20 Best Books for Infants and Toddlers

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Why read to young children? 

Reading is one of the best activities you can do with your child for brain development. And it’s fun! 

Benefits of early childhood reading:

  • Quality, bonding time
  • Entertaining for children of all ages
  • Helps to develop vocabulary and language skills
  • Teaches children about new topics such as shapes, colors, animals, positions of objects, etc.
  • Helps to build imagination

Book Format

When I was pregnant, I bought several Dr. Seuss hardcover books.  Rookie mistake…do not buy paper books for infants or toddlers. Infants and toddlers are so rough, paper books just can’t hang. So my advice, make sure it’s a board or fabric/crinkle book.

Best Practices

  •  Read when they’re in a good mood
  • Use different voices and tones to keep them interested (accents are an added bonus!)
  • When they’re old enough, let them choose the book
  • For younger readers that are still learning to talk, instead of reading the words on the page, point to the picture and name it. This will help your little one to learn the name of objects. 

It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Below you’ll find our favorite books for infants and young toddlers.

Simple Picture Books

Animals: Animales (Bright Baby) (English and Spanish Edition)

This is a great book for infants. It’s a simple picture book that displays one animal on each page and the name of the animal in both English and Spanish.

Bilingual Bright Baby: Colors

This book introduces colors by displaying one image on each page with the name of the image listed in English and Spanish. It helps to keep infants and young toddlers from being distracted and learn words.

First 100 Words Bilingual: Primeras 100 Palabras – Spanish-English Bilingual

This is JC’s all time favorite book. It’s simply a book with 10 images per page. Each page has it’s own category such as colors or foods. 

We’ve enjoyed this book in 3 phases:

  1. When JC was younger, I would read the words and point to the associated image so JC could learn the name of each image.
  2. As he got older and learned the words, I would call out the name of an image and he would point to the appropriate image
  3. And now that JC’s language skills have developed, I point to an image and he tells me the name of it.

Disney Baby My First Colors

Fun book to continue to learn colors. This is a little more advanced than the previous book, as there are multiple images on each page. It prompts you and your little one to identify which items are a specific color.

My First 100 Neighborhood Words

Take a tour around Daniel’s neighborhood. Each page displays a different location and items you would expect to find. For example, in the garden you’ll find the names and images of fruits and the restaurant you’ll find the name and images of utensils.

Babies Big World: Astronomy

It’s never too early to start teaching children about the world. This book is a fun way to introduce the planets to young children. 


Sesame Street – Elmo & Friends – First Look and Find

Can you tell we love word books smile? Each page will specify a color and you will be prompted to identify the items displayed  with that color. For example, the red page will have Elmo, red shoes, a red balloon, etc. 

Books that Make Sounds

What’s that Sound? Animals 

What’s that Sound is a great series of books that displays an image on each page. When you or your child press the image, the book makes the corresponding sound. JC loves the animals version. 

Discovery: Moo on the Farm! 

Fun book that gives a short description of each animal. Press the side panel buttons to hear the animal sounds.


World of Eric Carle, Hear Bear Roar

Great way to learn new animal names and sounds. Press on one of the images on the side panel and the name of the animal will be announced, along with the corresponding animal’s sound. I only wish this book came in board book format. I’ve only seen it hard cover format and those paper pages don’t stand a chance against toddlers lol. 

Touch and Feel Sound Books

Noisy Farm

Great, interactive book that children can enjoy seeing the images, feeling the textures, and hearing the animal sounds.

Noisy Things That Go

Another interactive book that does a great job of keeping my son’s attention. Each pages has fun facts about each vehicle, but for now, JC just focuses on the pictures, textures, and sounds. 

Noisy Dinosaurs

Fun way to introduce dinosaurs to your little one. Each pages has fun facts about each dinosaur, but for now, my two year old focuses on the pictures, textures, and sounds. 

Peek-a-Boo Books

Bathtime Peekaboo!: Touch-and-Feel and Lift-the-Flap

Babies and toddlers alike will enjoy lifting the flaps to find the hidden object. And the textures in this book are an added bonus! 

Where is Baby’s Belly Button?

Fun book to introduce body parts such as eyes, fingers, and toes. Each body part is hiding behind a flap that your little one can flip.


Opposites Chunky Lift-a-Flap Children’s Board Book (Babies Love)

Colorful, chunky lift-a-flap book to introduce new words and the concept of opposites such as hot and cold. I love that the pages don’t have too much going on. Just the images associated with the word which is super helpful with young readers that get distracted easily.  

Classics We All Know and Love

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The story of the caterpillar that became a beautiful butterfly, eating everything along the way. Our favorite part of this book is naming all the foods the caterillar ate.

Chicka Chika Boom Boom

Fun story of the letters in the alphabet racing up a coconut tree. So much fun to bounce little one on your lap and excalim, “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!” 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


This is a great book to introduce colors, animals, and animal sounds. When your little one is still learning words I would read the name of the animal and make the corresponding sound. When they’ve mastered that, you can move on to adding the colors.

The Going to Bed Book

Cute book to incorporate into any bedtime routine. Each page goes through the different steps of winding down and going to bed.

Like this Post?

I hope this post was helpful for you and your family. Let me know in the comments below what books you and your little ones enjoy.

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I'm MiMi: wife, boy mom, full time employee, and part time blogger. Modern Momsense is a judge free zone where moms can read honest stories of triumphs and failures that I hope can help make your journey through mommyhood easier. I love sharing information about pregnancy, breastfeeding and pumping, products I've tried, and caring for infants and toddlers. I also write about “adulting” topics specific to mom life.

Whether you’re a first time mom or a been-there-done-that mom, I hope this blog will be a source of information and encouragement for you. So make yourself comfy mama, you've got this!




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