As parents, a love of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Toddlerhood is a time of exploration and curiosity, so put it to good use by introducing amazing stories.
Read-aloud time with your 2-year-old can be educational and connection-based. It also allows you pockets of time with your child. Choosing the best books for your toddler is a simple process. But, there are a few elements that make for an engaging book.
How To Choose the Best Books for 2-Year-Old
- Repetition, rhymes, and rhythm are ideal for young children.
- Find stories with familiar topics that introduce new ideas and vocabulary.
- The best books for 2-year-olds are engaging, interactive, and hold their interest.
- Young kids will love books that introduce colors, concepts, and counting.
- Choose books that will work for you, too, because you will read them on repeat.
23 Books Your 2-Year-Old Will Love (and So Will You)
1. The Very Busy Spider
By Eric Carle
This multi-sensory board book from Eric Carlisle will captivate little ones. The rhythmic story and beautiful illustrations will engage young readers as they read about the diligent spider.
Through animal sounds and identification, toddlers will see the beauty of the spider’s web and also what it is for. Eric Carlisle does it again with this book and will not disappoint.
2. A Collection of Stories for 2 Year-Olds
By Parragon Books
This storybook for toddlers combines classic stories with new ones. The stories are short and engaging, perfect for busy minds. With playful illustrations, these nursery rhymes and fairytales will captivate the imagination of young kids.
You can enjoy reading classic stories from your childhood while making new memories.
3. All By Myself
By Mercer Mayer
All By Myself is a picture book about independence that your toddler can relate to. The Little Critter is a relatable character that learns about making mistakes, persevering and asking for help. These are all things your 2-year-old will encounter as they push boundaries and become more independent.
With fun illustrations and an endearing character, this is a heartwarming story that you will enjoy as much as your toddler.
4. Stomp, Wiggle, Clap, and Tap
By Rachelle Burke
Your 2-year-old will love this book. It helps develop coordination and balance through dance and movement. With visual clues and rhyming words, this interactive book helps your child with motor skills and spatial awareness.
Colorful pictures and engaging prompts will have little ones jiving around the house. It encourages them to use their imaginations to become prancing ponies and flapping chickens.
5. The Wonderful Things You Will Be
By Emily Winfield Martin
We can tell our kids we love them, but they will never understand the enormity of our love. This picture book uses simple language and whimsical illustrations to describe a parent’s love for their child.
Your two-year-old will love the rhythmic rhymes and descriptive pictures. As a parent, you will enjoy the beautiful message. This is a book that you will treasure as your child grows.
6. I Love You Like No Otter
By Rose Rossner
This board book is a great bedtime option with its sweet and heartfelt message. A parent’s love is described through animal families with a series of funny puns.
They are over-the-top sweet but in the most adorable way and are an easy way to introduce puns to your kids. The illustrations are colorful and show the animals in their natural environments.
7. Grumpy Monkey
By Suzanne Lang
This picture book is about sitting with your feelings instead of brushing them off. Jim Panzee is having a bad day, and although his friends try to cheer him up, he decides it is a good day to be grumpy.
The cartoon-like illustrations keep the story light and relatable. But, this doesn’t take away from the important message of feeling your feelings.
8. My First Book of Emotions for Toddlers
By Orlena Kerek MD
It’s called the terrible two’s for a reason. This is a time when your toddler can have big feelings as they navigate the world more independently. This picture book is an engaging way to help them understand and name their emotions.
Your toddler can learn how emotions feel in the body through age-appropriate explanations. This will help them feel less overwhelmed and fearful when big emotions surface.
9. Fox’s Socks
By Julia Donaldson
Buy The Book: Amazon
Sometimes the best stories are simple yet engaging. Fox’s Socks has interactive lift flaps and Julia Donaldson’s famous rhymes. They introduce new vocabulary to your toddler as they venture through the house on the hunt for socks.
Axel Sheffler’s illustrations will be familiar to your toddler and delight them with small details on each page. This book is a quick read that your 2-year-old will love.
10. The Watermelon Seed
By Greg Pizzoli
This simple story will have your toddler in stitches. It will also make them think the next time they eat a watermelon seed. Although short, this book will get your child to use their imagination as they picture what a watermelon growing in their body could look like.
With vibrant illustrations in a green and pink color scheme, this story will resonate with your 2-year-old. It will also remind you of when you swallowed a seed and had similar concerns.
11. TouchThinkLearn: ABC
By Xavier Deneux
This interactive book will be a staple in your home as your toddler learns the alphabet. With cut-outs and raised elements, this board book is an ideal way for your 2-year-old to engage with letters in a sensory way.
This book offers your child a kinaesthetic learning experience. It has tactile shapes and letters that fit the picture they are describing.
12. Giraffes Can’t Dance
By Giles Andreae
Kids love stories about animals, and this one about a dancing giraffe is no different. It celebrates the idea that we all have gifts and talents. It will teach your toddler to embrace their unique strengths and be kind when others struggle.
With vibrant images, dancing animals, and fun rhymes, this story of self-esteem and doing things your own way will be a hit with your toddler.
13. 10 Little Dinosaurs
By Mike Brownlow
Buy The Book: Amazon
Dinosaurs, funky illustrations, and rhymes make this a fantastic first counting book for your toddler. The story introduces numbers 1-10 with the adventures of baby dinosaurs. The board book pages let your 2-year-old be hands-on as they count the dinosaurs on their misadventures.
Filled with bright colors, shapes, different dinos, and number concepts, this book will grow with your toddler.
14. Mix It Up!
By Herve Tullet
This is one of the best books for 2-year-olds because it is an immersive experience that has them interacting and engaging with every page. Watching the colors change from page to page is like magic. Your toddler will love that their interaction produces a response on the next page.
This book introduces color concepts but also counting, left, and right. It is a dynamic book that is a must-have for your reading list.
15. Hello, Tiger!
By Sam Boughton
Your little one will love that they can be hands-on with this board book. The mixed media illustrations are eye-catching, and the flaps are interactive. They are also designed for little hands and curious fingers.
Animal facts like size, diet, and camouflage will engage your toddler with each page as they learn and explore.
16. But First, We Nap
By David W. Miles
This short and sweet board book is ideal for nap times. When Rabbit tries to thwart Sloth’s nap plans, Sloth gently reminds him that naptime comes first. It is an entertaining story with adorable illustrations that parents and kids can relate to.
It might even help you overcome naptime struggles with your reluctant toddler.
By Dashka Slater
The story of this sweet snail will enchant young and old readers. With adorable pictures and humor, Escargot will introduce your toddler to animals and the idea of trying new foods.
He tries hard to convince you that he should be your favorite animal, and the interactive instructions will engage your little reader.
18. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
By Bill Martin Jr.
No list of the best books for 2-year-olds is complete without this classic. It is no wonder this is a toddler favorite with descriptive language and striking illustrations.
It is a simplistic but effective introduction to color, letters, sounds, and words. Animals and singsong text make this book a fantastic combination of elements your toddler will love.
19. Say Zoop
By Herve Tullet
This might not be the best book for bedtime! The exuberant text will spark your toddler’s imagination and have them making all kinds of sounds.
It encourages them to interact with the text and explore sounds, colors, and movement. Be prepared to make some interesting noises that your 2-year-old will find hilarious.
20. Each Peach Pear Plum
By Allan Ahlberg
This classic picture book might be a favorite from your childhood, and it is as captivating today as it was years ago. It is an ‘I-Spy’ type book that introduces fairytale characters hidden on each page.
With beautiful illustrations, rhyming, and engaging elements on every page, this story will keep your toddler turning the pages with delight.
21. The Go-Away Bird
By Julia Donaldson
Buy The Book: Amazon
Julia Donaldson has a knack for creating stories that kids love, and this one is no different. This book explores the power of friendship, forgiveness, and working together. The illustrations are striking, bright, and textured, ideal for young imaginations.
The repetitive rhyming words make it easy for toddlers to join in as they move through the story. This book is another must-have for your shelf.
22. All About Weather
By Huda Harajli MA
Your curious 2-year-old will enjoy this book as it teaches them about weather concepts. It explores seasons, clouds, rain, and rainbows through fun facts and engaging questions.
The illustrations have a crayon-like quality, making them relatable for young readers. This interactive book is perfect for home or the classroom as you learn about the weather together.
23. Hairy MacLary from Donaldson’s Dairy
By Lynley Dodd
Buy The Book: Amazon
This beloved book series is sure to have your toddler laughing at the escapades of Hairy MacLary and his motley crew. The cumulative rhyming can be a tongue twister for parents, but that only makes it more amusing for kids.
With great pictures and fun alliteration, your two-year-old will love the characters and their fear of the local cat.
Get Your Toddler Excited About Reading
Reading is an adventure that you can go on with your toddler. Stories can ignite their imaginations, teach them new vocabulary, and immerse them in a world of adventure.
Books for 2-year-olds should be a visual feast with interactive elements that keep them engaged. But more than that, your toddler needs a parent willing to dive into a new world with them.