With the sheer number of books for toddlers available in physical bookshops and on the World Wide Web, it is undoubtedly a challenging task 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 nursery rhymes and short stories with toddlers is the perfect way to begin their reading journey, but the benefits of reading to your toddler doesn’t stop there. Although reading to your little one will undoubtedly help them develop quicker, it will also help to boost your toddler’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 Toddler
From the day a child is born, they develop at an astonishing rate; therefore, what might be suitable for an 18-month old toddler might not be ideal for a 24-month old youngster. So when choosing books for your toddlers, we recommend keeping the following in mind:
- How old is your toddler?
- 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, two and three years old still love to chew on things, so board books are always a good choice!
What Are The Best Books For Toddlers Aged Between 24 and 36 Months
At this age, toddlers not only find reading fun; they also find it calming and reassuring – particularly if it’s part of a daily routine. The same can be said for familiar books too, which is why children often ask to have the same books read to them over and over again! According to experts, children do this (subconsciously) because it helps them to make sense of and remember new words.
The question is, ‘what are the best books?’. Well, by the ages of two and three, the fun really does start to begin! You and your little one can act out scenes, pretend to be characters, and create your own stories! It’s a fun and magical time for both you and your little one, not to mention being educationally beneficial.
So, without further ado, here are what we think are the best books for toddlers aged between two and three.
#1 – Giraffes Can’t Dance
Although this list is in no particular order, this book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees certainly would occupy one of the top spots if it was! A touching tale about Gerald, the giraffe who is head-over-heels about dancing…yet thanks to his thin legs and crooked knees it’s a lot harder than it seems. However, things turn around when Gerald receives encouragement from an unlikely companion, and he finally learns how to groove! A bright, colorful, and engaging book that will take your toddler on an (albeit brief) rollercoaster of emotions, ending in pure joy and rhythm!
#2 – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
This is, by far, one of the most fun and exciting ways for your toddler to learn letters and the alphabet! A fun and creative book that’s jam-packed with rhymes that you can sing to your toddler…something they’ll no doubt join in with once they’ve heard them a few times over. A perfect introduction to letter recognition and how letters are used to form words.
#3 – The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books
If there’s one name that synonymous with kids’ books, it’s Dr. Seuss! This collection of colorful and exciting board books are perfect for reading to your toddler no matter where you are or how long you’ve got! These four books will undoubtedly provide your little one with not only an introduction to words and letters but also give them a fun and humorous time!
#4 – P is for Potty!
Another name synonymous with kid’s TV and learning…Sesame Street! In this lift-the-flap book, everyone’s favorite Sesame Street character Elmo shows toddlers how to use the potty. With over 30 flaps to lift, this book is incredibly engaging and will certainly keep your child fully focused. It’s the perfect combination of learning and fun all rolled into one – and something that will certainly make potty training enjoyable! The book itself is very sturdy, meaning it will withstand plenty of flap lifting, chewing, and anything else your toddler can throw at it…quite literally!
#5 – The Pout-Pout Fish
Although the fish on the cover may look a little grumpy, this book is all about kindness and how being kind goes a long way – a crucial lesson for children and adults alike. Furthermore, it also shows us how we view ourselves can often become a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy; what we “see” when we look in the mirror is often who we will end up becoming, and that we are more than capable of having a positive influence on other by being kind and compassionate. Life lessons that all humans, regardless of age, should learn!
#6 – Where’s Spot?
Another children’s class, Spot the Dog! When I was a kid, one of my favorite characters was Spot the Dog, so this book certainly brings back lots of fond memories! As an introduction to teaching spatial concepts, such as behind” and “under”, this book is perfect. Plus, it’s amusing and makes it so easy to spark a conversation during reading, which is crucial for language development. In short, this is more than just a fun book about spot the dog; it’s also an effective teaching (and learning) tool that can be used to teach your little one essential concepts.
#7 – Grumpy Monkey
There’s a reason this book was rated as the best-selling picture book by the New York Times… it’s hilarious! Although it deals with quite an emotive topic, i.e., how to deal with unexplained feelings and how it is dangerous to suppress them, it does so in a fashion that is perfect for addressing such a subject.
The main character in the Book – Jim, the chimpanzee, is in an absolutely foul mood for no good reason at all. His friends can’t understand why he is given that it such a beautiful day. They try to encourage him to be happy, smile and do everything that makes them happy, but Jim doesn’t want to take their advice and instead has a little bit of meltdown. Maybe he just needs a day feeling grumpy…?
You and your toddler will have a lot of laughs reading this book; I promise you that!
#8 – I Spy – Animals!
I Spy must be the most commonly played games amongst kids, so it’s only right that an I Spy book makes its way on the list of best books for toddlers! As you can probably tell from the title, this book is a game of I Spy in book form aimed at two and three-year-olds (although older children who are four or five may still enjoy it). This book will help your child to develop observational skills, learn about different animals, and have so much fun they’ll not even realize they’re learning! The book contains a variety of puzzles, each of which focuses on a different letter of the alphabet, with the aim being to find an animal that matches that particular letter. Once your child has made their guess, they can turn over the page to see if they’re right!
#9 – If Animals Kissed Good Night
This is certainly 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 content of the books 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!
#10 – National Geographic Little Kids Big Book Of Why
National Geographic’s series Little Kids Big Book Of…has to be one of the best sets of educational books out there if the not the best. As you’d expect from National Geographic, this book is crammed full of amazing facts and information that will have toddlers glued to the pages and not want to stop reading!
This best-selling kids almanac is centered around interactive learning through a question and answer format, focusing on the immediate world around your little one. It provides interesting information and facts, games, activities, recipes, crafts, and much, much more. It answers so many of the questions that young children ask, helping them to learn and find answers for themselves!
But this isn’t only for children; we think it’s an essential reference book for parents as it helps you to furnish your little one with concise, informative, and thought-provoking information and answers.
Ultimately, it invites children to ask questions, have big thoughts, and explore the world around them…while at the same time getting accurate, engaging, and age-appropriate answers to all the questions they have! It really helps introduce and prepare toddlers and pre-school kids to the interactive learning process they’ll encounter in school.
#11 – Look Inside Series: Space
Although space may seem like too much of an advanced topic for a two or three-year-old to learn about, it’s important to remember that any subject can be broached provided it is explained in simple enough language and contains lots of bright and colorful images!
This fun flap book from Usborne will take your child on a journey through space – floating past planets, comets, stars, moons, and everything else the solar system has to offer. Each page has brightly colored engaging images and several flaps to lift – under which there are nuggets of interesting information. Your toddler will learn lots about space and space exploration, everything from the moon, the space telescopes, to Galileo…and I’m sure you’ll learn a few things too!
#12 – Read it Yourself with Ladybird
Ok, so to some, a fifty book box set might seem excessive (yes, that’s right, I did just say fifty books!), but if you want to give your toddler a full library of their own, then there is nothing better than this box set from Ladybird books. It includes lots of stories, including Topsy and Tim, Moshi Monster, Peppa Pig, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Heidi, The Ugly Duckling, The Wizard of Oz, and Charlie and Lola.
While some may feel that reading storybooks alone won’t be enough to help a child to develop to their full potential, provided that the adult reading the book makes learning interactive, asks questions, and uses their creativity to make the reading process engaging and exciting, there is no reason why storybooks alone cannot prepare a toddler for starting their school journey.