Reading to children is a great time for their curiosity to spark—and the perfect time to ignite a lifelong love for books, especially while distance learning. Now more than ever, it’s important to find great books for toddlers that will help them stay engaged and support their first steps into reading comprehension.

Reading with your children not only boosts brain power, but creates a special bond between you and your child that you’ll always treasure. Children 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 23 best books for toddlers:

Dragons Love Tacos book

Dragons Love Tacos


A hilarious read-aloud that’s sure to delight little ones and parents alike. After all, what can go wrong at a taco party for dragons?

Llama Destroys the World Book

Llama Destroys the World


Comical, studious and completely oblivious, Llama’s chain reaction of mistakes may just cause the end of the world. Filled with silliness that delights readers and listeners, this is one read-aloud you won’t mind reading over and over and over again.

Little Blue Truck book

Little Blue Truck


Animal sounds, street noises, and cheerful, old-fashioned illustrations come together in a tale of a truck stuck in the muck and the farm animals who band together to get it back on the road. Bonus: Adults can endure it long after the 66th reading.

The Mitten Book

The Mitten


A lost mitten turns into the sweetest woodland adventure. This gorgeous classic based on a Ukrainian folktale features delightful illustrations that will capture their attention and imagination for years to come.

Freight Train book

Freight Train


Little ones will love following the colorful freight train as it rolls by. From the red caboose at the back all the way through the rainbow to the black engine, this simple Caldecott Honor award-winner packs colors and excitement on every page.

Good Dog Carl book

Good Dog, Carl


Who says a book needs words to tell a story? Packed with rich illustrations that allow the reader to tell the story as they like, this timeless tale puts Carl the Rottweiler in charge for the day and as expected, fun ensues

first 100 block set

First 100 Board Box Set


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

the snowy day book

The Snowy Day


Ezra Jack Keat’s 1962 award-winning classic is a toddler bookshelf must-have. With bold and colorful illustrations and a timeless story of the wonder of being outside in the quiet snow, it’s destined to be favorite for generations.

The Going to Bed Book

The Going to Bed Book


I don’t believe there’s a toddler on the planet who isn’t completely delighted by Sandra Boynton books. The silly prose and charming illustrations are like kid catnip and while it’s hard to pick a favorite, this one gets top billing since it helps make the bedtime transition just a little bit smoother. (Mostly.)

The Monster at the End of this Book

The Monster at the End of This Book


The suspense! The excitement! The pure hilarity of this classic will get them every time.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus


Books that break the fourth wall are a total delight for toddlers. They’ll love answering back when Pigeon pleads his way into driving the bus.

Where the Wild Things Are book

Where the Wild Things Are


One of the best loved stories of all time, Where the Wild Things Are teaches little ones that there’s a time and place for certain behaviors.

Things to Do Book

The Highlights Book of Things to Do: Discover, Explore, Create, and Do Great Things


This hands-on activity book not only tells but shows kids the best way to do cool things—from knot-tying, building campfires, playing jump rope and writing letters. We love that there’s something for kids of all ages.

My Friends book

My Friends


Taro Gomi’s adorable illustrations help kids identify animals and appreciate the world around them.

Brown Bear What do you See? Book

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


The iconic collage art and melodic, repetitive text make this board book an endearing classic with toddlers and parents alike.

The Feelings Book

The Feelings Book


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

Pout Pout Fish book

The Pout-Pout Fish


The playful rhymes and silly adventures of the pout-pout fish will make your toddler—and you—laugh out loud while learning about feelings.

press here book

Press Here


Press Here is the longest-running picture book on the New York Times Bestseller list—and it’s no surprise. Through incredibly simple illustrations, this interactive story is engaging each and every time you pull it out. (Which will be all. the. time.)

twinkle twinkle robot beep book

Twinkle, Twinkle, Robot Beep


An outer space-themed spin on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” this book is a fun bedtime sing-along for kids.

pantone colors book

Pantone: Colors


We can’t think of a more fun and more beautiful way to introduce toddlers to colors than with the Pantone color deck.

Fun with Numbers, Letters, Shapes, Colors, and Animals book

My First Toddler Coloring Book: Fun with Numbers, Letters, Shapes, Colors, and Animals!


Toddlers will enjoy practicing fundamental concepts like numbers, letters, shapes, colors, animals, simple words and counting with this coloring book.

No No Yes Yes Book

No No Yes Yes


Yanking the cat’s tail? NO. Gently patting him on the back? YES. This simple board book is the perfect way to teach your toddler about cause and effect

Little Pea book

Little Pea


A must-have for the library of picky eaters. This adorable (and funny!) tale about a pea who won’t eat his sweets is the perfect absurdist humor for veggie-striking tots.

This post was originally published September 13, 2021. It has been updated.