The Best Book Recommendations For Babies and Toddlers
One of the most frequently asked questions we get on Social Media is for a round-up of our favourite age-appropriate books. Bedtime reading is a sacred tradition in our routine at home and I started with my first-born from the first week he was born. Whilst it took many months before he could engage in the stories, I realised quite quickly that the habit of reading every evening had formed and it became something he looked forward to and obliged with, by remaining as focused and quiet (as one can as a baby), but this has continued well into toddlerhood. For my second-born, things were busy, and so we did not have the same routine of one-on-one dedicated bedtime reading, and I definitely see the difference in my kids in terms of focus when it comes to story-time. The conclusion mamas is to invest in reading time as early as possible! In my experience, it really does pay off and leads to endless advantages - a love for reading and books, wide curiosity and strong development in language skills, to name a few. Find a round up below of our personal favourites by age.
Art For Baby - for the first 4-5 months of a baby's life, they are still developing their colour vision, and so the main colours they process are black, white and grey. Hence, this popular favourite, Art For Baby, which is all in black and white, which is great from birth.
Woosh Went The Witch - I'm a huge fan of the Julia Donaldson books, and this particular book is a mini version of Room on The Broom (listed as a toddler favourite below). For baby's, I've found board books work much better than paper, as they tend to rip out the pages pretty quickly, and anything with sound and texture works very well. This book comes with an audible Woosh button which you press after every page.
Just Like The Animals - for all new borns, it's nice to have a few interactive toys that can clip on to the pram when you're out and about. I have found the crinkly, texture soft-fabric books worked well at the newborn to 6 month age, and also served as teething toys later on.
Baby's Very First Nature Sounds Book - Usborne is another publisher I particularly like for kids books when it comes to texture and sounds. This book features very soothing nature sounds and my babies have all enjoyed it - the only issue with this is that given it's paper pages, we had a lot of wear and tear!
Baby's Very First Musical Play Book - again, another Usborne book, this is a great touchy-feely book that introduces your baby to different textures. It also comes with a variety of sound buttons.
Wish - any book by Emma Dodd is going to be a beautiful addition to your nursery library. Her books touch the heart like no other, and come in both board and paper version. Other favourites by Emma Dodd are, Forever, Sometimes and Love.
I'm a huge fan of the Julia Donaldson books for toddlers, as they usually promote beautiful messages of bravery, kindness, inclusion and courage. For this age bracket, the books that have worked well for us are: The Gruffalo and Monkey Puzzle. I also love her books because they are real investments, I started reading both the above books to my first-born when he was around 1.5 and over a year later, we can still pick them up and enjoy them.
The Gruffalo's Child Sound Book - this is a nice sound book that is more age appropriate for this age group.
The Tickle Book - this is an interactive book that has a lot of pulling-up of flaps, which I've come to learn babies and toddlers love.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea - more appropriate for an almost 2 year-old, this is a beautiful classic that very quickly became a favourite. They also have a beautiful short movie adaptation of this book on Amazon Prime.
The Smartest Giant In Town - this is a book with a beautiful message, and for this age category I particularly love books that have a strong and impactful message. This one is also about the power of kindness. It is a firm favourite that we've read over and over.
Room On The Broom - another Julia Donaldson book, this is quite a fun and exciting tale, which also has a beautiful short movie adaption.
A Squash and a Squeeze - another Julia Donaldson book, this story also comes with a powerful message about being content with what you have. It also makes for a fun read.
Jack and The Beanstalk (Personalised) - the Wonderbly books are by far my favourite personalised books I've come across, their attention to detail with personalisation far exceeds what I've seen before, and the imagery is beautiful. This is an excellent twist on the traditional Jack and The Beanstalk story, where your little one becomes the main character, and again, it makes for a fun and exciting tale with a strong and impactful message.
All The Things I Wish For You - this is another beautiful personalised book from Papier, with the most beautiful messages. It was gifted to me when my son was born, and has become one of those things that will go in his keepsake box as a beautiful memory when he is older. Definitely worth investing in.
Supertato - this is a short, light-hearted read - it's an exciting and fun crime story about an evil pea on the run! My little one absolutely loved this!
The Children's Book Of Manners - this is not a story book, but more a practical learning book, which showcases poor manners versus the expected forms of behaviour, to clearly illustrate the purpose and point to your child. It's a very helpful book to facilitate the manners discussion which is important with your child around this age, and it also features a sticker section at the back to encourage rewards for good manners.
3 -4 Years
The Giving Tree - a powerful book with a powerful message, and one that stays relevant for years to come. A nursery library isn't complete without it!
Maybe - by Kobi Yamada, this is without a doubt the most beautiful book we have in our nursery library. Kobi Yamada is known for his exceptionally stunning books with powerful and beautiful messages of hope, love, strength, resilience and inclusion.
20 Recipes Kids Should Know - every house hold with kids needs a children's cook book, and this one is great. It features very simple, easy recipes (not necessarily healthy!) but your classic staples, from grilled cheese to banana bread. Cooking with kids is a messy but super fun activity and so it's nice to keep some books like this on hand.