My older son didn’t develop a real love for books until he was three years old, but my younger son is already book-obsessed at age 2. To nurture this love, I have become something of a toddler-book connoisseur. If you have a little one who is going through a “book obsessed” phase and/or is interested in learning the names of everything around him or her, check out the below books that are sure to be a hit with little talkers! BONUS: These books are all perfect for encouraging language development, which is especially important to me because my son is currently in speech therapy. [Disclaimer :: These are actual photos of our well-loved books, so forgive any smudges and tears!]
10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – This one is a classic your little one is sure to enjoy. There is so much to point at and repeat as the caterpillar eats its way through all kinds of yummy foods and then turns into a beautifully-illustrated butterfly!
9. Dear Zoo – Lift the flap AND animal sounds? Double score!
8. Any Farm Books (this one is our favorite!) – Farm animal books are great beginner books, as most babies/toddlers have an easier time repeating animal sounds than human words to start.
7. Sassy, Baby’s First Words – We received this one through the Imagination Library (if you haven’t signed your little one up yet, do it!) and it is AWESOME. Each set of pages has a familiar outdoor scene such as the park or highway, which is just right for toddlers who want to point out all the familiar animals and objects they’re starting to learn.
6. From Head to Toe – This book is perfect for a toddler who is beginning to mimic. Each page features an animal and an action to copy, such as wiggling alligators and bending giraffes.
5. Me and You, Peekaboo! – This is really more of a baby book, but my Peekaboo/Hide & Seek obsessed toddler still loves it because it’s interactive. This is a great first book for the littlest talker you know!
4. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? – This one also comes in a traditional board book that I’m sure is great, but we have the one with the accompanying push-buttons that my toddler just loves.
3. A is for Apple – This was a gift from my sister-in-law to my son because she swore my nephew adored it, and it’s easy to see why. It is a WINNER on so many levels. Each page features a letter of the alphabet and has two corresponding pictures, with one of them even hiding under a flap. This book gets bonus points from me because 1. the flaps make it interactive; 2. it has great “first words”; and 3. it will grow with your toddler into handwriting because the letters are traceable. (Yes, that is crayon on the front and I did attempt to blur the picture to hide it.)
2. Moo, Baa, La La La! – This is great for early talkers because it features familiar animals sounds, paired with Sandra Boynton’s classic whimsy and illustrations.
1. Simple First Words, Let’s Talk – OMG, this book. It gets to be #1 on the list and a big fat kiss from me because we LOVE it. My toddler is absolutely obsessed with leafing through books, pointing at pictures, and having whoever is nearby tell him the names of all the objects. This little habit is all fun and games until we need to do anything else in life, such as cook dinner or fold laundry. The push buttons on this book have a picture and say the corresponding word when pushed, plus the book also has a page highlighting each button for matching fun. LIFESAVER.