parody of the popular song "Wheels on the Bus", a variety of animals make their own sounds as they ride all around the town on a bus. Try making up your own verses to this version of the song with your child.
Carle, Eric

Talk about what you see on the page, not just the words printed, it will help your child get ready to read! You could enjoy this book with a different focus at every reading - counting, foods, butterfly life cycle, eating and growing, the possibilities are endless!
Garcia, Emma

A parade of colorful construction vehicles doing their work means plenty of joyful noise! But what is being built? Find out as you and your toddler share this action-packed book together!