Toddler Books!

Nurture your little one's imagination with beautiful stories!

Toddler books tell short, simple stories that are a pleasure for an adult or older sibling to read out loud. They are full of bright, colourful pictures and their size, shape and thick pages are designed to be easy for your little one to manipulate. It's no wonder that so many toddlers love them!

Given the wide variety of toddler books available, you will be faced with many choices. Books with bright and interesting artwork, or real photographs of things your little one is familiar with, are usually a hit. It's generally a good idea to pick a story that isn't too wordy. Look for phrases that rhyme or have rhythmic appeal and express simple and concrete ideas. If you find a book with amazing artwork but the text is too long, feel free to abandon the printed words and just make up your own!

The goal is to build a love of language and literature through comfortable, positive experiences with books. While singing and nursery rhymes teach toddlers to play with language, and looking at board books can be a wonderful quiet time activity, there is no replacement for reading in your lap to build a real love of books.

A few of our favourite toddler books are "I am a Bunny" by Richard Scarry, "Home for a bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown, and "Little Blue and Little Yellow" by Leo Lionni. Your local librarian can also make some toddler-appropriate suggestions.

You can build interest in books and reading in many different ways.

Here are some of our favourites:

  • Use puppets to animate the story. Large hand puppets can be difficult to manipulate while you are trying to coordinate holding the book and your child at the same time, but there are many uses for little finger puppets. They can be bought from a store, or you can whip up a few yourself. Just draw the main character and the villain too, cut them out and glue or tape them to a little paper band to fit your finger. If you especially love your creation you can make it last a little longer by sandwiching it in Mactac. See our page Make a Book! for a step-by-step process about how to do this.
  • Make a story in which your toddler is the hero! Simply change the name of the main character to your child's name!

  • If you have access to certain software (like iPhoto), you can even take pictures of your toddler doing toddler things and create a book from those photos, which will be delivered to you at a reasonable cost.
  • Another way to make a book would be to print out pictures, or even cut interesting pictures from magazines, and paste them to a stiff cardboard back. Punch a hole in the top left corner of each page to tie them together with string or ribbon.
  • Make a basket for your toddler books and place it close to a comfortable reading space. Change the books from time to time and you will be sure to find your little reader exploring and "reading" throughout their busy day.

For Educators

Getting six or more toddlers to sit in a circle for story time is not easy. Someone is always wandering off, triggering mass movement away from the book. Some additional suggestions are :

1-Make a clear sitting space (a carpet, a circle drawn with chalk, a small hula hoop for each child…)

2-Use overacting! Be super animated and expressive in your reading!

3-Keep it short

4-Let the wandering away happen anyway. If after all that effort on your part they still are more interested in doing something else, just read to the ones who are left, or reintroduce the book another time.

Our recommendations:

  • Books with flaps!
  • Submergible books!
  • Books about animals!
  • Books about babies and children!
  • Great stories that have been 'toddlerified!'

(Our recommendations list will keep growing, so come back to check it out regularly!)

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