What Are The Best Books For 1-Year-Olds (12-24 months)?

With the sheer number of books for one-year-olds available in physical bookshops and on the World Wide Web, it certainly is a challenging task trying to decipher which the best books are.

So what are the best books for toddlers aged between two and three, and how can you find the most suitable books for your little one? After all, children who learn to read from an early age typically perform better at school; therefore, it’s crucial to select books that will help nurture and facilitate development.

Reading and learning baby rhymes and super short stories with your one-year-old is the perfect way to begin their reading journey, but the benefits of reading to your little one doesn’t stop there. Although reading to your baby will undoubtedly help them develop quicker, it will also help to boost your child’s language skills and enhance their imagination and creativity. We really can’t stress how critical reading aloud to your little one is!

Things To Consider When Choosing Books For Your One-Year-Old

From the day a child is born, they develop at an astonishing rate; therefore, what might be suitable for a 12-month old baby might not be suitable for an 18-month old toddler. So when choosing books for your little one, we recommend keeping the following in mind:

  • How old is your baby?
  • What does your daily routine entail?
  • What does your toddler have a preference for? Looking at pictures, touching and feeling different textures and materials, listening to sounds and music, etc.?

As you’ll no doubt be aware, one-year-olds love to chew on things, so board books and tough fabric books are always a good choice!

What Are The Best Books For Toddlers Aged Between 12 and 24 Months?

Before we discuss specific books, let’s break it down into three different age groups, i.e., six to twelve months, twelve to eighteen months, and eighteen to twenty-four months, and discuss normal development within these timeframes as this will impact which books to choose.

Six to twelve months: Up until the age of 12 months, your baby will likely start making noises, such as animal sounds, and might even begin pronouncing words they hear most frequently in everyday life, e.g., “daddy”, “mommy,” etc.

The best books for babies of this age focus on a single object, person, or action. This will help your little one learn new words, broaden their vocabulary, and repeat actions shown in the books. At this age, books with little or no text and high-contrast images are best, as well as those with interactive accessories such as flaps and mirrors.

Reading to babies between the ages of six and twelve months is more about them hearing your voice and receiving love and attention than it is about learning. However, the latter will be starting to occur subconsciously.

Twelve to eighteen months: At this stage of your baby’s development, you can introduce books with sentences – up to five per page. However, don’t expect your little one to sit perfectly still and focus entirely on the book! They’re more likely to concentrate better if you combine reading the book with making noises and doing actions, i.e., acting out the story, making noises and sound effects, etc.

Now is a great time to start asking your baby questions, such as:

  • What noise does a sheep make?
  • Where is the dog?
  • Can you see the cow?
  • Where is your mouth?

When your little one is able to say single words, ask them where certain objects or people are. 

Eighteen to twenty-four months: Many young children find a familiar reading routine relaxing and reassuring, and the same can be said for familiar books. Around this age, your little one may start to ask you to read the same book(s) over and over again. Experts believe that children do this to make sense of and remember new and unfamiliar words. 

Now we’ve discussed the differences between each age group, let’s take a look at some of the best books for children ages between twelve and twenty-four months.

#1 – Peek-a-Boo Forest (soft book)

The interactive soft troy book from Lameze gives your little one the chance to explore the rain forest and learn about the different animals that live there. This book is perfect for tiny fingers with soft yet durable pages and interactive lift-up flaps and will help boost their hand-eye coordination.

This is an excellent choice for children upwards of six months old; it’s a perfect size, bright and colorful, designed with safety in mind, and has lots of interactive bits such as flaps and crinkle sounds.

#2 – Old MacDonald: Hand-Puppet Board Book

If there’s one song that is the classic children’s song, it’s Old MacDonald! This interactive book from Scholastic contains animal noises and finger puppets, making it a fantastic choice of interactive book. Not only that, it can act as a dummy, help a child through teething, and can be used to create your own stories.

#3- Muscle Rhymes Book 

Nursery rhymes have stood the test of time for a reason – they’re great for teaching babies children how to speak, sing, understand language, as well as teaching them new words, noises, and objects, which is why this muscle book from Vtech is a fantastic choice for babies and small children.

This interactive book contains six not only rhymes but phrases, sounds, and melodies. If you want to keep your baby occupied and further their development, this is a perfect option.

#4 – First 100 Box Set (board books)

Aimed at babies and children aged between one and three, this attractive slipcase contains three of author Roger Priddy’s best-selling board books – First 100 Words, Number Colours Shapes, and 100 Animals. Designed specifically for little fingers and hands, this trio of books are perfect for building your little one’s vocabulary and developing their speech.

There’s no doubt that toddlers and infants will learn fundamental words and concepts with these engaging and colorful board books. Each book contains 100 photographs to look for you and your toddler to explore, in addition to 100 words to read and learn. These books are perfect for little hands with pages made from tough board and a softly padded front cover.

#5 – Baby Signs: A Baby-Sized Introduction To Speaking With Sign Language (board book)

As you’ve no doubt figured out from the title, this book is all about baby sign language. It combines sign language with bright, colorful images and the most common words a baby hear during their first 12 months, such as “milk”, “mommy”, “daddy,” etc. to show your little one another way to communicate with you and express their feelings, needs, and wants. Research has shown that babies who use sign language typically feel less frustrated, have fewer tantrums, and learn to speak more easily. 

Using the book is easy; just point to the sign, say the word, and your little will soon pick it up!

#6 – If Animals Kissed Good Night

This is undoubtedly one of the best bedtime storybooks, if not the best. My son absolutely adores this book, and I have to say, I’ve grown quite fond of it too! It’s the perfect bedtime read for a two or three-year-old, although some younger or older children may also find it interesting and comforting. The books’ content is designed to introduce children to animals and the sounds they make in a myriad of settings. What’s more, it’s structured in the form of a rhyme, so it won’t be long before your little one is getting involved and reciting the book too!

#7 – You Are My Sunshine (board book)

Containing the famous “You are my sunshine” song, this has to be one of the cutest books for a parent and child to share! Author Jimmie Davis and illustrator Caroline Jayne Church combine once again to make another fantastic children’s board book. Singing is one of the best ways for a child to learn new words, understand language and the world around them, and, most importantly, have fun!

#8 – Toes, Ears, and Nose (lift-the-flap board book)

This lift-the-flap board book by Marion Dane Bauer is perfect for teaching your little one about parts of their body – including their toes, ears, and nose! Your little one can lift up the flaps to reveal what’s underneath, which is a great way for them to learn about the human body and their own body parts. After a little practice, your baby will learn to associate body parts with their names and point out where they’re located!

# 9 – Brown Bear, Brown, What Do You See? (board book)

If your little one is a fan of animals, this is the perfect book to expand their learning and development. Take your child on an adventure with a brown bear and his friends – a purple cat, a yellow duck, a happy frog, and a blue horse, and help them learn about different animals, colors, and words. But the fun doesn’t stop there; the book also contains sing-along text, so your little, and you can sing along as you read. This is the definition of fun in book form!

#10 – Moo, Baa, La La La (board book)

Although on the face of it, this may seem like a very simple book, it is perfect for learning the very basics where words, animal sounds, and animals are concerned. Remember, the simpler something is, the better it will be for your baby. Containing lots of rhyme to help your little one remember the content and what they’ve seen and heard, this book is sure to be one that they want to read over and over and over again!

#11 – See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book To Share With Your Baby

There is lots for your baby to explore in See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book. This durable board book contains an array of brightly colored photographs of smiley, happy babies and has been specifically designed to induce curiosity through sensory activities and play.

Each page has a colorful image-based activity that will invite your little one to touch and explore. There are textures to feel, finger trails to follow, and even a shiny mirror to gaze into! As your infant grows, See, Touch, Feel will help them develop language recognition and motor skills by interacting with the book in many new ways. This really is an ideal first book to share with your little one.

#12 – Peek-a Who? (board book)

This guessing game board book is jam-packed with bright, happy images, and, as you’ve probably guessed from the title, it takes the most loved baby game and puts it into book form!

Combining colorful pictures with simple rhymes, Peek-a-Who helps infants guess what’s looking through the windows in this exciting and engaging board book. The bright, attractive illustrations and anticipation of what’s hiding on the next page will keep your toddler guessing and laughing all the way through until the surprise ending…!

This book is the perfect size for babies and toddlers to hold and play with and makes for an entertaining read-aloud storytime, that’s for sure! Aimed at children aged between 0 – 3, Peek-a-Who is a worthwhile addition to any infant’s bookshelf. It makes learning engaging and fun!