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Books That Will Make Your Toddler Want to Read

We are parents of the most wonderful little girls. We love spending time with our kids, and coming up with new fun things to do with them.

Reading to your toddler has a lot of benefits.

Reading to your toddler has a lot of benefits.

Book Ideas for Your Little Bookworm

Reading is fun and educational. Read to your toddler for quality family time. With so many books to choose from, it's sometimes hard to find the right ones for your child. In this article, I will give you some suggestions for books, authors, and publisher series that my children like most to give you ideas for your little reader.

What Most Children Like in Books

  • Flaps and pop-ups (make the book more engaging)
  • Big, bright pictures (help develop story sense and increase comprehension)
  • Detailed pictures (help develop story sense and increase comprehension)
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes (help improve language skills and teach to make predictions)
  • Animals (Animals are cute, and kids can relate to their nature, as pets depend on an adult person to take care of them.)

Naturally, every child is different and has his/her personal opinion about what they prefer in books.

Why Children and Parents Should Read Together

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recommend that parents read with their children beginning as early as infancy and continuing through the elementary school years. Reading with your children builds warm and happy associations with books, increasing the likelihood that kids will find reading enjoyable in the future.

Reading at home boosts school performance later on. It also increases vocabulary, raises self-esteem, builds good communication skills, and strengthens the prediction engine that is the human brain. (Source)

Part of our toddler's library

Part of our toddler's library

The Books

From Annie Rose to authors known across the world, this is a list of library must-haves for your toddler's library.

"Rhymes For Annie Rose", by Shirley Hughes

"Rhymes For Annie Rose", by Shirley Hughes

Rhymes for Annie Rose

Rhymes for Annie Rose, by Shirley Hughes is a beautiful collection of rhymes that tell stories about Annie Rose's silly, and naughty adventures.

There was a time, when we read this book over, and over again, because our eldest needed to hear about Annie Rose.

This book includes:

  • rhymes
  • big, bright pictures
  • some detailed pictures
  • day-to-day topics

These Rhymes Will Put a Smile on Your Child's Face

Clifford

The book series Clifford, by Norman Bridwell is about a big red dog that doesn't seem to fit in anywhere but proves that despite his size he is well loved. Some books of this series are more for educational purposes, while others are just for entertainment. No matter what they are about, Clifford the dog will make your day.

This book series includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Books that feature a favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Animals

Little Blue Truck

"Horn went "Beep!". Engine purred. Friendliest sounds you ever heard." The Little Blue Truck series, by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry is definitely a family favorite. The stories are about a little blue truck and his good friend toad visiting their animals friends, and giving a helping hand. But not only does Blue help the animals, but also a big truck that is stuck in the mud, and the mayor of a town who needs a ride. No Matter what: Blue comes to the rescue!

This book series includes:

  • Flaps and pop-ups
  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals
"Henrietta Goose", by Abigail Pizer

"Henrietta Goose", by Abigail Pizer

Henrietta Goose

Henrietta Goose, by Abigail Pizer is about Henrietta the goose who moves from the country to the city. She makes friends with Tabitha the cat and Gilbert the dog, and begins to enjoy her new life in the city. But when Tabitha and Gilbert are in the house for tea, Henrietta notices a hole in the fence, and lush green grass on the other side! What will happen? Let your child find out.

This book includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Animals

The Potty Book for Girls

The Potty Book for Girls, by Alyssa Satin Capucilli tells the story of Hannah. Hannah is already big enough to eat her breakfast by herself, and brush her teeth at the sink, and a present from her parents tells her that she is ready for potty training. This story will encourage your toddler to use the bathroom, and is fun to read and look at, too! You can also purchase The Potty Book for Boys.

This book includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes

Jillian Jiggs

"Jillian, Jillian, Jillian Jiggs! It looks like your room has been lived in by pigs!" The book series Jillian Jiggs, by Phoebe Gilman features Jillian Jiggs and her silly adventures. A must-have for every toddler-library.

This book series includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature a favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
"The Berenstain Bears", by Stan and Jan Berenstain

"The Berenstain Bears", by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears

The Berenstain Bears, by Stan and Jan Berenstain feature Mama, Papa, Sister, and Brother (and Honey). Join the bear family on their adventures in bear country, and learn valuable lessons.

This book series includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals
"Peter Rabbit" Collection, by Beatrix Potter

"Peter Rabbit" Collection, by Beatrix Potter

Peter Rabbit

The classic collection of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter is one of the most read book series in our house. Our daughters enjoy listening to the stories of the animals that act like humans, especially The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan, because there are lots of silly words used in this story.

This book series includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

Everybody Needs a Peter Rabbit Collection

"Blueberries for Sal", by Robert McCloskey

"Blueberries for Sal", by Robert McCloskey

Blueberries for Sal

Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey deals with a little girl named Sal and her mother who are picking blueberries to can for the coming winter. Munching away on her blueberries Sal gets lost, and instead of finding her mother, she finds mother bear who lost her cub while fattening up for winter. Will the two little ones find their own mothers? And will everybody find enough blueberries?

This book includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Animals

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood. The big hungry bear is trying to eat the red, ripe strawberry. What is the mouse going to do? The moral of the story is quite the debate, but personally I like thinking that the mouse teaches the child how to share, rather than the fox tricking the mouse.

This book includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Animals
"Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?", by Nancy White Carlstrom

"Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?", by Nancy White Carlstrom

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?, by Nancy White Carlstrom tells the story about Jesse Bear's day, and what she wears at different times. What does she wear in the morning? At lunch? For her bath, and for bed? This is a cute story that your toddler can easily relate to.

This book includes:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

The Authors and Publishers

Here is a list of authors, and publisher series that will complete your toddler library.

"I Can Read" series

"I Can Read" series

I Can Read Books

The I Can Read series is perfect for toddlers, because you can buy the books according to what stage your child is at. Naturally, your child is not expected to read on his/her own. The "shared my first reading" stage is great for younger toddlers, because these books are generally short and very simple. Stage 1 is probably the best stage for toddlers, because the stories don't generally cover more than one topic and are pretty straight forward. Basically, the higher the stage, the longer, and more complex the story line.

These books include:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

Little Golden Books

The Little Golden Books series is a classic, and even collaborates with Disney. These books are great to read to your toddler, but your child might have some difficulty handling hem on his/her own because of the binding. Nevertheless, Little Golden Books feature great must-have stories.

These books include:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

Usborne Books

Usborne is the children's publisher of the year 2020 for a reason. They cover everything. From germs to giants, Usborne stories are designed for children of all ages. Are you looking for fun, and educational books? Or a newly interpreted version of your favorite fairy-tale? Or do you want to buy a book with lots of flaps and pop-ups? Usborne got you covered.

These books include:

  • Flaps and pop-ups
  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

Jan Brett

Jan Brett's makes it in the list for her beautiful illustrations. Her stories are based on true events with animals she encountered. Brett's pictures are truly stunning, and if I had to pick a favorite story of hers, I would choose Mossy.

Her books include:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Animals

Our Jan Brett Favorite

Nancy Tillmann

Nancy Tillmann's books describe the love of parents for their children with endearing stories and beautiful illustrations.

Her books include:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

Caroline Jayne Church

Caroline Jayne Church's book collection includes books like I Love You Through and Through, I Will Love You Forever, and Ten Tiny Toes. Some of her books are written in collaboration with other authors, but they never loose their charm.

Her books include:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

A Lovely Addition for Your Library

Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons' books are mostly non-fiction, but no less fun than fictional stories. Gibbons books are educational, and cover facts about bats, tools, wolves, the weather, and lots more! One of our daughter's favorite is Gail Gibbons' book about bats, because she is very fascinated with nocturnal creatures.

Her books include:

  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Animals

Kids Can Press

Kids Can Press covers a broad spectrum of stories. This publisher not only publishes books for children, but also young adults. Under the "picture books" section on their website you will be able to find hundreds of books that are suitable for your toddler. We especially like their line about Canada, to teach our children about their home country.

Their books include:

  • Flaps and pop-ups
  • Big, bright pictures
  • Detailed pictures
  • Books that feature their favorite character/theme
  • Day-to-day topics they can relate to
  • Rhymes
  • Animals

Trendy Books

Books that are popular are not necessarily books that your toddler will appreciate most. I noticed that most of my children's favorite books are unknown to the vast population. "Trendy" books, however, can be exceptional, as well.

The following are some top-rated books that made it into our toddler's library:

  • Love you Forever, by Robert Munsch
  • The Wonky Donkey, by Craig Smith
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
  • The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss
  • Corduroy, by Don Freeman
  • The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson
  • (and quite a few more)

Which famous book made it into your toddler's library? And what other books do you like? Please share your favourites with us. :)

References

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