The Best Books for Toddlers That Your Little Reader Will Love

If you’re looking for the best books for toddlers, then look no further!

Reading with your little one is a great way to spend some quality time together as they get lost in the fun and adventure of different books.

They will be transported to mythical and magical places where anything is possible. This is fantastic for their creativity and imagination, as they are free to explore different ideas and concepts.

Also, the bright, colourful images support their cognitive development as they can identify and analyse different characters to understand more about the story.

Visual thinking is important during the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), as children will still experience difficulty with words. Therefore, the images are a great visual aid, and help children figure out the narrative which is great for their comprehension.

Listening to adults read the text out loud will also help improve their language skills, as children can then practice sounding out the language themselves. Adults should offer support where necessary, and should encourage children to talk about what they see on the page.

As we’ve covered, there are various benefits to reading with your little one.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best books for toddlers.
Guess how much I love you book front cover
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Guess How Much I Love You – Written by Sam McBratney, Illustrated by Anita Jeram

This sweet yet simple story is all about how much a parent and child love one another.

Little Nutbrown Hare asks Big Nutbrown Hare, ‘Guess how much I love you?’, and the book continues as the two Hares use increasingly large measures to quantify how much they love one another.

The author, McBratney, communicates this message in a simple, and child-friendly way to show the bond between a parent and child.

Young toddlers will respond to the humour used throughout, as Little Nutbrown Hare’s pronouncements become more extravagant and exuberant.

There are also lots of beautiful illustrations which bring the story to life and make your little reader feel part of the narrative. Right down to the tiniest details such as the angle of the ears, the simple gestures, and facial expressions, the use of soft shaded watercolors keeps the book’s mellow and calm.

This makes it an ideal bedtime story and a comforting read.
where do diggers sleep at night front cover
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Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? – Written by Brianna Caplan Sayres, Illustrated by Christian Slade

After reading this book, your toddler will want to make their diggers, trucks, and fire engines, part of their nightly routine!

Discover what bedtime looks like for snowplows, dump trucks, giant cranes, and more which fill the pages of this engaging, construction story.

Just like human beings, the vehicles in this book settle down for a good sleep after a long day of hard work. As such, young readers will identify with these trucks as it adds a human touch.

Also just like children do, the vehicles keep asking their parents to read their ‘one more story’ before they settle down to sleep.

Using an irresistible rhyming scheme, and a soft illustration style that’s perfect for nighttime reading, this book is part of a full series which includes the titles Where Do Steam Trains Sleep At Night?, Where Do Jet Planes Sleep At Night?, Where Do Speedboats Sleep at Night?, and Where Do Diggers Celebrate Christmas?
Use your words, Sophie book front cover
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Use Your Words, Sophie – Written by Rosemary Wells

Whilst Sophie has a big vocabulary and knows lots of different words, she doesn’t always use them. That’s because she finds it more fun to speak in funny languages such as hyena talk or space language.

Her parents are also telling her “Use your words, Sophie!” but Sophie just won’t as she enjoys it too much. This comes in very handy when her new baby sister arrives as Sophie is the only one who is able to find out what she wants.

Children will love the idea of using nonsensical languages as this all adds to the fun! Also, those with new siblings will be able to relate to the story, as they too, would have experienced getting to know a new person in the household.

This has to be one of the best books for toddlers as it follows Sophie, the irresistible two year old who is wonderful and always so lovable. It also teaches children the importance of being welcoming towards others.
Wheels on the bus book front cover
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Wheels On the Bus – By Grosset and Dunlap, Illustrated by Jerry Smath

Which toddler doesn’t love music?

And which toddler hasn’t heard ‘Wheels on the bus’?

With wheels that go round, wipers that swish, and people that go bumpety-bump, this book can be enjoyed by even the youngest of readers.

Even better, you can sing along to it too!

This creates an engaging and interactive reading experience and also helps toddlers understand different words through sounds and movement. For example, use your arms to imitate ‘wheels going round’ and jump up and down when the bus goes bumpety-bump!

Your toddler is bound to enjoy this classic book, and the illustrations will captivate your little one’s attention through the use of bright colours. This will ignite their senses as they’re using both their sight and sound.
Just for me book front cover
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Just for Me – Written by Jennifer Hansen Rolli

This book is full of useful lessons for your little reader as it’s all about the importance of sharing. ‘Just for Me’ is nowhere near as fun as ‘Just for Us’ as it’s important children learn to value other people and their feelings.

When little Ruby has something special such as a toy or sweets, she’ll always use the phrase ‘Just for me!’. However, when she’s playing with a friend, she takes this too far and a precious toy ends up being broken.

As a result, Ruby realises that having a friend is much more important than having lots of toys to yourself. The concept ‘sharing is caring’ is placed front and centre of this book, and teaches your little readers to be more sensitive towards others.

It’s important they learn this concept as sharing is something that they will have to do when they start nursery, and further into their education.

Coupled with bright and bold illustrations, this is the perfect story for parents to share with their little ones.
Hey Duggee book front cover
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Hey Duggee: The Handwashing Badge

This book draws on a very important topic – washing our hands!

Children can learn from the Squirrels who are learning how to wash their hands properly before tucking into some pizza.

By correctly washing their hands they can earn their Hand Washing Badges, which adds a fun and interactive element as they are getting something in return. Toddlers can also learn the special handwashing song which adds a sense of playfulness into this activity as they can sing along as they go!

This turns quite a mundane (but essential) activity into something more appealing for young children.

In the process, they will learn the importance of personal hygiene which is important when they start nursery.
The watermelon seed book front cover
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The Watermelon Seed – Written by Greg Pizzoli

The Watermelon Seed introduces toddlers to a funny crocodile who has one major fear – swallowing a watermelon.

He absolutely loves watermelon but he’s so afraid of what will happen to him if he eats one of the seeds?

He sits and ponders the different outcomes if his greatest fear were to come true. Will vines sprout out of his ears and will his skin turn pink? The crocodile’s mind goes into overdrive and children will find his wild imagination hilarious.

Featuring bright colours and a series of engaging, playful illustrations, this has to be one of the best books for toddlers! They will love the sense of humour of the crocodile, and it is a book they’re sure to pick up time and time again.
The very hungry caterpillar book front cover
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Written by Eric Carle

We couldn’t put together your list of the best books for toddlers without mentioning this classic!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a popular picture book which children just can’t get enough of.

The story features a very loveable, and very hungry caterpillar, who eats everything in sight until he gets a stomach ache. On the seventh day of eating, the caterpillar is given a ‘nice leaf’ which makes him feel much better.

The now big, chunky, and not-so-hungry caterpillar builds himself a cocoon to nest in. When he finally emerges, he has transformed into a beautiful butterfly!

Children are so engaged with this story as the caterpillar quite literally eats his way through the book which is represented through a series of visual illustrations. There are ‘eaten’ holes in the pages which helps children count the days of a butterfly’s life stages.

As such, this teaches children how to count as they connect the numbers with the amount of items the Very Hungry Caterpillar has eaten.

This iconic picture book it’s easy for children to follow, and they want to reveal what lies on the next page.
Pat the bunny book front cover
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Pat the Bunny – Written by Dorothy Kunhart

This classic touch-and feel book delivers an engaging and interactive experience for young readers.

Featuring a range of unique materials and textures, and a combination of fun colours, this makes for a great first read.

The fantastic features allow children to use a range of their senses as they are encouraged to feel, look, touch and smell as they interact with different elements in the book. The illustrations are simplistic in style and feature splashes of yellow, turquoise, and peach.

This creates a very clean and uncluttered finish which brings the activities to focus.
Diary of a worm book front cover
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Diary of a Worm – Written by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Harry Bliss

You guessed it.

This book features the diary of a worm, who surprisingly, isn’t too different from you and me.

He lives a very normal life and lives at home with his parents, plays with his friends, and even goes to school. This creates a connection between a toddler and the characters featured in the story as it plays on elements they are familiar with.

However, there are some noticeable differences, as unlike human beings, he never has to take a bath, he eats his homework, and he doesn’t have any legs!

He also can’t do the hokey cokey no matter how hard he tries!

Children can explore the world of this underground insect, as the worm realises there are some good and bad things about being a worm in the big, wide world.

With fun, colourful illustrations throughout the pages, this is a laugh-out-loud book which is sure to entertain both you and your little reader. This book is also perfect for helping children learn different sounds and sentences.
A busy day for birds book front cover
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A Busy Day for Birds – Written by Lucy Cousins

Imagine if you were a bird…

What sort of activities would you get up to? From pecking at some tree bark, to swooping and soaring through the air, you’d be very busy!

This playful, vibrant book lets children use their imagination and explores the world of birds. It’s full of cheerful rhymes which teaches children all about the different types of birds through a series of eye-catching illustrations.

Drawn with very distinct colours, A Busy Day for Birds is sure to catch your child’s eye from the get go as they’re mesmerised by the pages.

There’s an interactive element too as children can join in with different commands. Whether that’s stretching their neck like a swan or shouting cock-a-doodle do, they’re sure to have a great time reading this book!

Finishing on a more relaxing note, A Busy Day for Birds makes for a great night time read when you’re trying to get your toddler to settle.
giraffes can't dance book front cover
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Giraffes Can’t Dance – Written by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

Giraffes can’t dance… or can they?

This family favourite is all about Gerand the tall giraffe who would love to attend the jungle dance with the rest of the animals.

However, there’s one thing standing in his way – giraffes can’t dance. A friendly cricket approaches Gerald and encourages him to create his own unique dancing style.

Gerald then surprises everyone with his elegant movements which makes for a truly touching and humorous story as he has found his own confidence. There’s a very strong message within these pages that even clumsy creatures can be graceful.

This inspires children to find their own sense of confidence and to be more accepting of themselves and one another.

Complete with beautiful illustrations that bring the spirit of this book to life, your toddler won’t be able to put it down!
We're going on a bear hunt book front cover
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We’re Going On a Bear Hunt – Written by Michael Ronson and Helen Oxenbury

Follow along as this family goes on an exciting new adventure. Every child loves to explore, so the idea of going on an adventure will really appeal to their interests.

As the family wade through grass, splash through rivers, and squelch through the mud in search of a bear, they don’t realise the surprise that awaits them in the cave!

The use of descriptive language throughout this book helps children associate different words with different sounds which is key for their cognitive development.

It’s full of excitement and suspense which engages your toddler, and makes them wall to peel back more pages.

As a timeless classic, it’s fun for parents to read out loud. Also, as lots of the verses are repeated such as ‘We’re going on a bear hunt!’ it’s each for children to follow and they can join in as you’re reading!

The Best Books for Toddlers That Your Little Reader Will Love

So, there you have your list of the best books for toddlers.

As we’ve covered, reading is a great way to spend time with your little one, as they immerse themselves in different worlds.

Through reading, you can introduce them to new words, concepts, and illustrations as you peel back each page. It can also help your child learn more about the world around them, for example how to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and how to value friendship.

In terms of development, reading can also expand your toddlers vocabulary as they become more familiar with different words and sounds. They will follow your voice as you read out loud, and you can ask them to repeat different words or to point at different pictures on the page.

At The Hunny Pot Nursery we understand the importance of child development and the essential role of reading.

Books stimulate a child’s imagination and help them learn about the world around them. This is something we’re very passionate about, as we provide a secure environment where children can thrive and grow. With unrivaled indoor and outdoor classrooms, you can be confident that your childs needs are catered for as we create the best foundation for every child.

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