Ten Toddlers’ Books: A Guide For First Time Parents

Toddlers are a handful, especially for first time parents. Once the novelty of being a parent wears off, first time parents are often at a loss to find new ways to engage their toddler in productive ways.

Fear not! There are great toddlers’ books out there that will help you spend quality time with your kids, bond with them and develop the reading habit in them in fun ways.

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle

This all-time classic picture book has been sold 30 million copies worldwide and has been made into animation films! The hero is a caterpillar who gobbles up loads of foodstuff before transforming into a gorgeous butterfly. Ideal book for toddlers to fire up imagination and learn about the natural world.

2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

By Bill Martin, Jr.


Your toddler will love this picture book which begins with an illustration of a large brown bear and the question: ‘What do you see?’ The bear sees a red bird, which in turn sees something else colourful, and the story goes on. Toddlers will delight in guessing which animal comes next and the repetitive structure makes it a perfect read-aloud.

3. ChickaChickaBoom Boom

By Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

This brilliantly illustrated classic board book has all the letters of the alphabet trying to climb up to the top of the coconut tree, and your toddler will have fun chanting

A told B
and B told C,
“I’ll meet you at the top
of the coconut tree.”    

4. Goodnight Moon

By Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

An all-time favourite board book to read to your toddlers in bed, Goodnight Moon is beloved by generations for its lulling rhymes and soothing poetry. A little bunny says good night to all the familiar things in the softly lit room, then the big bright moon outside. Beautifully illustrated, a great bed-side companion for toddlers.

5. Guess How Much I Love You Board book

By Sam McBratney

This beloved classic picture book has been sold more than 28 million copies worldwide and been published in 53 languages. The two hares in the story try to quantify how much they love each other, asking the titular question “Guess how much I love you?” First time parents will thank the authors for the bonding experience that this book provides, by introducing the emotion of love in such relatable terms.

6. The Cat in the Hat

By Dr. Seuss

This is a classic that no parent should miss. Seuss’s books have a wonderful way of presenting words and phrases to growing children that leaves them filled with feelings of joy, happiness and entertainment. Simply put, it is fun to read, and fun is very important to focus on when it comes to reading to kids.

7. Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

This is a two-thousand-year-old classic of a civilization but is no less valuable despite its age. Small little stories that impart genuine practical wisdom to your kids. Don’t let the age of the book fool you – it is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago.

8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

By Roald Dahl

Chocolate here, chocolate there, and candy everywhere you look! What better book to read to a child than one that has a factory of every child’s favourite thing to eat – chocolates and candy! This is a young little child’s paradise come to real life! You should watch the movie of this one too, as a family – it’s a wonderful family bonding experience.

9. Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

By Dr. Seuss

Another Dr. Seuss classic. This is especially relevant for children who are entering kindergarten and school as it gives them the sense of a transition and not a little bit of the wonder at the entire adventure of life. Life is such a magical experience and your kids deserve the best of it – this is a good option as any!

10. Where Is the Green Sheep?

By Judy Horacek  and Mem Fox

Another classic well-loved by generation of parents and kids that searches for the ‘green sheep’.  Beautifully illustrated, and full of soothing rhymes, this book is sure to delight your toddler.

First time parents will find each of the books above as a Godsend in bonding with their toddlers, as a bed time story read again and again. There is no better way to celebrate childhood than reading to kids, and getting lost in the happy wilderness of tales well-told, with your toddlers.  Happy reading!


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