The best books for one year olds

best books for one year olds

by Samantha Ball |
Updated on

Reading to your baby is one of the best things that you can do for them for many different reasons. You may have to encourage your one year old, but reading has a lot of benefits for their development. The best books for babies and one year olds will help with their development of speech, language and understanding.

They're never too little to start with reading, no matter how tricky it might be to keep them engaged. That's why it's important to pick books which are age appropriate and cover themes they are interested in. That's why we've picked the best books for one year olds, to keep them engaged and spark their love for reading.

Tips for getting the best out of books for your one year olds:


1) Have a special place to read

Whether you choose to read in a special chair in the house or when you tuck them up in bed at night, having a designated 'reading area' is a good way for your baby to pick up on social queues of when it is time to read. It will eventually become part of their little routine and they'll start looking forward to it each day.

2) Let them choose their own book

If they are able to, let them choose their favourite book for you to read to them! The best books for one year olds may feel a little repetitive if they choose the same book each time, but repetition is how babies learn.

3) Involve your baby in reading

Hold your baby close while you read to them, that way they will feel comfortable cuddled up to you. They might not understand what's going on in the story, but you can encourage them to get involved by talking to them about what's on the page. Try pointing out different animals, objects and colours, or even interact with it if it's an interactive book with flaps or sound buttons.

4) Don't give up!

Sometimes, it's not always easy to read a book, especially if your little one is tired, restless or more interested in something else. But the important thing is to not give up! Keep encouraging them to sit with you, and even if they won't, continue to read the book as normal because they might come back to join in reading and they'll pick up on the fact you've not put the book down yourself.

5) Buy colourful books

When buying books for your child, choose books with bright colours. Illustrations will attract their attention a lot more. Thick pages so that they're easy for your little one to hold and turn pages are also a good idea, as well as the story being simple and repetitive.

Take a look at our top picks of books for one year olds:

Best caterpillar book

Alternative retailers
Macy's$21.99View offer

The classic story of a very hungry caterpillar, who literally eats his way through the book. This book remains a favourite through the generations with its attractive colours and interesting textures. It's one that'll certainly keep your 12-month-old entertained.

Review: "Every child enjoys this story and the little board book is ideal for small children - much harder to damage too! Brought for a present and was very appreciated."

Best zoo book

Price: $10.96

A book that has been a firm favourite with parents and toddlers for years, Dear Zoo is an interactive flap book that your tot will love. Lifting up the flap to see which animal is behind each door, will they ever manage to find the perfect pet as they discover the different animals the zoo has sent?

Review: "Lovely book, my baby loves lifting the flaps. The gold for the anniversary edition is a lovely touch."

Best Gruffalo library

Price: $4.95

Featuring all your little one's favourite characters from the deep dark wood, these bold and bright books will help them to learn about colours, numbers and animals. These miniature Gruffalo books will fit perfectly on their bookshelf and one they can fit in their nursery bag as they get older.

Review: "Just right for little fingers this great Gruffalo Library is ideal for any toddlers’ bookshelf - a superb set of super books and four great titles for learning and enjoying."

Best farm book

Price: $13.83

From the creator of Dear Zoo, this is another interactive flap book that will keep them engaged. Follow Buster around the farm and help him find the eggs for his breakfast in Oh Dear! Children will love the bold artwork, and the chunky book makes it easier for little hands to hold.

Review: "Great book for my 8-month-old - lots of flaps and he loves reading it."

Best for curious toddlers

Price: $22.99

Full of pictures, objects to name and simple questions that are perfect for your curious toddler. Encourage them to ask questions and talk about the world around them using 'Let's Get Talking' to help them to identify the objects, characters and creatures they'll come into contact with along the way.

Review: "My 18 month old grandson absolutely loves this book. He especially loves the vehicles page which he keeps asking to look at! Whilst not yet saying much, his ability to recognise the images is rapidly improving. Lovely pictures and easy for little hands to turn pages. Highly recommend."

Best belly button book


Rrp: $5.99

Price: $5.00
Alternative retailers
Target$5.00View offer

'Where Is My Belly Button' is a fun way to teach young children about different body parts and self-awareness. They'll love pointing out where the baby's eyes, nose and hands are. Soon enough, they'll be able to point to where they are on their own body, too.

Review: "This book is great! My toddler enjoys it every time we read this together. I have been reading this to her ever since she was a baby. She’s almost 2 now but gets really excited when she sees this book. She has also learned about her body parts using this cute little book so if you want to make your child learn something at a very early age, I would definitely recommend."

Best dog book

Price: $10.96

The felt flaps in this book will withstand enthusiastic toddlers! They'll love trying to find the friendly pets hiding on each page. They might even come across some animals that they're familiar with if they have pets in their household as well. Find Mr Dog, Mrs Rabbit and baby, too.

Review: "Lovely book, the flaps are good quality. My daughter has pulled them many times and they still look like new.
Great colours, my daughter is absolutely in love with this book!"

Best Spot puppet book

Price: $11.32

Spot is a timeless classic. In the book, puppy Spot has gone missing at dinner time and Mummy dog, Sally, must find him. This book is part of a collection of many stories about Spot’s adventures that are a part of pretty much everyone’s childhood.

Review: "Absolutely love this book. Beautifully illustrated and feeds the appetite of curiosity of young children as they lift the flaps to see what’s there. Start young and it will grow with them."


Price: $9.59

This colourful book supports your little one in learning their first words. From dog, to ball and car, the words are hidden behind flaps that children can interact with and learn from. Support their speech by repeating the words in a fun and engaging way, and surprising them with the words hidden under the flaps.

Review: "I bought the set of three books ‘Babies Love’ for my granddaughter. She loves them, they are sturdy very colourful and each page inside folds open relating to the opposite page. They have been used non-stop since she received them and still loves to read them an ideal educational book that is fun. She is 17 months and I can see these will be used for a long time yet."

Best first words flaps book

Price: $24.16

Another great book to support with their speech and development, first words books are really important in teaching little ones. The lift-up flaps are big enough for your tot to grab too, and it's a fun, vibrant way to teach them their first words.

Review: "My son got a copy of this when he was 13 months old. A year later it's still his favourite book. At first he liked me pointing at the pictures and naming them, and now that he's learning to talk he does it himself and even makes up little stories about them. I especially like how the last page is all about bedtime because it makes it easy to convince him to brush his teeth and get his blanket and teddy ready, just like in the book. We like this book so much that we just bought a copy for his cousin's first birthday!"

Best love book

Price: $13.67

This is the story of Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare and how it’s impossible to measure how much you love your little one. A great story to read to your tot with a big cuddle at the end, this book is all about the unbreakable bond of familial love.

Review: "My baby loves this book as I do the actions. A very cute nighttime book. You can also buy a rattle version of the bunny which we were given."

Best animals book

Price: $8.59

Touch and tickle the textures with your baby and help them to learn about different animals. From soft, cuddly kittens to the scales of lizards, they'll love learning about the world around them as they read this book. 'Baby Touch and Feel: Animals' is a reactive and sensory journey to take your little one along on.

Review: "My daughter loves it, nice features like the chimpanzee with hair. Cute for babies 4 months to 18 maybe,"

Best nursery rhymes

Price: $19.77

This delightful book will introduce classic nursery rhymes that little ones will love listening to and singing along with. These nursery rhymes are a great way at introducing them to speech as well as music. It includes lift-up flaps, along with touch and feel patches for a sensory experience too.

Review: "This is one of my 16 months old's favourite books. He loves listening to the music while i sing the rhymes....the words are written in the book so it doesn't matter if you are not familar with all the songs. He loves pressing the buttons too. Nice bright pictutes which capture his attention and cut out/raised details too."

Best Books for One Year Old Toddlers

We love this video from Hapa Family on Youtube where they discuss their favourite books for one-year-olds!

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