Best Books for Toddlers

Now that the air is certainly crisp and we will be spending more time indoors, parents are looking for things to do to “entertain” the kids. Sometimes the simplest things get forgotten, like snuggling on the couch with a blanket and a book. My 2 year old son is active but he also craves that one to one quieter quality time that he gets with me and his dad when we spend our time with books. We have been reading to our son since he was weeks old. Sometimes I felt silly and wondered why I was bothering to read a children’s book to myself while my child drooled on me and tried to eat the pages. But now I see. By the age of two he has his favourites. The books that he will actually sit still for. The books that he brings to me when I am in the kitchen desperately trying to get dinner ready on time. The books that he wants to bring with us in the car. The books that we have read over and over and over. Here is our list of best books for toddlers, what’s your favourite?

Who’s in the Forest (Barefoot Books)Who's in the Forest

This was one of the first books my son received when he was born. It is beautiful! The repetitive phrases and rhyming allow for comfort and familiarity and the illustrations by Jill McDonald are gorgeous. There is so much to look at on each page! The best part about this book are the peek-a-boo holes on every other page. Great for encouraging kids to flip to the next page and uncover the entire picture!

book wheelsWheels on the Bus (Pudgy Board Book)

This is a gem that I picked up at a local garage sale. It is small, so easy to take anywhere. The familiar tune is exciting and the actions are always a blast to do while keeping your child engaged. Each page of this book has wonderful illustrations that have tons of detail. We notice something new each time we read it!

I Love You Through and Through (Scholastic)book love you

Our close family friend’s daughter loved this book when she was a toddler so I was very familiar with it by the time my son came around. Thankfully another friend gave us a copy of it for a baby shower! The book is simple, no crazy illustrations, flaps or cut outs but toddlers seem to love this one. Great for teaching body parts and having your child participate by acting out each page. The overall message is pretty adorable too!

books goodnightGoodnight Moon (HarperFestival)

A classic. We surprisingly didn’t have this in our collection until after garage sailing this summer. Instantly it was loved. There is something so calming about this book. It is like a nice warm hug. My son loves the simple pictures and and the rhymes. Perfect for nap or bedtime. Careful- the husband and I get the yawns ourselves after reading this one!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Henry Holt & Co)

This is another that we’ve had since the newborn stage. We received a few copies of it for gifts and it was a good thing- one for home, one in the diaper bag and one for grandmas! Eric Carle’s unique illustrations and gorgeous colours seem to mesmerize children. This one is books brownrepetitive again adding to that sense of familiarity and expectation. It is wonderful for teaching animal names and sounds- we always review the last page by saying the name of the animal and then a hilarious rendition of what it might sound like. I particularly like the red bird- caw caw!

book mr brownMr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? (Random House)

It wouldn’t be a great book list without Dr. Seuss! This book is seriously fun to read for both parent and child. The sounds and actions that you can add make this one a multi-sensory experience. We also love the last page where you can review and try all of the sounds one last time.



Enter to win your very own copy of Who’s in the Forest from Barefoot Books Canada! Just comment below and tell us what time of day youWho's in the Forest and your child like to read together you can also send your entry to with the subject title “books”!

Barefoot Books*Entries will be collected until the contest closes on Wednesday November 12th 2014 at midnight (MST). Open to Canadian residents only. One entry per person.

Good Luck & Happy Reading!



  1. 1

    It’s certainly not intentional, but increasingly we’re reading a book in the middle of the night! My little guy is waking (as usual) and crying for me (as usual) but once I get near his room, he leaves his door to get a book to show me. I know that indulging him isn’t helping him to sleep through the night, but he’s communicating so clearly, and loving his books, and, well, not crying, so…

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    We read throughout the day most days, one book or five depending on the kids. But we ALWAYS read 3 books before bed. Because Abby is 3 so everything happens in 3’s for our routine. And she can count now.

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    I read with my children all day long. My oldest daughter will sit and read a book whenever she can! So when she’s reading, her twin sisters and I will all sit together and read!

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