Good Books for Infants and Toddlers

Infants and toddlers enjoy a wide variety of books. Even before the youngest children can focus on the pictures in the book, they enjoy the sound of the reader's voice. The warmth and security of being held and hearing the comforting, melodic sounds provide opportunities for pleasure and response.

Good Books for Infants and Toddlers...

  • Are sturdily constructed so that children can handle them (i.e. board books).
  • Have clear, full-color illustrations or photos.
  • Have one picture per page for infants and limited number for toddlers.
  • Are relevant to the child’s life experiences.
  • Represent various races and cultures in photographs or respectful illustrations.
  • Use familiar phrases, words that are fun to say and repeat, rich language, rhyming words, and repeating patterns of words.

Handmade Books for Infants and Toddlers

  • Make your own books that match the interests of the child.
  • Use real photographs of family and friends.
  • Use pictures from magazines, calendars, catalogs.
  • Take photographs of a sequence of an activity such as getting dressed in the morning, getting bundled up to go outside, making a sandwich, etc.
  • Write the words or names on each page of your book.
  • Small photo albums are a quick and inexpensive way to make a book. They are also sturdy and can be easily cleaned.

Rhythmic-language Books

  • Mother Goose rhymes
  • Lullabies
  • The Three Little Kittens (Cauley, 1982)
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Martin & Archambault, 1989)

Point and Say Books

  • Books by Tana Hoban
    • What is It? (1984)
    • Colors Everyhwere (1995)
    • LOOK BOOK (1997)
  • Books by Helen Oxenbury
    • Family (1981)
    • Friends (1981)
    • Playing (1981)
    • All Fall Down (1987)
    • Clap Hands (1987)
    • Tickle, Tickle (1987)

Touch and Smell Books

Books that allow children to use their senses and participate:

  • Pat the Bunny (1962)
  • Where's My Fuzzy Blanket (1991)

Predictable Books With Repetitive Language

  • Books by Eric Carle
    • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969 and 1987)
    • 1, 2, 3, to the Zoo (1991)
  • Books by Frank Asch
    • Just for You
    • Just Like Daddy
  • Books by Bill Martin, Jr.
    • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1992)
    • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See?

A list of books for infants and toddlers is available at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center website.