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Reading with your children is more than important, it’s essential to the development of babies and toddlers. Why?

Because reading helps familiarize your child with literacy and language. It teaches them about the world, visually and through sound. Through reading, your child can (and will) learn the skills they need to talk.

Indeed, from potty training to the power of friendship, books can prepare your little one for life.

From bright and bold pictures to varying materials, textures, pulls, and flaps, toddlers love stories that engage them and capture their attention. They also enjoy repetition and any story that talks about poop. Trust me — nothing gets a little one to laugh quite like poop.

When it came time to select our favorite toddler books, our process was simple: We looked on our bookshelves for our favorite picture books and short stories.

We scoured our memories, attempting to recall the timeless classics that brought us joy. Finally, we asked fellow parents and read hundreds of reviews.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Author: Eric Carle

One of the most popular children’s books of all time, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has entertained generations. Why? Because the story is fun and lighthearted, the illustrations are bright and bold, and the caterpillar is adorable and lovable.

Yummy Yucky

Author: Leslie Patricelli

Cookies are yummy but coffee is yucky, at least according to the adorable toddler in this popular children’s book. Learning about opposites has never been more fun!


Author: Don Freeman

Corduroy was first introduced to readers in the 1960s, and in the 50+ years since, his adventures have never stopped. This story — and the subsequent sequel, “A Pocket for Corduroy” — are fun, colorful classics for kids ages 2 to 82.

The Family Book

Author: Todd Parr

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and Todd Parr knows this. From single-family households to those composed of two moms or two dads, “The Family Book”highlights the beauty and differences that make each and every family unit unique.

Green Eggs and Ham

Author: Dr. Seuss

“Do you like green eggs and ham?” That’s the age-old question posed by Sam-I-Am in this whimsical, songlike story.

Counting Kisses

Author: Karen Katz

How many kisses does a tired baby need? This book will answer that question and encourage affection. It’s perfect for bedtime!

Baby Happy Baby Sad

Author: Leslie Patricelli

Looking for a good way to introduce emotional regulation to your children? “Baby Happy Baby Sad”will help your little one understand their thoughts and feelings.

The Big Shiny Sparkly First Words Book

Author: Susie Lacome

With dazzling images, interactive flaps, and tons of metallic foil, “The Big Shiny Sparkly First Words Book” will delight and educate your toddler while capturing their attention.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See

Authors: Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle

A happy frog, a plump purple cat, and a yellow duck are just some of the animals you will meet in this whimsical, colorful, and lyrical book.

If Animals Kissed Goodnight

Author: Ann Whitford Paul

With watercolor-like illustrations and nearly a dozen different animals, “If Animals Kissed Goodnight” is the ideal bedtime story for you and your snuggly little love bug.

Feminist Baby

Author: Loryn Brantz

Confident, courageous, and full of spunk, “Feminist Baby”encourages kids to dismiss gender stereotypes, and reminds us that girls can do anything.

Where’s the Poop

Author: Julie Markes

Looking for the perfect potty training book? “Where’s the Poop?”will prepare your childfor this major milestone in an interactive, engaging, and playful way. Seriously. Potty training has never been more fun!

Grumpy Bird

Author: Jeremy Tankard

Everyone has bad days, and Grumpy Bird is no different. This feathery friend is too grumpy to eat, play, or fly. But with some time and help, Grumpy Bird overcomes his bad mood. This book is a great way to teach young children about their emotions.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Author: Dr. Seuss

Another classic by Dr. Seuss, “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish”has something for everyone, from counting and opposites to a silly little rhyme.

P Is for Potty

Author: Naomi Kleinberg

With the help of Elmo and 30 fun, interactive flaps, “P Is for Potty”will prepare your toddler for potty training.

100 First Words for Toddlers

Author: Jayme Yannuzzi

From ball and truck to cup, cat, and car, “100 Words for Toddlers”will engage your child and expand their vocabulary.

Little Blue Truck

Author: Alice Schertle

Blue’s horn goes “beep.” His engine purrs, and in this story, Little Blue Truck learns how to get out of the muck, with the support of his friends.

Goodnight Moon

Author: Margaret Wise Brown

Everyone knows about the great green room — and for good reason. With colorful art and a catchy rhyme scheme, this children’s classic is beloved by both parents and kids.

Can I Eat That?

Author: Joshua David Stein

Getting children to try new foods can be tough, particularly toddlers. From strange colors and textures to off-putting smells, many kids simply refuse food they don’t recognize. But “Can I Eat That?” introduces kids to an array of foods in a fun and creative way.

Love You Forever

Author: Robert Munsch

With colorful pictures and a charming story, “Love You Forever”is a beautiful testament to the parent-child bond. This book is a sentimental favorite for many families.

Everyone Poops

Author: Taro Gomi

While an elephant may make a big poop and a one-hump camel may make a one-hump poop, the truth is that everyone poops. Fun, matter of fact, and full of potty humor.

Pat the Bunny

Author: Dorothy Kunhardt

With unique materials, colors, and textures, this touch-and-feel book keeps even the littlest readers engaged. Plus, you too can “pat the bunny.”

It’s Okay to Be Different

Author: Todd Parr

Like “The Family Book,” Parr’s “It’s Okay to Be Different” celebrates variety, diversity, and the importance of being who you are. A must-read!

Press Here

Author: Herve Tullet

A New York Times bestseller, “Press Here”takes readers on an interactive journey through the marvelous, the mysterious, the mystical, and the magical.

When I Am Big

Author: Maria Dek

While this book is essentially a counting book, it is so more than that. “When IAm Big”fosters curiosity and creativity.It encourages imagination and adventure, and it gives children a glimpse into their future.

Reading to your toddler isn’t just essential, it’s fun. It sparks their creativity and imagination. It helps them learn language and how to navigate the world, and reading with your babe will help you bond.

So grab one of these toddler books and read aloud. There’s nothing else like storytime snuggles.