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10 Best Baby & Toddler Books in 2019

last updated Apr 07, 2019

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

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar
98.7/100 our score
Sensory Stimulation
99
Social Development
98
Entertainment Value
99
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Why is it better?

Helps with basic counting

Cycles through a full week

Vibrant, colorful artwork

Recognizable food groups

Explains metamorphosis simply and beautifully

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Test Winner: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
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Researched Sources
31
Researched Sources
Hours Researching
28
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
19
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Lyndsey Fosher:

For this update we added three new books that you and your family will enjoy. We added: The Little Green Frog, The Pout Pout Fish, and Welcome Little One to our top ten list!

Sorting Options
Sensory Stimulation Social Development Entertainment Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.7
Sensory Stimulation
99%
Social Development
98%
Entertainment Value
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$6.89
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Sensory Stimulation
97%
Social Development
98%
Entertainment Value
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$7.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Sensory Stimulation
97%
Social Development
96%
Entertainment Value
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$6.19
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Sensory Stimulation
95%
Social Development
95%
Entertainment Value
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$4.34
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Sensory Stimulation
94%
Social Development
94%
Entertainment Value
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$12.41
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Sensory Stimulation
93%
Social Development
94%
Entertainment Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$4.49
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Sensory Stimulation
92%
Social Development
92%
Entertainment Value
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$4.49
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.7
Sensory Stimulation
91%
Social Development
91%
Entertainment Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Sensory Stimulation
90%
Social Development
89%
Entertainment Value
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$5.79
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Sensory Stimulation
88%
Social Development
88%
Entertainment Value
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
Amazon Link
$7.99
In depth review top 10
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Welcome Little One
  • Goodnight Moon
  • First 100 Words
  • Disney® Mickey Mouse
  • First 100 Animals
  • Numbers Colors Shapes
  • Sassy First Sounds Book Set
  • The Pout-Pout Fish
  • Little Green Frog: Lift-a-Flap Board Book
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Baby & Toddler Books Reviewed

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.7
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
99
Social Development
98
Entertainment Value
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$6.89

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.

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Sensory Development

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.

Social Development

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.

Entertainment Value

It’s a classic ABC style book. Carle’s illustrative style is unique, and the Caterpillar is a cute, quirky protagonist that kids will identify with and love to learn alongside.

2. Welcome Little One

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Welcome Little One
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
97
Social Development
98
Entertainment Value
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.99

Shows bond between new parents & babies

Stimulates imagination

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

This book is great for parents wanting to connect.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

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.

Entertainment Value

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Goodnight Moon
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
97
Social Development
96
Entertainment Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$6.19

Cute illustrations

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.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

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.

Entertainment Value

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
First 100 Words
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
95
Social Development
95
Entertainment Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$4.34

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.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

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.

Entertainment Value

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 an 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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Disney® Mickey Mouse
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
94
Social Development
94
Entertainment Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.41

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.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

By reading with your little one, you will be able to connect with them on a different level than before. Plus, these books can help grow a love for Disney.

Entertainment Value

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
First 100 Animals
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
93
Social Development
94
Entertainment Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$4.49

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.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

The pages are designed to be easy for little fingers to grip and turn to the next page. The books 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.

Entertainment Value

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 favourite amongst children. The soft binding makes this book easy for little hands to hold.

7. Numbers Colors Shapes

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Numbers Colors Shapes
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
92
Social Development
92
Entertainment Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$4.49

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

Lightweight

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.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

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.

Entertainment Value

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. Which has been known to help prepare them for much more complicated mathematical concepts. It’s style is unisex so it can be great for any child between the ages of one to three.

8. Sassy First Sounds Book Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.7
Sassy First Sounds Book Set
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
91
Social Development
91
Entertainment Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link

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 start with these particular sounds making it super easy for baby to learn, understand, and master these words.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

This book set is made of soft and durable materials that are safe and BPA free. The block that comes included in this set provide your child with image reinforcement. The same images one the cube are the same images portrayed in the book. This set is designed for ages six months and up.

Entertainment Value

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
The Pout-Pout Fish
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
90
Social Development
89
Entertainment Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$5.79

Promotes kindness

Rhymes

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 it’s 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.

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Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

This book teaches your little one how to treat others and act. It is the perfect way to build a bond with you, but also others.

Entertainment Value

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Little Green Frog: Lift-a-Flap Board Book
Amazon Link
Sensory Stimulation
88
Social Development
88
Entertainment Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.99

Sturdy

Teaches animals

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.

This cute little frog book will help introduce your baby to animals that live around the water. Your child will be able to flip open each section and see what kind of friend that they could meet is hidden underneath.

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Sensory Stimulation

This sweet board book will help enhance your baby's vocabulary and fine motor skills. Not only does it rhyme but it will also teach your baby animals that live near a pond.

Social Development

Cuddle up with your little one and have them entranced with this sweet tale of a frog. Kids will love the different textures, and you will love spending time with your child.

Entertainment Value

We love this little frog book because not only are the rhymes cute, but it will help enhance all of your babies' developmental skills such as imagination, fine motor, and listening skills. It’s also the perfect size for your baby to hold and practice flipping through the pages.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Sensory Stimulation

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.

Social Development

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.

Entertainment Value

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.

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Parents, did you know?

Books...
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.

Parents, did you know?

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.

Parents, did you know?

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

Educational Value

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?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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.

Sources

  1. Kids Heath, Reading Books to Babies, Informative Guide
  2. Scholastic.com, Choosing Baby Books and Toddler Books, Informative Guide
  3. Playgro, Age for Stage Guide, Informative Guide
  4. Playgro, Have A Ball, Informative Guide
  5. Parents, If Animals Kissed Good Night, Informative Guide
  6. Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 12: The Getaway, Product Information