Toddlerhood is a time of challenges, but it's also a time of great curiosity—and the perfect time to spark a lifelong love of reading in your little one.

Reading with your toddler not only boosts brain power, but creates a special bond between you and your child that you'll always treasure. Toddlers want nothing more than to learn about the world around them, and books are a great way to introduce them to everything from basic concepts to big emotions.

Here are our picks for the 22 must-haves for every toddler library!

Timeless classics

These classic stories will forever hold a special place in your heart—and your children's.

2. The Snowy Day 

The magic of a snowy day experienced through a child's eyes is forever captured in this beautiful, timeless masterpiece.

The Snowy Day
$14.39, Amazon

Big feelings

Little toddlers have BIG feelings. These books perfectly capture toddler emotions, while also teaching little ones how to cope with them.

6. The Feelings Book 

Todd Parr's signature vibrant illustrations help toddlers easily identify—and work through—the many big emotions they feel.

The Feelings Book
$5.97, Amazon

Skill builders

Numbers, letters, colors, and more—the toddler years are filled with watching in awe as your little ones learn about the world around them. Here are our favorite books to help them along the way!

12. First 100 Board Box Set 

These chunky board books are perfect for little learners. The clear, bright photo illustrations and basic concepts (word, animals, + numbers) are a great way to build early skills.

First 100 Board Book Box Set
$12.95, Amazon

Ways to say I love you

There's nothing sweeter than watching your toddler learn all the ways to say I love you. These books perfectly capture that sweet sentiment!

16. Guess How Much I Love You? 

Your little one will love to hear how much she's loved while reading this sweet, quiet classic.

Guess How Much I Love You?
$5.49, Amazon

Silly Stories

You'll love to laugh along with your little one through all of these silly stories!

19. The Pout-Pout Fish

The playful rhymes and silly adventures of the pout-pout fish will make your little one—and you!—laugh out loud.

The Pout-Pout Fish
$5.79, Amazon

You might also like:

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

How often do we see a "misbehaving" child and think to ourselves, that kid needs more discipline? How often do we look at our own misbehaving child and think the same thing?

Our society is conditioned to believe that we have to be strict and stern with our kids, or threaten, shame or punish them into behaving. This authoritarian style of parenting is characterized by high expectations and low responsiveness—a tough love approach.

But while this type of authoritarian parenting may elicit "obedient" kids in the short-term, studies suggest that children who are shamed or punished in the name of discipline face challenges in the long-term. Research suggests that children who are harshly disciplined or shamed tend to be less happy, less independent, less confident, less resilient, more aggressive and hostile, more fearful and at higher risk for substance abuse and mental health issues as adults and adolescents.


The reason? No one ever changes from being shamed.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play