We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.
Educate and Excite Your Child With the Best Toddler Books
Last updated: 8 Aug 2023
If you want to spend some quality time with your toddler, try reading to them. Reading is a great way to form a strong bond with your child that both of you will always cherish.
Children are curious beings and reading to them from an early age helps spark their curiosity. They can learn all about the world through pictures and sound. From small things like toilet training to big emotions, books can teach everything. Through reading, you also teach your child how to talk. It also ignites a lifelong love for books.
Knowing how important they are, you'll probably head to the toddler books section in a bookstore. But the shelves upon shelves of inspiring, attractive book covers will leave you more confused than ever. We have rounded up some considerations that will help you pick out the right book for your toddler. We also present some starting ideas for the top toddler books in 2023. Have a look.
Now that you know about some of the most popular toddler books available in 2023, let’s head towards some considerations that’ll help you find some other great reads.
Types of Toddler Books
Unlike books for adults, toddler books come in a vast range of topics to address their ever-changing needs. A simple search will yield thousands of books. So we first categorized them into different types, so you can figure out what you need.
Board books are equally loved by infants and toddlers. These toddler books contain thick paperboard pages with a glossy finish that protects them from wear and tear. This way they are easy to hold for toddlers, but their dribbling, chewing, and throwing do not damage it.
These books typically present one or two words per page. Board books contain early learning concepts like letters of the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors. Nursery rhymes are also sometimes marketed as board books.
Activity books are designed to keep your little one busy. These toddler books are not only classroom essentials, you can also purchase a few to boost your kid’s observation and critical thinking skills. Look into getting books with puzzles, word searches, connect the dots, spot the difference, mazes, and more.
The most exciting of all toddler books, sticker books have an appeal that never fades. Peeling an attractive picture and pasting it on another surface helps improve children’s motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. Pulling up the edge and applying the sticker to a different surface without sticking it on their fingers is a skill these books help kids master.
Want to make your wide-eyed toddler a lifelong reader? Read them a toddler book series. Once they get to know the core characters, they will be interested in knowing what will happen in their next adventure. Many well-known authors have gradually expanded their kid’s collections by adding more titles. Some of these even come as a set that you can purchase for your toddler.
Picture books are another great pick for toddlers. Now that they are past infancy, their attention span will continue to expand. It is the right time to sit with them and read from a picture book. These toddler books are dominated by illustrations that you use to narrate the story.
How To Choose the Right Toddler Book
After you have decided on the types of books you are going to get, you have to figure out the strategy to find the right ones for your toddler. This strategy involves judging the different books on a few parameters. We have discussed them below:
The content of the toddler book should be interesting and entertaining for your little one. If it’s not, the book will fail to grasp their attention and they will quickly lose interest. Toddlers love surprises and excitement so look for books that offer these elements. A captivating story featuring relatable characters and an element of surprise are the ingredients of a favorite toddler book.
Besides stories, you can also look into getting books about subjects that your child knows very little about. Reading books opens their minds. There are abundant non-fiction toddler books that provide background knowledge on the vast and complex world around them.
Illustrations are the first thing kids notice about a book. The pictures inside a toddler book act as the first indication of what is inside it.
You’ll notice that your little one is more excited to see the pictures than they are about the story. While you are the one reading, your little one will look at pictures, often noticing tiny little details that you may have missed. That’s the reason picture books are so popular amongst little children. Their words and illustrations complement each other. Your pick should be books with strong illustrations.
Vocabulary is one of the reasons why reading is so important for children. A majority of words in the English language are not commonly used when we speak. The only way to introduce these rare words is through toddler books. The more times they read these rare words, the more their vocabulary will increase. This is the reason why you shouldn’t say no when your kiddo wants to read the same book for the third time, it is helping them reinforce the new words.
Language and pattern
Ever heard of the three R’s: rhyme, rhythm, and repetition? Children love toddler books with these elements, as it is fun to predict what word comes next. The rhythm and rhyme also provide a structure to the text that your little one will enjoy. Nursery rhymes are an excellent example of that
You also have to watch out for language style. Of course, there’s a difference between Shakespearian stories and those that Roald Dahl composed. But what Hans Christian Andersen wrote is also interesting. Consider exposing your little one to the different language styles, as it helps them become fluent readers.
If you want your child to read fluently, get them a toddler book with a large type. They should be able to clearly see the words and spaces between them to be able to read accurately. This factor is especially important for beginners who have just started reading their toddler books independently.
You should also pay attention to what purpose the book is serving. It can be a book giving a message to mull over, or an activity book that facilitates their learning. You can also look into getting skill-oriented toddler books that’ll help your little one acquire new skills.
The length of their attention span also has a huge impact on your choice of toddler books. Your aim should be to consciously expand their attention span by introducing longer books once they are ready. It’s a good idea to start small with short picture books that contain a few words on the page. Then you can gradually promote longer picture books, chapter books, series, and finally novels.
Benefits of Reading For Toddlers
Reading has a positive impact on your kid’s development. It helps them develop language skills that enable better communication and also improves their knowledge so they can perform well at school. Here are some other ways that your child will benefit from reading:
Fuels neural connections
When they listen to someone reading, your child’s brain starts creating neural connections. These connections give their vocabulary a boost as they hear new words and learn to associate them with a certain situation. Listening to someone reading toddler books helps increase their receptive vocabulary.
Facilitates cognitive development
When you read to your little one, they’ll start to pick up on new subjects. Meaning they’ll start understanding what you are saying and start to learn things like animals, numbers, shapes, or anything else that you are reading about. You can use this opportunity to teach them simple things as well as more complex concepts like cause and effect, to promote their logical thinking.
Has a calming effect
Toddlers are not exactly known for being calm. They seem to have a knack for winding up when you least want them to be, like at bedtime. We have observed that bedtime reading is a surefire way for both of you to catch some sleep. Start at least half an hour before bedtime. Tuck them in, dim the lights, and start reading in a soothing voice. They’ll be much calmer and excited for bedtime every day.
Helps foster stronger bonds
Reading is not just about saying the words that are printed on a page. When reading together, you interact, ask questions, and discuss how the characters inside the book are feeling. These small interactions play a big part in how your bond develops. Reading toddler books helps build trust and makes the conversations flow.
Increases their attention span
In today’s world of instant gratification, it is hard to get your little one to stick with something that requires a little more attention and dedication than what they’re used to. With fast-paced games and technology surrounding them, reading is the only slower-paced activity that keeps them hooked.
Makes them better listeners
Small children who don’t know how to read just yet, rely on the pictures and the words you say to figure out what is going on inside a book. Without you even realizing it, your toddler is hanging on to every word you say. They remain silent but pick up every little detail of the story you are spinning. Reading toddler books to them makes them better listeners.
Builds their imagination
Empathy is one thing that the world needs the most, yet it is the feeling that kids are losing rapidly. Reading books helps them empathize with its characters. When they figure out the concept of empathy, they take the knowledge with them to the real world and use it to understand how others feel.
Get your baby ready for school with the “Baby University Board Book Set!” This set of four STEM books will have your little scientist dreaming of inventions and theories for many years after you read them. The set consists of books on quantum physics, rocket science, general relativity, and Newtonian physics.
The books are very simple and provide rudimentary explanations for basic physics concepts. Your kid will learn about atoms, lift, why things fly, black holes, gravity, and Newton’s laws of motion. You can even do little demonstrations like creating a paper plane to show lift and dropping a ball to visually represent gravity. These important lessons to learn inserted among fun illustrations make this toddler book set the best overall on the list.
As we grow older, we get used to how the weather changes throughout the year, right? But for kids, there’s a whole world of wonder in how that works — and that’s what this book is all about. It educates kids of ages 3 – 5 (or older) about the balmy summer days, and how they slowly transition to those cold winter nights! Kids will learn all four seasons as well as specific weather conditions like rain and storms, and the actual causes behind them.
It’s all designed and illustrated in a fun way that keeps kids engaged and helps them understand their world just a little better!
This book is for toddlers who can’t read on their own yet. It is an amazing toddler book that’ll teach your little one the basics of both English and Spanish. The “100 First Words for Toddlers English – Spanish Bilingual” book comes as a part of 100 First Words series. This book presents a variety of everyday words in both languages. It contains large colorful pictures with large print that’ll keep young kids engaged. You can choose to purchase it as a paperback, hardcover, or Kindle ebook.
Teaching your child subjects like math and science at a younger age can make it easier for them to understand them when they’re older. This box set of toddler books is great for teaching them how to read the simple alphabet and keep them engaged simultaneously. It has big, colorful illustrations that your toddler will love, keeping them interested in the books.
By reading these books with your toddler, you can encourage them to learn new things, which may spark an interest in such subjects as they grow. This box set of toddler books includes topics like space and even robotics.
Has big easy to read lettering
Use it to teach your child about different careers
Reading books with your toddler is a good way to improve their speaking and reading skills as they grow older. This set of toddler books covers a wide variety of topics and is a product that every child needs. From animals to numbers, teach your child countless things and help them develop their speaking skills. These books have beautiful pictures to help your child identify their favorite animals and colors.
This set of toddler books also allows you to spend quality time with your toddler while reading to them. Teach them the alphabet and increase their knowledge with this handbook set. The words in these books are also big enough for toddlers to read easily.
This book is an amazing educational read that’ll support your little one in achieving a big milestone, using the toilet. It is a milestone that many parents struggle with. “Let’s Go to the Potty!” aims to make potty time exciting and fun. It tells them how to use the toilet and also contains a potty song that makes it easy for them to communicate their needs. All of this comes in easy-to-understand, kid-friendly language. A good thing about this toddler book is that it follows a gender neutral approach. Plus, it’s unique because it addresses urge by telling kids to listen to their bodies and understand when they need to go.
Emotions are difficult to talk about, especially with kids. If you want your little one to understand their feelings better, “My First Book of Emotions for Toddlers” will facilitate the conversation. It is a wonderful book with colorful illustrations and relatable content. This toddler book is all about what emotions are, how they feel to you, and how to deal with them. It pictures diverse kid characters in life-like situations to explain what different emotions look like. It covers six key emotions: disgust, fear, sadness, joy, surprise, and anger. We like this toddler book because it helps children develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
Colors and shapes are some of the very first things a toddler learns about. If you want to facilitate your child’s learning, “My First Book of Colors and Shapes” is the right choice. It is a colorful toddler book featuring a single color or shape on each page. This toddler book makes your little one focus on one thing at a time without getting distracted. It teaches kids about ten shapes and ten colors using real life examples, so they learn to associate and retain the information for a long time. Plus, there are a range of choices including paperback, hardcover, spiral-bound, and Kindle.
Provides information without overwhelming your child
It’s amazing how angry a little toddler can get. This is because little ones don’t know how to regulate their emotions yet. “What to Do When You Feel Like Hitting” is a great toddler book to help your kiddo with their anger management. It employs simple guidance and combines it with fun illustrations to help children let out their feelings in a healthy way. We like that this toddler book prompts them to use their hands for safe and helpful actions instead of hitting, which might be their first response, but is an undesirable behavior.
A: Toddlers have a relatively shorter attention span than older kids, so their books are both engaging and visually appealing. Look for simple board books, rhyming ones, picture stories, or short stories with pretty illustrations. Avoid complicated books or books without pictures, as they can make your child quickly lose interest.
Q: Can I buy a picture book for my toddler?
A: Yes, it is a great idea to buy picture books for your little one. Picture books don't have many words. Rather they tell the story with colorful illustrations. Your little one will enjoy the pretty pictures and use their imagination to figure out the story themselves.
Q: How do I know if a book is appropriate for a toddler?
A: You can tell if a book is appropriate by how your child reacts to it. For example, a toddler who likes cars will happily listen to how a motor engine works. But they won't be much interested in learning how plants grow.
The Mighty Moms Reviews Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you tackle motherhood and everything that comes along with it. The content is created by The Mighty Moms Reviews Team. Mighty Moms’ editorial staff is not involved. Mighty Moms is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.