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Babies & Toddlers

Our Favorite Books for Birth to 2 Year Olds

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Hi there! 

This post is one of a four part series on reading with babies and toddlers. Reading together is such a huge part of our family that I thought I’d do something special and put together some resources for parents in honor of this “back-to-school” season.

In This Series:

It’s really hard to narrow this down to such a small list, but here are some of our absolute favorite book recommendations for each of the age group categories below!

0-6 Months

Goodnight, Moon. An all time classic bedtime story with vivid pages babies love to look at.

Hello Baby: Shaker Teether. With high contrast images and a teether attached to one end, this “half-toy, half-book” is a great “gateway” book for babies.

Playtex Baby ABC Book. Soft books are also great for babies and we love this one in particular because the pages are crinkly! Big sis loves to “read” sister the ABC’s and baby girl loves to explore the bright colors, crinkly noise, and chew on the attached teether.

6-12 Months

Baby! Talk! This had to be one of our kiddo’s all time favorites at this age. It’s a fact; babies love looking at other babies. This one is a hit.

Moo Baa La La La. Actually, anything by Sandra Boynton! But we seriously adore this one.

Quack! Quack! These Baby Animals Can’t Wait to Meet You. As far as touch and feel books go, this one is our favorite by far! The texture spots are larger than many other books, and the pictures are big and engaging. We love giving piggy “eskimo” kisses and petting all the furry animals.

12-18 Months

The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We never get tired of watching the world’s cutest caterpillar eat his way through the pages of this magical book on his journey to becoming a butterfly.

Goodnight, Gorilla. Boy, does our two year old identify with the mischievous gorilla sneaking into bed with Mr. & Mrs. Zookeeper in this fun picture-driven tale. Giggles sure to ensue.

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? Toddlers love playing copycat and experimenting with funny noises at this stage, and this Dr. Seuss classic is just right for this. I don’t care for many of the Seuss books – but this one is filled with fun and goofy noises of things they will recognize in the real world (not just Seuss world) making it even a little educational! Hazel recognizes that the pan is saying “sizzle pop” HOT every time I make her fried eggs for breakfast now and it’s too cute. We have two copies of this book; the hardcover for home and the mini board book for diaper bag as she will entertain herself reading this book in the car or at a restaurant for quite a while now that she knows it.

Toot Book. This was gifted to us from my cool Aunt Karen, and it has quickly become a favorite. It’s hilarious. I personally love the idea of normalizing toots because we all do it, and it’s been a wonderful precursor to potty training for us. Highly recommend for this age group!

18 Months – 2 Years

Little Critter Books. If you find your little one is beginning to show more interest in stories with more words and actions, Little Critter books are a great addition! My toddler especially loves to read anything about Grandma and Grandpa as ours live far away, and this story reminds her of all the fun we have when we are together.

Madeline. The cadence and rhyming of this story along with the wonderful illustrations make it very entertaining for a little one. Although some of the story is above my two year olds head, (she has no idea where France is or what an orphanage is for that matter) she is drawn to the pictures and the little girl named Madeline. It’s one of her most highly requested books at story time, and as her age and cognitive development increases I’m sure she will get more and more out of this book, and I know it will provoke more meaningful conversations. But for now, we admire the pictures and story at face value!

Blueberries for Sal. Kaplink! Kaplunk! If you don’t mind your child growing a little obsessed with blueberries then this is such a cute story! Little Sal goes blueberry picking with her mama, while nearby a mama bear and bear cub have the SAME idea. I know for many this was a classic from childhood, but we stumbled upon it by chance and immediately knew it was a treasure. The pictures allow even a non-reader to follow along with what’s happening, while the more detailed story engages little ones ready for something more.

I hope you’ve found some new children’s book inspiration for your own little readers. All of these are favorites around here, for sure! What are your family’s most beloved stories of all time? Let me know in the comments!

Picture of many board bookss

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