The best books for 2-year-olds

best books for 2-year-olds

by Samantha Ball |
Updated on

If you've started thinking about the best books for 2-year-olds, you're in the right place. From two years old, your child's language is developing quickly and they probably know around 200 or more words. Encouraging reading is a great way to get your little ones to expand their knowledge, enabling them to learn new words and start making connections between books and real life.

Books that you can link to challenges your toddler might be facing in real life, such as potty training, brushing their teeth even annual events such as Christmas, are a good way to get your toddler to interact with reading and see the positives to each story. Not only that, but lots of books for little ones include interaction and sensory stimulation - which we're big fans of. Reading is also great for cognitive development, speech, empathy and imagination.

The best books for 2-year-olds at a glance:

Best classic book: The Tiger Who Came to Tea - Buy now on Amazon
Best illustrated book for 2-year-olds: The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Buy now on Amazon
Best humorous book for 2-year-olds: You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus - Buy now on Amazon

So if you're looking to stock up on some new reads for your youngster, scroll down to check out our list of the best books for 2-year-olds.

The best books for 2-year-olds

Best classic book for two-year-olds

Tiger who came to tea The best books for 2-year-olds

Rrp: $11.84

Price: $8.99

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is another classic that has stood the test of time, this beautiful story of Sophie and her very hungry tea-time guest is a must if you’ve got an animal lover in your blood. It’s purr-fect. Why not plan a tea party for your own hungry tigers at the weekend?

Best illustrated book for two-year-olds

Alternative retailers
Macy's$21.99View offer

A book that needs no introduction, if you haven't already got your toddler The Very Hungry Caterpillar, what are you playing at? Snuggle up and read as one very hungry caterpillar eats his way through the week.

Best humorous book for 2-year-olds

Elephant on the bus The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $13.45

You can't take an elephant on a bus or ask a whale to ride a bike! With hilarious and clever rhyming, this book will definitely have your little one in fits of giggles! We love this because it is overflowing with animals causing total disaster as they try to travel in the most unsuitable of vehicles.

Best-loved monster book

children's story book The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $17.01

This adorable story of Max and his monsters has entertained children for years. After dressing up in his wolf costume, Max wreaks so much havoc (sound familiar?) that he is sent to bed before dinner. That night, his bedroom transforms into a forest, and he is taken to where the Wild Things are. A classic, this book makes the perfect nighttime story for all those loveable little monsters out there.

Best repetition book

Going on a bear hunt The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $7.99
Alternative retailers
Target$7.99View offer

This fun, rhythmic and repetitive book by Michael Rosen is a great way to encourage children to repeat phrases! Plus, the illustrations in this little book are beautifully done in watercolours. We're going on a bear hunt; will your toddler join?

Best confidence-building book

Giraffes cant dance The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $15.87

Giraffes can't dance, or can they? This funny, touching and triumphant book is a joyful read for children. We love a story that has a simple moral. In this case, it’s about daring to be different and finding your own confidence.

Best witch book

Room on the broom The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $11.88

Room on the Broom is a favourite – and tells the story of a kind witch and her cat who invite three other animals (a dog, a bird and a frog) to join them in travelling on her broomstick. The witch and her cat fly happily over forests in the night, but when a stormy wind blows away the witch's hat, bow and wand, who will retrieve them for her? Perfect for a bedtime read.

Best potty training book

Potty The best books for 2-year-olds

Rrp: $14.99

Price: $13.64

This book is great for little ones who might be starting to potty train! It's easy to follow along, and when Pirate Pete uses his potty correctly, tots can press the 'cheer' button for a noisy reward. It’s the perfect matey for a little one who is starting to use the potty. There's even a Princess Polly's Potty if your little one prefers this character.

Best tooth-brushing book

Snappy Croc The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $10.09

As we all know, brushing our teeth is the best way to look after them. This board book about brushing teeth is a lovely way to encourage tots to brush away, with the help of the lovely crocodile. Your little one will be smiling a-plenty after brushing their gnashers.

Best dinosaur book

Help! The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $8.99

Your little one will be channelling their inner palaeontologist with this dinosaur-themed Where’s Wally book. Most importantly: can your little one find the missing dinosaurs? This lovely book tests children’s puzzle-solving skills. We love this roar-some addition to the list.

Best Peppa Pig book

At the zoo The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $12.51

What toddler doesn't love Peppa Pig? In this sweet story feature lift-the-flaps, we join Peppa on her class trip to the zoo where she meets zookeepers Mr Lion, Mrs Crocodile and Mr Giraffe. What animals will she see?

Best sounds book

Dr Seuss The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $11.66

This book can introduce your little one to a lot of rhyming and can encourage them to repeat the sounds they hear in the book, with a moo-mo! Hoo hoo! And a cocker-doodle-do, what else can Mr. Brown do?

Best colours book

Colours The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $16.64

This lift-the-flap book will help your tots discover all the colours of the rainbow with Roald Dahl, the world’s favourite storyteller. It’s perfect for little hands.

Best counting book

123 The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $12.75

2 little chiddlers waiting for their friend. Can you spot 1 enormous crocodile hiding in the grass? Roald Dahl’s 123 book is a great way to teach children all about numbers and counting, with a fun little storyline.

Best Winnie the Pooh book

Goodnight Pooh The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $9.09

The perfect read before bedtime, you and your little one will join Winnie the Pooh as he gets ready for bed in this delightful rhyming board book which features peep-through holes to play peep-o!

Best routine building book

Baby Catalogue The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $15.92

The Baby's Catalogue is a lovely picture book of objects and scenes from a baby's world. The content of this book has made it a classic addition to your nursery library.

Best classic peek-a-boo book

Peepo The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $15.10

Peepo! Is set in the early forties, showing an unpretentious vision of a baby's contented life based on Allan Ahlberg's own working-class childhood. This board book edition means you won't need to worry about any torn pages from enthusiastic reading!


Maisy's bus The best books for 2-year-olds
Price: $45.00

Maisy’s adventures have been translated into 28 languages and sold over 25 million copies. You can now find more than 150 stories full of letters, numbers, and shapes for your baby to learn, all featuring the wonderfully illustrated mouse.


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: Baby's First Book of Extraordinary Women

Rrp: $9.99

Price: $8.49
Alternative retailers
Target$8.49View offer
Macy's$9.99View offer

We adore the Rebel books and this hard book adaption of the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is ideal for your tot's first introduction to the series. It features artists and inventors, athletes and activists such as Amelia Earhart and Cleopatra in its colourful, inviting pages.

How do I get my two-year-old to read?

Let them choose the book

By letting your little one choose their own book from their bookcase, they're more likely to sit and join in reading it. In particular, repetition and rhyming words are easy for children to remember, too. So, even if they pick the same book each storytime, they'll eventually start helping to re-read the book back to you. Maybe they'll even correct you if you read the story wrong, especially if you sometimes skip a page to speed up storytime - we've all done it!

Set an example

Children learn through watching what you do and trying to copy you, which is why toy kitchens and cleaning toys are perfect gifts for children, as they teach little ones social skills and how to use their imagination. With this in mind, it's a good idea to start reading while your toddler is playing. If they see you reading a book at least once a day, they'll see you doing it and be happier to join in on storytime.

Choose funny books

Choosing books with funny rhymes and silly storylines is a guaranteed way to keep little ones engaged with reading and eager to turn the pages! Who doesn't love a book that gives a good giggle?

Samantha Ball is a Product & Lifestyle Writer for Mother&Baby and freelanced for the website for two years before joining the team full time. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best products and cute outfits.

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