Toddler Books: What Should a Toddler Be Reading?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you buy through my link, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclosure page here.

There are many toys that I think are worthwhile to give to a toddler. (Read my post about what a Montessori kid plays with.) Some are good for gross motor skills and some are good for fine motor skills. But one thing that I feel is so worthwhile to give to a toddler is a book. But what makes for good toddler books? There are two important qualities that toddler books should have.

I will throw in my usual disclaimer here that I believe in all things in moderation. Are a few books that don’t have the qualities listed below going to mentally damage your toddler? Of course not.

There are so many toddler books out there. But what is the best kind to give to a toddler? Read about two qualities toddler books should have. quirkyandthenerd.com

Toddlers Need Realistic Stories

Most toddlers are not in a position to play pretend or use their imagination. They cannot tell reality from pretend, so it is important that the books they read be as realistic as possible. Here are a few examples of books Mac reads

There are so many toddler books out there. But what is the best kind to give to a toddler? Read about two qualities toddler books should have. quirkyandthenerd.com

Notice anything? Daniel Tiger isn’t something I would necessarily call realistic. But Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is her favorite show and therefore a few books are okay. The book What is Daniel Wearing is a fun mix of her favorite show with touch-and-feel fabric.

Here are some examples of the inside of the books.

There are so many toddler books out there. But what is the best kind to give to a toddler? Read about two qualities toddler books should have. quirkyandthenerd.com

Grandma Loves Me by Marianne Richmond is a fun book with pages of realistic illustrations of grandmothers having fun with their grandchildren.

I’ve shared my love of Global Babies before. It has great, vivid pictures of babies from all around the world. It was also put out by The Global Fund for Children and a portion of each sale goes to support community-based organizations for vulnerable children.

I Want to Potty by Izzy Neis has realistic pictures of potty training. Plus, it is extra cool because the kid’s name is Mac.

Beautiful Pictures

I love exposing Mac to the beauty in the world. Toddlers are still exploring and discovering things. The most simple things like an airplane flying overhead or a dandelion are beautiful to them. Finding books with beautiful pictures or illustrations is important.

There are so many toddler books out there. But what is the best kind to give to a toddler? Read about two qualities toddler books should have. quirkyandthenerd.com

All of these books are beautiful (and realistic) in their own ways. Eric Carle draws beautiful illustrations. His board book version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is perfect.

Quiet Loud by Leslie Patricelli has very simple, but engaging illustrations. Hopefully it can also help a toddler learn about indoor and outdoor voices.

Here is a peek inside the other three books:

There are so many toddler books out there. But what is the best kind to give to a toddler? Read about two qualities toddler books should have. quirkyandthenerd.com

Roadwork by Sally Sutton has beautiful and realistic illustrations of the entire process that workers go through to build a road. Somehow this book takes a job site and makes it pretty to look at.

Farm Animals by Rod Campbell is a very simple book, but all of the pictures of each animal are large and pretty to look at.

I Like Fruit by Lorena Siminovich has very artistic renderings of all sorts of fruit. They are sorted by color which is really aesthetically pleasing. It also has some textures for toddlers to feel.

Toddler Books

So overall, board books should ideally be beautiful and realistic. It takes a little looking, but finding books that have these qualities is a totally attainable goal. Again, you can have books that don’t fit into these categories. The important thing is that toddler develop a love of reading.

There are so many toddler books out there. But what is the best kind to give to a toddler? Read about two qualities toddler books should have. quirkyandthenerd.com

What are your favorite toddler books? Do you have any of the ones I listed in this post?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you buy through my link, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclosure page here.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Lauren B. | 26th May 16

    I totally forgot about that global babies book, we used to have it when my son was a baby! My kids also liked those black and white books.. my daughter is 3 and still likes to look at it.

    • Mikki | 26th May 16

      Global Babies is such a great book! That is so cute that she still enjoys the black and white books.

  2. Kids Travel Books | 26th May 16

    We also had the global babies book! Great tips on what to have around for toddlers.

    • Mikki | 26th May 16

      Thank you! There are so many great board books around!

  3. Jasmine Hewitt | 26th May 16

    These make great suggestions for us, as our son is almost one and already loves books!

    • Mikki | 27th May 16

      I hope you get a few and enjoy them! I love reading with Mac!

  4. Christina Graham | 27th May 16

    Great tips! My son loves being read 2!

    • Mikki | 27th May 16

      That is so great! Reading is such a great family activity.

  5. Kayla | 23rd Jul 16

    I’d agree until the mental leap that happens around two. Two year olds have very active imaginations. There’s information that mothers instinctively pick stories suited to a child’s development, so I think the best advice is to follow what you think is best for your own child.

  6. Katherine | 29th Jul 16

    The Mini Masters collection is a great way to expose your baby to beauty!
    And Sandra Boyntin books are great! My LO wants to read Moo, Baa, LaLaLa 5 times a day!
    On the vein of realistic books, you are so right that realistic pictures are more developmentally appropriate for babies and toddlers. We really love Global Babies, too! Other great ones are The BabyFaces collection and Hands Can 🙂

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