Top 11 Books for Toddlers (Review & Buyers Guide)

Top 11 Books Your Toddler Will Love 

Review and Buyers Guide


With so many books to choose from, how do you know which one your toddler will love? Being a mother of a two-year-old girl who loves to be read to and by reading countless book reviews from other parents,  I composed a list of our top 10 toddler books.

1I Love You Stinky Face: I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read this books to my daughter Janelle. This is definitely her favorite. This book is about a mother’s unconditional love for her child. During the book, the child asks But Mama, But Mama what if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad that my name was Stinky Face would you still love me then? The child comes up with different scenarios asking Mama if she still loves him and of course, Mama explains how much she loves him no matter what he has become. The book is by Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore, It’s a wonderful book with great illustration. You will not be disappointed. Just an FYI there is a larger hardcover and a smaller hardcover version of the book. The story is slightly different in the small book.

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2.The Napping House: This is one of my favorites and it became Janelle’s as well. The story is fun to read as it flows nicely. It’s about a house where everyone is sleeping. First the snoring Granny is sleeping, and then the child sleeps on top of the granny and then comes the dog, the cat, the mouse, and then the flea. The flea bites the mouse, and then everyone starts waking up.  The illustration is wonderful in this book. It first starts off night time and as all the books characters are woken up it gets brighter and brighter until its morning. I often read this book several times in a row to Janelle. She cannot get enough of The Napping House. The Napping House is written by Audrey Wood and Illustrated by Don Wood.

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3.  Are You My Mother? This book is about a baby bird that hatches while his mother is out looking for food. The baby bird does not see his mother, so he goes out and looks for her. He comes across different characters asking “Are you, my mother?” He asks a kitten, a dog, and even a boat. At the end of the story the baby bird finds his mother. While reading this book with Janelle, she will often reply when I read Are you, my mother? She will say that’s not his mommy, so cute. This book is written by P.D Eastman.

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4.  Green Eggs and Ham: This is a classic that everyone enjoys. It’s the story of Sam-I-AM asking if you like green eggs and ham. He tries to convince the character to try them and offers them in many different ways such as here or there, in a house, with a mouse, in the rain, or on a train. The character insists that he does not like green eggs and ham. After refusing throughout the book the character finally agrees to try them and guess what…He actually likes them. He then thanks Sam-I-Am for having him try green eggs and ham. Janelle loves this book. I actually wrote on the inside cover a little note saying “Janelle, always keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try new things. Love, Mommy.” She actually has me read that part every time we read the book. This book is written by Dr. Seuss.

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5. Poke-A-Dot Old MacDonald’s Farm: This is a fantastic book. This is an interactive book where the child gets to press these little dots on each page while counting the animals on the farm. Janelle loves popping the dots and counting the animals. It’s great because the story is Old MacDonald Had a Farm which is one of her favorite songs. I love this book because she will often take it off her books shelf and play with the dots on her own. It is also helping her learn to count. The best part is that there are many Poke-A-Dot books including 10 Little Monkeys, An Alphabet Eye Spy, Who’s in the Ocean.  I want to collect them all.

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6.  Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed: This is based on the classic nursery rhyme. 5 little monkeys are jumping on the bed, one falls off and bumps his head. Mama calls the doctor and the doctor said: “no more monkeys jumping on the bed!” Then it continues 4 little monkeys etc… Super fun book to read with the kids.

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7.  The Little Engine that Could: The classic book about never giving up. A train was filled with toys and goods for children, the train then breaks down and has no way to get the toys to the children. He asks for help from different trains who all say they can’t help. Then comes along a little blue train though small agrees to help. He tries to pull the train over the hill saying, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. The little blue train gets the broken train over the hill and the children receive their toys. Like many toddler, Janelle loves trains. This is a classic story that has a great message. This book is written by Watty Piper .

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8.  Goodnight Moon: This is a classic bedtime story where the child says goodnight to everything around. “Goodnight room, Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. “ I love reading this book to Janelle before she goes to sleep. She even started saying goodnight to her toys and stuffed animals. This is also a great book to give for a baby shower.

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9.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?:  In this book, the narrator asks different animals what do they see. Some of the animals include a brown bear, red bird, yellow duck, blue horse, green frog, purple cat, white dog, black sheep, a goldfish, teacher, mother and children. This is also a good book to learn about colors. Janelle enjoys reading this book.

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10. I Love You Through and Through: This is a rhyming book, which is always a big hit with toddlers. The book is about the unconditional love between a toddler and a teddy bear. This books talks about loving your hair, eyes, your giggle and cries. You can’t help but feel loved while reading this book. Janelle is a cuddly, mushy child. She loves to be held and hugged while reading this book. It makes me feel good too! This books is written by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church.  What I love about this book available on Amazon, it comes with a plush teddy bear!  So adorable, any child would love it.

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11. Don’t Push the Button!

I came across this book while browsing in the book store.  My daughter just fell in love with this book.  It’s an easy to read, short, interactive book. The book is about Larry and Larry has only one rule… Don’t Push the Button!  The button looks tempting and Larry tells you to push it.  Watch what happens to Larry as you push the button.  This is a great book, I highly recommend it.   This book is written by Bill Cotter.  I can’t wait to read the follow-up book Don’t Touch This Book!

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What makes a great toddler book?

  1. Educational: Toddlers are learning new things every day. Great toddler books encourage learning while still telling a great story. Take the Poke-A-Dot Old MacDonald book. The children love poking the dots and listening to the story while practicing counting at the same time. Statics say that books that repeat words throughout the story also help children learn to read. You may notice your toddler reading along with you when they recognize repeated words.
  2. Great Illustration: Toddler books with great illustration often hold the interest of the child longer than with books without. Toddler love looking at bright colorful pictures.
  3. Teaches a Lesson: A great book will often teach a toddler a lesson without them even realizing it. In The Little Engine that Could a child learns how important it is not to give up. Books that teach toddler consequences are also great.
  4. Connecting with Characters: It’s great when a child can connect with a character. In the book, I Love You Stinky Face the child learns that no matter what or who his I, his mother will still love him. Toddlers will often connect with that believe that their parent will love them no matter what. Another example would be if you are trying to potty train your child, you may want to get a book where the child is learning to use the potty.
  5. Rhyming Books: Rhyming books are fun to read. They keep a toddler’s interest and often will find them funny.