young toddler sitting on a bench while looking at a book

5 of the Best Books for Toddlers Age 1 (& Beyond!)

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Check Out These Unique Children’s Books for Young Toddlers!

Looking for the best books for toddlers age 1 — that you’ll be able to read together for the next few years (and beyond)?

Look no further! I’ve got ya covered.

This one is for those of you with a sweet toddler in your life, whether it’s your son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandchild, godchild, or just someone who’s special to you.

My daughter has loved reading ever since she was a baby, and our collection of books is growing at a steady pace. But even though we have dozens of books for toddlers, there are a few that she will read over and over again.

And they’re not your classics (“Guess How Much I Love You“, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar“, and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear“), although we do have all those, too.

Today, we’re taking a look at some fun and unique (and the absolute best) books for toddlers age 1, 2, 3… and even older kiddos.


pinterest graphic that says best books for toddlers age 1 and beyond


But First, Why Read to Toddlers?

Reading is an important part of your child’s intellectual development, and the best part? You can start reading to your baby right from Day 1! (Or while still in the womb, if you’d like.)

Why is reading children’s books to your baby or toddler so important?


  • Reading together will help you bond with your child.
  • It helps promote a lifelong love of books.
  • It can help calm your child when he’s restless.
  • Reading to your child helps develop the imagination.
  • It helps to develop listening and language skills.
  • Reading helps children learn to sympathize with the characters.


Now that we know the benefits of reading to kids, let’s review some of the best children’s books for one-year-olds and older toddlers.


1. Snow

By Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman



In typical Dr. Seuss-style, Snow is a rhyming story about — you guessed it — snow.

Two children spend their day playing outside; they have lots of fun winter activities to do, from sledding to having a picnic in a snow house and building a snowman. But what will they do when the sun comes out?!


Pro mom tip: After reading this book about snow, do your own science experiment at home. Bring some snow inside (or use crushed ice) and divide it into two bowls.

Sprinkle salt over the snow and watch how much more quickly it melts than the other snow. You could even pull out a magnifying glass to get a closer look!


Grab your copy of Snow by PD Eastman on Amazon


2. Good Night, Gorilla

By Peggy Rathmann


For a book with very few words, Good Night, Gorilla has quite the story to tell.

A zookeeper walks around, locking up the animals for the night, but a mischievous gorilla follows behind, setting them all free.

For a while, we “read” this book — and I use that term loosely, because the story is told in pictures more so than in words — so many times that we ended up having to hide the book for a little while in order to get a break from it.


Pro mom tip: Before you turn each page of this favorite children’s book, help your toddler find the pink balloon that’s floating into the night sky. It gets a little smaller as each page goes by!


Find Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman on Amazon


3. My First Lullabies & Nursery Rhymes

By Fisher Price


My daughter just turned two, and has recently started singing her favorite nursery rhymes ALL the time. Listening to her sing is one of the sweetest things EVER.

That’s why we never complain when she chooses My First Lullabies & Nursery Rhymes for her bedtime story…almost every, single night.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to find this book anywhere online. However, your child might enjoy this Nursery Rhymes book instead.


Pro mom tip: Sing the nursery rhymes rather than reading them, and encourage your child to join in. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t the best singer — your kiddos won’t care! They just want to spend this time bonding with you.


Check out Nursery Rhymes on Amazon (it comes with a music CD!)


4. Animal Habitats (e-books)

By Tonya Mickelson


Disclosure: These two are written and published by the owner of this blog.


So far, I have published two Kindle e-books in the Animal Habitats Series: What Lives in the Ocean? and What Lives in the Desert?

They are short e-books that contain real photos and little blurbs about various ocean and desert creatures. They are great books for young toddlers (my two-year-old is obsessed with animals! how about yours?)

Click on the links above to check them out, and be sure to rate them when you’re done!


Related: 3 Essential Elements of a Cozy Kids’ Reading Nook


5. Bunny Roo, I Love You

By Melissa Marr 



Bunny Roo, I Love You is an adorable story about the way babies (of all different species) are made to feel at home in their new world.

…not to mention the gorgeous illustrations by Teagan White!


Pro mom tip: This is the perfect opportunity to discuss the various ways we (and animals) care for our young. For example, we feed them when they’re hungry, cuddle when afraid, and so on.


Grab your copy of the board book Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr


Never Run Out of Children’s Books to Read With Your Toddler!

Whether you’re building your home library or you are looking for books to give as a gift for the young toddler in your life, consider a monthly subscription box.

Elephant Books, for example, offers a board book package for young toddlers and a picture book package for older toddlers.

Each box contains 2-3 of the highest quality recently published hardcover children’s books. They also send a few extras to enhance their reading experience, ensuring that it is both fun and interactive.

Plus, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee AND free replacement of titles you may already own. You really can’t go wrong with this book subscription box for your toddler!




Click here to learn more about the Elephant Books subscription service



Best Books for Toddlers Age 1 and Beyond

Reading is an important part of your child’s day. It’s absolutely amazing to watch toddlers take in every word and picture, and to respond to the story in such a positive way.

There are hundreds of amazing books for toddlers age one and up, but these are my daughter’s all-time favorites (right now, at least!).



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  1. We love Good Night, Gorilla! I usually hum a sneaky sounding tune as I turn the pages and I love to watch the balloon continue to float away on almost every page.

    I’ll have to look into the others. We can always use new reads!

  2. Little Bottle Mousie was one of my kids’ favorite. It has a great rhythm and rhyme tone through the whole book as a mouse explores a house one night

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