10 Best Baby & Toddler Books in 2023
It’s story time! One of your children’s favorite memories will be reading together before bed. It’s such an intimate time between you and your children where you both can get lost in whatever world you’re reading about. Parents are able to start this wonderful tradition as soon as their bundle of joy arrives, and we have the perfect books for you to choose from. Reading to your child every night is so important because not only will it instill a love of books for your children, but it can also promote family bonding, help stimulate their senses, can even stimulate their imagination, and helps with early listening skills
In a Hurry? The test winner after 28 hrs of research
Helps with basic counting
Cycles through a full week
Vibrant, colorful artwork
Recognizable food groups
Explains metamorphosis simply and beautifully
10 Best Baby & Toddler Books Reviewed
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Helps with basic counting
Cycles through a full week
Vibrant, colorful artwork
Recognizable food groups
Explains metamorphosis simply and beautifully
This version is a mini book, so good for small hands but not handy if you’re trying to read aloud to multiple kids
The Hungry Caterpillar is eating through apples, strawberries, cake, cheese, and salami with a voracious appetite matched only by...well, children. Join the star of Eric Carle’s beautifully illustrated book, as he hatches from his egg and tries to figure out what will sate his appetite.Read more
The story tells the basic process of metamorphosis with a simple vocabulary, easy to understand numerical patterns and lovely artwork. This classic has remained a staple in most family households since its publishing date back in 1969. Kids love the vibrant colors, cute caterpillar, all of the yummy food, and the eventual transformation into a stunning butterfly.
This book is great for all ages, and it gives you a chance to snuggle with your little one. The book explores basic counting, days of the week, different types of food, and the natural process of transformation and metamorphosis. Help emphasize all of these important lessons while enjoying the silly adventures of the Hungry Caterpillar together.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a childhood favorite of many. A classic ABC style book, the Hungry Caterpillar shows your little one the transition of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Carle’s illustration style is unique, and the Caterpillar is a cute, quirky protagonist that kids will identify with and love to learn alongside. This book also has die cuts that will encourage your child to interact with the book. Children can flip through the pages as you read this wonderful story, snuggled up like a bug in a rug!
2. Welcome Little One
Shows bond between new parents & babies
Enhances fine motor skills
Easy to read
Comes with keepsake of milestones for new baby
This book made some parents cry from it being so sweet
Some parents had trouble with packaging
Welcome Little One is the perfect book for parent and child. The story itself focuses on the welcoming of the baby into the family, and you will love reading this book with your new addition, too. With beautiful colors and illustrations, your child will love looking at the pages as you read the story out loud. This book encourages the bond between parent and child, so make sure you cherish every moment together.Read more
We love this simple sweet story because it is about the promises that a parent makes when welcoming a new child. There is no greater love or blessing then becoming a parent. This keepsake even comes with a little section for the new parent to be where they can write all the milestones down of their baby. It’s the perfect gift for a baby shower.
This sweet little book is perfect for new parents. Especially ones who want to help enhance that parent-baby bond. This book tells the arrival of a new bundle of joy and talks about a love that is like no other. Parents will want to re-read this novel every night to their little sweet ray of sunshine.
While this story is so sweet that it might make a new parent shed some tears, this little novel is about the promises a parent makes to their new baby. There is no greater bond then the one of a parent and their child and this story shows that.
3. Goodnight Moon
Repetitive phrases soothe children
Easy-to-follow rhyme scheme
Board book edition is great for little hands
Pictures get darker as the baby bunny gets sleepier to help encourage children to sleep
Some customers complained about the cover not being as sturdy as they’d like
Is bedtime something of a warzone in your house? Are children antsy and ready to play even once you’ve wrestled them into their jammies and tucked them under the covers? Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd have teamed up to bring your family the perfect bedtime ritual.Read more
Reading to your child is a great way to bond and to get them interested in books and stories. This book uses simple words that kids can eventually sound out for themselves, and all of the ending phrases rhyme, which will help children to establish and recognize recurring patterns in letters and sounds.
The repetitive nature of the story-telling will help lull your children to sleep and get them comfortable with a bedtime ritual to wind them down. If they know the story by heart, you can work on your own customized “goodnights” with rhyming objects in the room around you.
This story has a sweet little rhyme scheme and a cute illustrated narrative about a baby bunny getting ready to sleep. The book bids goodnight to the various objects in the room and just outside the window as the rabbit tucks in and begins to drift off. Classic fairy tale and fable characters sprinkle the pages of this classic, from kittens with their mittens to the cow jumping over the moon.
4. First 100 Words
This book provides your baby with exposure to common words
Meant for ages one to three
There are twenty six pages to be explored
Features a softly padded cover
Pages are made of durable cardboard
There is no introduction to body parts
The Emotions page has very similar face expressions that may be hard for little children to decipher.
If you love the First 100 Words Lift the Flaps of Roger Priddy but would like to do away with the flaps, then the original First 100 Words is the one to get. It’s largely considered as a bestseller in fundamental concepts among young children. It features the same first 100 words of objects or things that infants are exposed to every minute or hour of their young lives.Read more
With bold printed labels under each of these highly captivating and colorful photographs of everyday items or objects, any infant will be able to master sight words in no time at all, paving the way for the more successful development of language and communication.
Reading helps build bonds, so does working on vocabulary. Of course, we do expect you to provide the correct pronunciation for these picture words as their vocabulary and speech will be quite dependent on what they hear.
This book is full of exposure to everyday words and sounds. This book provides your baby with fundamental blocks ideal for building a foundation for understanding language. There are twenty-six pages to provide your baby with excellent exposure to vocabulary. The softly padded cover makes it ideal for little hands to hold. In addition, the thick pages make it easy for their little hands to turn the pages.
5. Disney® Mickey Mouse
Easily introduces a number of skills
Comes with a storage case
Made by Disney!!!
Great for travel
Compact book size
These books may not be stimulating enough for more advanced babies.
Over the years, Mickey Mouse and his friends has remained highly relevant in the early learning years of very young infants. From child clothing to sleep aids to writing and reading materials, Mickey Mouse is pretty much a part of growing up. If you’re looking for books for boys and girls that are designed in the classic fun and educational manner that Disney is known for, then the Disney Mickey Mouse My First Books is the one to give to your kid.Read more
The Disney Mickey Mouse is a collection of 4 different reading materials for young tots to learn about the alphabet, simple numbers, basic colors, and fundamental shapes. Mickey teaches kids about the ABCs in full color while it’s Donald Duck’s task to introduce the concepts of numbers to your child. Minnie Mouse helps young children understand the different colors that we see in our world while Goofy handles the shapes that make up the form of all the objects that our young babies see. Together, these four books provide an interesting way for young children to learn about the fundamentals of language development.
Reading together is a great way to build a bond with someone, especially your child. This book especially encourages the social bond between two or more people because of the special relationships between the characters in the story. Mickey and Minnie’s Storybook has multiple stories that encourage important life and social skills including sharing, bravery, support, encouragement and more. Plus, while you read to your child, your bond will grow.
These books in this set come featuring Disney images often associated with Mickey Mouse and his friends. There is a storage case making these books easy to store. There Is also a handle one the case making them easy to transport. The book dimension are eight by five by seven. They are lightweight and compact. These books are great for introducing a number of things such as shapes and numbers. These books promote color recognition. They provide bold and aesthetically pleasing images that make for great beginner books.
6. First 100 Animals
This book is meant for ages one to three
There are twenty six pages to explore
The book features soft binding
Designed with easy to turn pages.
Separates animals into categories
Many pictures are repeated
The book may be smaller than expected
While you may already have brought your infant to the city zoo, chances are he or she has already forgotten what a tiger or even a zebra looks like. You don’t have to go to the zoo again just so he or she will get reacquainted with these creatures. You will only need Roger Priddy’s First 100 Animals to get your little one fascinated with the 100 most common, well-loved animals in the world.Read more
Like all Priddy publications, the First 100 Animals features highly colorful animal pictures complete with simplified yet bold label prints. You can read these to them or perhaps make the animal’s signature sounds like the growl of a tiger, the chirp of a bird, or even the bark of a dog. This should make reading time more interactive and truly interesting for your little one.
The pages are designed to be easy for little fingers to grip and turn to the next page. The book separates the animals into categories. This not only exposes your small kids to a number of images that depict animals but also improves association skills.
This book introduces a world full of animals. There are so many things about our world available to be discovered. The animal kingdom is a favorite amongst children. The soft binding makes this book easy for little hands to hold.
7. Numbers Colors Shapes
This book is meant for children ages one to three
It features bright colors and patterns
There are twenty six pages
It is designed to be unisex
The spins of the book can be chewed very easily
Not ideal for children still teething on everything
One way to develop the language skills of young children is to build their vocabulary, first with the basics before moving on to more advanced words. These provide them with enough tools to construct simple sentences by the time they reach toddlerhood and preschool.Read more
Roger Priddy returns with his take on the three fundamental concepts that all children must learn at a young age other than the alphabet. Numbers Colors Shapes provides such beginning vocabulary making it a great first book. Following the success of his First 100 series, Priddy develops the Numbers Colors Shapes in the same styling as the other titles in the First 100 series.
You can then reinforce their mastery of these basic words by pointing out items or objects in real life that are represented in the Priddy book. With very colorful realistic photographs and easy to read labels, this Priddy creation is a wonderful tool for building your infant’s vocabulary.
The lightweight book weighs only around eight ounces. There are twenty-six pages to provide your baby with a number of stimulating images. This book improves color recognition. It is also a great book for introducing your baby to simple counting. This has been known to help prepare them for much more complicated mathematical concepts. Its style is unisex so it can be great for any child between the ages of one to three.
8. Sassy First Sounds Book Set
This book is made of machine washable materials
Designed for ages six months and up
Made of safe materials
Comes with a block
Soft and durable
May not be stimulating for smaller children
Designed to be a first book, the First Sounds Book Set and Cube is a uniquely conceptualized kiddie literature that is based loosely on the very first words that babies all over the world learn: ma-ma, da-da, and ba-ba. You can then expect that all of the animals, relationships, and concepts contained in this 3-book set to start with these particular sounds making it super easy for baby to learn, understand, and master these words.Read more
The illustrations are finished in vibrant colors to help stimulate the visual sensory integration of your infant. Now, here’s the thing. Despite its title First Sounds, none of the 3 books makes sounds. The colorful foam block that’s covered in safe fabric has a jingle bell embedded in the foam to create a jingling sound. Aside from this, there are no other sounds that will be elicited by the First Sounds. It should be noted that the “first sounds” being referred to in the title of the book are those created by babies the world over – the ma-ma, da-da, and ba-ba.
This book set is made of soft and durable materials that are safe and BPA free. The block that comes included in this set provides your child with image reinforcement. The same images on the cube are the same images portrayed in the book. This set is designed for ages six months and up.
With bright colors and fun sounds, this book is sure to entertain your little one for hours. The materials that comprise this book are not only made of safe materials but are also machine washable to provide you with a peace of mind knowing your little one is being exposed to a book that can be cleaned over and over.
9. The Pout-Pout Fish
Easy to read
Easy for babies to turn pages
Enhances fine motor skills
Some parents were not okay with the one fish non-consensual kissing the grumpy fish scene.
This short sweet book delivers a message that says to young children: not everyone needs to smile. While this little rhyming book will make your little one hysterically laugh with its cute little antics it does have a nice overall hidden meaning on how people should feel or should act. You’re introduced to several colorful characters who are all trying to help their friend smile.Read more
Parents love books that not only are child-friendly enough that your baby will be able to turn along the pages with you but ones that have hidden meanings. While of course, your 6-month-old baby won’t understand exactly that meaning this is also a perfect book to read to your semi older children as well around the ages of three or four.
The Pout-Pout Fish is a story of courage and anti-bullying, and it is a great way to show your toddler how to treat others. The story about the fish who is always glum inspires children to look on the bright side and be nice to each other. The book also encourages children to support one another, as Pout-Pout’s friends support him when he is sad. Slowly, the fish learns that his fate isn’t to be sad, but to be happy - just as your child will be reading this book!
We love this perfect because your little one will hysterically laugh along with all of these colorful characters. Not only is this book easy to read but it’s full of little antics and your child will love the bright, vibrant colors throughout the story.
10. Little Green Frog: Lift-a-Flap Board Book
Promotes listening skills
Enhances fine motor skills
Perfect size for infants to grab
Some customers wished that it was a bit longer, but, it is a quick and easy read.
The Cute Little Frog will help introduce your baby or toddler to animals that live around the water, big and small. The book itself is made of durable, chunky material so the pages are easy to grab on to and flip. This book will teach your child the benefits of having friends, as well as allow them to explore the pond in the story.Read more
This sweet board book will help enhance your baby's vocabulary and fine motor skills. The brilliant story rhymes, encouraging strong, creative vocabulary skills. The lifting, turning and grasping of the pages enhances fine motor skills and muscle stimulation. Your child will also learn all about the different animals that live in the pond!
Cuddle up with your little one and have them entranced with this sweet tale of a frog and his friends at the pond. Kids will love the different textures, and you will love spending time with your child. Since the book focuses on the frog and the different creatures that live at the pond, it focuses on friendships. The frog introduces your child to his different friends including fish, ducks, and turtles. All these animals represent friendship no matter what you look like.
The Cute Little Frog book made our list for a variety of reasons including its effect on your child’s senses, physical development, fine motor skills, social development, and creative thinking. Your child will be delightfully entertained by this story of a funny little frog and his friends. Your child will also love spending time with you as you read the book in funny voices. Reading is an excellent source of entertainment, so start your child’s love of books at a young age!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Different textures, colors, shapes, and sounds provide the necessary sensory stimulation that infants need to ensure optimum brain development. By employing as many of their senses, infants are able to integrate all of these pieces of information into one fantastic experience.
Reading to babies is a lot different than reading to an older child. We carry our babies and have them on our laps. This promotes parent-child bonding which can become the foundation for a healthier relationship between us and our kids. More importantly, this helps establish a more stable emotional and social development among our children.
Books can give your child several worlds to explore, and help foster imagination. There are countless books that have been written. Reading to your children on a regular basis can instill a love of books that they will always be able to turn to. Books give us the ability to pull ourselves away from the stress life throws at us. Reading can take us to other worlds or places around the world we live in. Early exposure to books can set up blocks for building a love for reading.
Stimulates imagination – While it is true that infants cannot talk yet, it doesn’t mean their brains are not yet working. We are laying the foundation for their imaginative abilities whenever we read to them. This is crucial for creativity and problem-solving capabilities in later childhood.
Promotes listening – Part of communication is listening. When we read to our infants, we are inherently teaching them how to listen to every word that comes from our mouth. They listen to how we produce sounds.
Builds vocabulary – It would be quite difficult to communicate with others if we know only a few words. A good stepping stone to effective communication is a wide vocabulary. Reading to our kids can help them expand this.
It’s quite tricky picking out the baby book that will have to be included in this particular list. We already had an idea of how to approach the particular subject but we wanted to make sure. As such, we sought the advice of our resident child psychologist to get a firmer understanding of how the task can be completed. We knew that children below 18 months of age don’t have the necessary pre-reading skills yet so we had to always keep this in mind. However, we also knew that infants are rapidly developing their senses so the more senses they use in storytelling sessions can definitely help them. This became the focus of our search. The greater sensory stimulation the baby book is able to provide, the greater is the likelihood that it will land a place in our final list. In line with their sensory development needs, the book must also be able to help them build their vocabulary as a stepping stone to effective language development.
Books that are designed for babies, infants, and toddlers often have bright bold images. These are ideal in helping your little one learn color, shape and animal recognition. The bright and engaging colors work hard to keep your baby’s attention. The patterns featured in these books are designed to help your infant become familiar with the world around them.
Other Factors to Consider
The books on this list are meant to be fun and silly. The goal is to provide educational development while creating a fun and memorable atmosphere. These books have been selected to provide you with a number of books that can help you create a positive reading experience for your child. They are aesthetically pleasing and educational. There are some that are compact and cost less than ten dollars, they make great stocking stuffers. There are other than a bit more expensive but totally worth it. They adorable and fairly involved stories that will more thoroughly enhance your child’s imagination and learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are the age recommendations?
This list has books for a range of ages suited for babies and toddlers, aged between six months to around three years old. There are some books on here gentle enough for smaller babies. While others on this list provide ample stimulation for children who may even be bit older than a toddler.
q: What is the importance of reading to my baby/toddler?
Reading to your baby provides a number of developmental benefits. They can be introduced to shape and color recognition. Their vocabulary will be expanded and they learn to compose their own thoughts and sentences. Additionally, you provide them with lifelong memories.
q: How many pages are there?
There are books listed with four pages and books up to around thirty pages. There is a book ideal for providing mild stimulation for babies and a fun and engaging storybook for toddlers.
q: Are they ok to be used by teething babies?
Although there is a couple options that actually have a teething toy attached most of these are not meant to be used as a teething toy. On the other hand, they are made of safe and durable materials as the makers do realize small children often put everything into their mouths.
q: Do these books pose as a choking hazard?
While most of these books constructed to be one piece. There is little concern for choking. There are however a few made of cardboard that may eventually break down over time.
q: Are the materials washable?
The materials used to comprise these books range in composition. Most of these can easily be wiped down. There are a couple suited specifically for babies that can are soft and plush, these are machine washable.