From the last three years, reading a storybook is our favourite bedtime routine. Every day without a fail, Noa gets her favourite books and snuggles close to me in bed. Her eyes will twinkle the moment I pick Blue Kangaroo and starts reading while she rests her head on my arm.
And after some time, while holding Blue Kangaroo she falls asleep. Reading aloud has made our bond stronger, and I can’t emphasise enough about its benefits.
Stories imprint on a child’s younger brain. So, it becomes more important what books you choose to read. Will your kid enjoy this book? Is the message right for your toddler?
A positive reading experience is fun and interactive. It helps toddler build vocabulary, develop a lifelong relationship with the book and, nurture a stronger parent-child bond. Books help toddlers make sense of what they see, hear, think and feel.
Toddlers have shorter attention spans. And, their imagination sparks more when there is a different visual treat to occupy their mind than story reading. Hence, illustration plays a major role in enhancing a toddler’s imagination.
I didn’t have any idea about children’s book till the time I got books for my daughter from Amazon. And, hardly knowing that I may end up reading to my daughter more than 100 times.
Have you read Little Blue Truck billion times. And, if someone wakes you up from sleep, you would start repeating Beep Beep Beep!
I get you. I have been there, and I am still there. I have read I love you Blue Kangaroo and Lost and Found more than a hundred times. And, I want these books to disappear from her bookshelf.
There are no set rules when it comes to choosing books for toddlers, but some of the things that I like to look for are:
- book with rhyming words
- repetitive phrases
- an engaging book with pop up, sound or flap
- board books
- beautiful illustration
I have read a variety of books to Noa and coming up with a particular genre was very difficult. Hence, I have divided into two – one for the board book (for a young baby). And, another set of books for a picture book (either in hardback or paperback).
The second set will have books with varied emotions and theme, for which I have written a separate post.
Here are a few of our favourite toddler board books to add to your storytime collection:
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle Illustrated by Jilly McElmurry
Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up–that is until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road.
Filled with truck sounds and animals noises, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.
What I love – Beautiful artistic illustration and a perfect read-aloud book for that bedtime story. It’s interactive and engaging, fun way to learn different farm animals and their sounds!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
THE all-time classic story, from generation to generation, sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds! Have you shared it with a child or grandchild in your life?
The brilliantly innovative Eric Carle has dramatized the story of one of Nature’s commonest yet loveliest marvels, the metamorphosis of the butterfly. This audiobook will delight as well as instruct the very youngest listener.
What I love – It’s classic for a reason. A beautiful story teaching change is a good and fun way to learn to count. To celebrate 50 years milestone, they have limited edition Hardback and it’s our absolute favourite.
Brown Bear, brown Bear What Do You See Slide and Find by Bill Martin Jr Illustration by Eric Carle
Eric Carle’s familiar illustrations of brown bear, red bird, yellow duck and the other endearing animals from his classic creation parade across the pages of this great interactive board book. As each page is turned, a new animal and its colour are introduced, accompanied by Bill Martin’s singsong, rhyming question-and-response text to read aloud or listen to. There are sliding doors throughout the book, which children will just love to open, so they can discover what the next animal in this engaging story will be.
What I love – It’s a very engaging and interactive book to learn different animals and colours in a more fun way. My daughter loves her purple cat in this book.
The Wonderful Things you will be by Emily Winfield Martin
The New York Times bestseller that celebrates the dreams, acceptance, and love that parents have for their children . . . now and forever!
From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gatefold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids—both young and old. A great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, and graduation. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes.
What I love – A sweet rhyming book with whimsical illustrations. And, a heartwarming message, which encourages your child to be creative and kind.
Colour me, Happy by Roddie Shen
This host of vibrant colours and humorous illustrations help toddlers explore and learn to express a range of emotions. Small children will fall in love with the adorable kitten as they turn the pages of this colourful book. Encourages children to explore and understand their feelings with simple, rhythmic text—perfect for even very young children and a joy to read aloud.
What I love – A fun to ready rhyming book to teach a young child about colours and different emotions.
Where, Oh Where is Huggle Buggle Bear by Katherine Sully and illustrated by Janet Samuel
A small child searches for his teddy bear, who always seems to be hiding in plain sight.
What I love – It’s repetitive and rhyming text make it fun to read to the younger baby. This is one of my daughter’s favourite book.
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
This is a rhyming story of a mouse and a monster. Little mouse goes for a walk in a dangerous forest. To scare off his enemies he invents tales of a fantastical creature called the Gruffalo. So imagine his surprise when he meets the real Gruffalo.
What I love – It may not be an example of perfect book, but not all books need to be. With playful and rich illustrations and a surprising twist at the end, The Gruffalo is sure to be a make storytime adventurous.
I love you Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark
When Blue Kangaroo feels misplaced by Lily’s new toys, he wonders if she would even notice if he were gone? A heartwarming and comforting tale of sibling rivalry, loyalty, and lasting love.
What I love – Beautiful and simple illustration makes Emma’s work unique. For the toddler who has one favourite toy and took everywhere along with. My daughter got so obsessed with this book and Kangaroo that finally I had to request Harper Collins to send her their Blue Kangaroo plush toys.
What Colour is Love by Linda Strachan, illustrated by David Wojtowycz
A little elephant has a very important question – ‘What Colour is Love?’ All the animals in the jungle try to help him, but he isn’t quite happy with the answer until he comes back to his mum – who gives him the best answer of all.
What I love – It has a delightful rhythm with repetitive words that rhyme with the names of different colours. And, makes colour easy to remember.
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day The Crayons Quit comes to a humorously warm tale of friendship. Now also an animated TV special!
What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door? Find out where it comes from, of course, and return it. But the journey to the South Pole is long and difficult in the boy’s rowboat. There are storms to brave and deep, nights. To pass the time, the boy tells the penguin stories. Finally, they arrive. Yet instead of being happy, both are sad. That’s when the boy realizes: The penguin hadn’t been lost, it had merely been lonely.
A poignant, funny, and child-friendly story about friendship lost . . . and then found again.
What I love – Oliver Jeffers has a unique style of illustrations along with different text format. A heart-warming story of a unique friendship between a penguin and a boy.
When it Snows by Richard Collingridge
When it Snows, magic happens. Follow a boy and his teddy bear on a wondrous snowy adventure which will lead readers of all ages to a surprising place.
What I love – Beautiful and glowing illustration that you believe it to be real. A magical imaginative journey to other far lands.
I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis, illustrated by Alison Jay
When the day has ended and everyone else has fallen asleep, a young boy embarks on an adventure with his friend, the Moon. Their unusual journey is described in lyrical verse, creating a magical story that celebrates the serene beauty of the world at night.
What I love – Illustration of this book is gorgeous and simple rhyming words blends perfectly for that little curious reader. It also teaches different phases of moon and nocturnal animals.
If you are still looking for more books, you may check Goodreads for more books for young kid. And, if you have any other favourite which you think I should include here, please do let me know in comments so I can add in this list. Also, if you enjoyed reading this post please do share with your friend who might benefit from this list.