The best books for toddlers

books for toddlers

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

If it’s getting tedious reading your child the same story again and again, why not take a look at our round-up of the best books for toddlers to find a new favourite? Our varied selection of children's books will delight both young readers and parents too, filled with exciting stories and gorgeous illustrations to curl up and enjoy together.

We have chosen stories based on timeless classics, popular authors and famous characters (which should hopefully turn them into a little bookworm), but we've also included some stories which relate to what your toddler may be currently going through, including, books which talk your child through potty training or becoming a big brother or sister, for example.

The best books for toddlers at a glance:

Best for lift-the-flap books: Oh Dear! - View offer on Amazon
Best for humour: The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet! - View offer on AmazonBest for a classic: Five Minutes' Peace - View offer on Amazon
Best for an educational book: Hello, World! Solar System - View offer on Amazon

So, without further ado, here's a list of books which are worthy of a spot on your child's bookcase. Check them out below.

The best books for toddlers

Best for potty training

No More Nappies: A Potty-Training Book
Price: $14.86

One of the greatest books for toddlers if you're about to start potty training, the story introduces Millie and Mo, two toddlers who are ready to ditch their nappies and learn how to use the potty. Each page contains helpful potty-training tips for parents, and is equally as enjoyable and entertaining for toddlers to flick through.

Best for lift-the-flap books

Oh Dear!
Price: $13.79

A classic story in a lift the flap book, your toddler will love lifting the flaps as they turn the pages to follow Buster around Grandma's farm. This is one of the most interactive books for toddlers and is especially engaging because of the fun pictures and the playful design. A classic farmyard animal scene that will entertain your toddler - what's not to love?!

Best for an older sibling

books for toddlers
Price: $5.38
Alternative retailers
Target$6.99View offer

If you're expecting a baby, this book is a lovely way to get your toddler used to being a big brother or sister and help them feel excited during the wait to meet their new sibling. The simple conversational text and illustrations are designed to encourage dialogue between you and your little one, making this one of the best books for toddlers who are about to get a new sibling.

Best for wet play

Colour Me: Whou0026#039;s in the Water?:
Price: $13.27

Wetting the pages of this bath book will bring the playful scenes to life in full colour, helping to make bath time an exciting experience for your toddler as they discover what cute baby animals do at bath time. This is one of the best books for toddlers who love to be constantly on the go - it's great for parents because they can ensure bath time is a raging success, and the toddler can have a fun time with their new book.

Best for a confidence booster

The Koala Who Could
Price: $15.45

This funny rhyming story about dealing with change and overcoming worries, following Kevin the Koala who discovers the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone. This is one of the best books for toddlers who are about to start preschool - it's a great way to start the idea of trying something new. A new routine can often feel scary for our little ones, so introducing them gently to the idea is more productive than throwing them into something totally out of their comfort zone.

Best for humour

The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet!
Price: $16.56

A laugh-out-loud rhyming picture book that will have your youngster giggling, this supersonic space adventure follows Danny and Dinosaur and their adventure in space. Written by two of the four McFly band members, Tom who is a Dad and Dougie who is a self-declared cool uncle to all the other band members' kids, the book is funny and up-lifting. We'd say this book is perfect for boys who are just getting into their toilet humour phase - and girls too! After all, toilet jokes are universally funny.

Best for popular characters

Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves Doctors and Nurses
Price: $14.77

An extremely relevant book for current times, in this Peppa tale, Peppa and her friends get a visit from Dr Brown Bear and Nurse Fox who come to show the children how to keep fit, eat healthily and remember to wash their hands. In classic Peppa Pig style, this is one of the brilliant educational books for toddlers on the market. The two E's we love to see - educational and entertaining, the perfect combination for a toddler's book.

Best for a classic

Five Minutesu0026#039; Peace
Price: $16.30

A book that has been loved by families for over 30 years, this is the story of Mrs Large the elephant – who just needs five minutes of peace and quiet away from her children! Sound familiar?! it's safe to say that this is one of the books for toddlers that parents will enjoy just as much as their children, if not more than their children. Let's be honest, when humour is relatable - how can you not laugh along with your toddler?

Best for friendship

snail and whale audiobook
Price: $16.16

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books are a must for any toddler's bookshelf. In this story, one small snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of an enormous whale. Together the pair go on an amazing journey. This is a classic tale of friendship and fun - two of the perfect components in books for toddlers.

Best for an educational book

Hello, World! Solar System

Rrp: $8.99

Price: $6.17
Alternative retailers
Target$6.17View offer
Kohl's$8.99View offer
Macy's$8.99View offer

Your tot may not be reciting all of the planets just yet but this board book is a great place to start, teaching toddlers all about the sun, moon, stars, and planets, alongside colours, shapes, sizes, and super-simple facts. Bright and bold, this book will definitely catch the attention of your toddler - making it one of the best educational books for toddlers on the market.

Best for a popular pick

Alternative retailers
Macy's$19.79View 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. Let's be real, this tale is one of the most well-known and every toddler should be read this story at the very least ten times. For sure, this is one of the best classic books for toddlers out there.

Best for inspirational history

Rosa Parks (Little People, Big Dreams)
Price: $9.99

Team M&B are huge fans of the Little People, Big Dreams books and we know you will be too. There are lots of inspiring people to choose from in the series - but one of our top picks is about the incredible civil rights activist Rosa Park. As a parent, if you are a history nerd then this will be entertaining for you as well as your toddler - a really great way to include education and entertainment in a book. This has to be another pick for one of the best educational books for toddlers.

Best for understanding big feelings

A Dragon Called Worry
Price: $17.10

Part of a series of storybooks co-written by Dr Sharie Coombes, Child and Family Psychotherapist, A Dragon Called Worry contains plenty of advice and reassurance for little ones and their parents managing childhood worries. As much as this is an adorable anecdotal tale, the message that the book gives to toddler and parents is vital. This has to be one of the best books for toddlers for growth and development. And, it will definitely help us parents learn a thing or two!

Best for entertainment

What is Poo?
Price: $10.11

Like it or not, most kids find poo hilarious which is why they will love this book where they can lift the flaps to discover how much poo an elephant does, and what you can do with it. The classic Usborne illustrations are something that your toddler will engage with, and that they will enjoy flicking through.

Best for gifting

Guess How Much I Love You
Price: $14.72

Another classic which has truly stood the test of time, these beautiful illustrations and the story of Little and Big Nutbrown Hares’ efforts to express their love for each other will have you cuddling your toddler close. A beautiful book - this has to be up there with one of our all-time favourite books for toddlers. Careful - this one may bring a tear to your eye.

Best for a rhyming book

This classic story is full of rhyme and repetition with beautiful, bright and colourful pictures and clear large print text, making it easy for your tot to enjoy. The lift-the-flaps on each page are ideal for little hands to explore - and this is another engaging and exciting read for your toddler to quite literally get to grips with.

Best for global issues

Packed with stunning illustrations, this tender story is inspired by true events in Syria and war gardens around the world and throughout history. Gently touching on issues of conflict and migration, this is a story of hope that deserves to be bought immediately.

What to consider when buying books for toddlers

First and foremost, you should select a book that you believe your child would enjoying "reading". Think about the characters and the plot of the story. It's also a good idea to consider whether you will find it at least slightly entertaining too, as you may have to read it to them. Stories that are based on rhyme are brilliant at getting them more involved with the re-telling of a story and could aid them in their in phonetic development.

Picture books on the other hand are ideal for travelling or keeping your little one entertained for five minutes whilst you get a task done. Look for bright colours and simple designs, or a Where's Wally type of book, but for little one's, where they can point out images of things you tell them to.

To help them begin their reading and writing journey, books with simple words and phrases are a fantastic option, as they could start to pick up what words look like (if they read the book often enough). Other educational books which feature, shapes, colours, numbers and letters as well as planets, fruit or vegetables, for example, are also recommended.

Eleanor Weaver is the Deputy Homes & Garden Product Editor and has been a writer for titles such as Mother&Baby and Yours. In her role, she has researched and recommended the best products for parents, from breast pumps to toys, nursery décor to car seats. She's also kept a keen eye on celeb mums and influencers to share what they've been using to help make parenting that little bit easier.

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