Reading good books for toddlers to your two-year-olds benefits their toddler brain, future literacy skills, and social/emotional growth.
(Not to mention, it’s fun!)
Find a new favorite book for the toddler readers on your lap with this list of good picture books to you can read to your 2-year-olds– that they will love!
Books for Toddlers (Best for Age 2)
Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins
Your kids will love the brightly colored fish described with fun words — “spotty fish, stripy fish, happy fish, gripy fish“. There’s so much to look at and describe — this is sure to be a new reading favorite as it’s an excellent board book for boys and girls.
Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman
Even though I’ve read this book a MILLION times with my kids, my kids still love everything about it — red dogs, blue dogs, big dogs, little dogs—all kinds of wonderful dogs—riding bicycles, scooters, skis, and roller skates and driving all sorts of vehicles on their way to a big dog party held on top of a tree.
Where Is Fuzzy Penguin (Touch + Feel + Look + Find) by Yayo
You will LOVE this book! Not only are these adorable penguins that are happily playing and swimming but you also get to feel and search for the one who is fuzzy!
Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman
Giggle along with this very silly story about the wonders of underwear! Big, little, dirty, clean, we all wear underwear! “Just remember to put your clothes on top.” (Such sage wisdom!)
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora
Play peekaboo with this little girl, her family, her puppy, and more. Don’t you love the playful characters?
Old McDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz, illustrated by Eda Kaban
Calling all truck fans — this is the book for you! Because Old McDonald has a lot of trucks — a bulldozer, front loader, motor grader, dump truck, and more. E-I-E-I-O! This is not just a favorite for age 2 readers but also a family favorite sing-along picture book.
Where Do You Poop? by Agnese Baruzzi
My NEW FAVORITE GIFT BOOK to give to toddlers. In this rhyming and pull-the-tab book, you’ll read all about where and when kitties, birds, hippos, wolves, and mice poop, just to name a few. I LOVE how fun and playful it is, too. Pull the tab and see the poop pellets in the wood chips. The last page shows a human on the toilet happily pooping, too.
One Sheep, Two Sheep by Tami Sauer, illustrated by Troy Cummings
The other silly farm animals interfere with the rooster trying to count sheep to fall asleep. Poor rooster. He’s frustrated and it’s hilarious!
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
A delightful rhyming adventure of animals on a boat as they prepare to go to sleep. It’s soothing, funny, and perfect for a bedtime story. (And another book I still have memorized 10 years later!) ANY book by Sandra Boynton is excellent — she’s such a gifted writer and illustrator.
Cerca / Close by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Blanca Gomez
A young girl of color shows us her world, specifically what things are close to other things. She does this by connecting things together. Earthy colors, an important concept (close), and enchanting illustrations.
Underwear! by Jenn Harney
Little Bear is having a hysterical adventure with his underwear much to his parents’ exasperation. Rhyming, giggle-inducing text pairs perfectly with comedic, expressive illustrations. Potty training kids will be able to relate to this story about a little bear who has a lot of *fun* with his underwear.
Giggly Wiggly Playtime Rhymes by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Chris Riddell
I adore this book! It makes a perfect baby shower gift. Its rhythmic poems are FUN to say and act out. “Jiggle jiggle, we’re all wriggly. Wriggle wriggle, we’re all wiggly. Wiggle wiggle, we’re all giggly…” Or, “Fingers in bed / Fingers wake up / Fingers stretch / Fingers shake up.”
Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli
What a silly and fun story! See if you agree with the author’s assessment of what is yummy and yucky. “Spaghetti is yummy. Worms are yucky.“
100 Dogs: Playful Pups to Count by Michael Whaite
“Small dog, tall dog, playing with a ball dog, big dog dig dog, burying a bone.” You’ll love seeing all the different kinds of dogs in this colorful, inviting book that is sure to be a favorite read-aloud!
Not Now Cow by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Troy Cummings
Perfect for preschoolers, this funny take on the seasons shows the farm animals celebrating each season…with a clueless Cow dressing in the wrong outfits for each season’s weather. Each season is the same — the playful animals do seasonal activities and Cow shows up wearing something not quite right…Kids will love this!
The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
One of the most beloved picture books EVER, certainly by my family if not the world, The Napping House is a gentle, rhythmic story about the inhabitants of a sleepy house slowly falling into slumber– then, waking back up again. Muted blue-toned illustrations enhance this book’s perfectly sleepy ambiance.
The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round by Wendy Wan-Long Shang, illustrated by Lorian Tu
Sing along with this cheerful and exuberant story that rewrites the words to the familiar “Wheels on the Bus” song, making it a story about a large, multi-generational Chinese family sharing a meal together. Seeing the yummy foods will make you hungry for some rice, noodles, and dumplings yourself.
Hello, Friend Hola, Amigo by 123 Andres, illustrated by Sara Palacios
Gently narrated in English and Spanish rhyming text, this bilingual book based on a song encourages you to be friends with anyone– no matter the differences. It encourages children to remember we’re all the same.
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
My kids LOVE this book so much — and repeated readings were no problem because so did I. The parents implore their spunky young child to please behave, PLEASE. Great use of repetition and so relatable to 2-year-old children …and their parents.
Things That Go! (Indestructibles) by Amy Pixton, illustrated by Stephan Lomp
Chew-proof, rip-proof, and drool-proof, these paperlike little books are lightweight and indestructible. Learn all about vehicles on the road, in the air, in town, on the construction site, and on the sea. Bright illustrations and interesting information make this the perfect book choice for young readers.
Global Baby BEDTIMES by Maya Ajmera Toddlers love photos of other kids! In this sweet board book about getting sleepy and going to sleep, each page shows a baby from a different country. Some babies sleep in a cradle, some on their mama’s back, and some snuggle near a sibling.
Go Sleep In Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming and Lori Nichols
Each animal goes to bed and finds another animal sleeping in the wrong bed. “Go sleep in your own bed!” the pig orders the cow, the cow orders the chicken, the chicken tells the horse, well, you get the picture. What will happen with the kitten? She gets to stay and cuddle in the little girl’s bed. Giggles all around!
The Babies and Doggies Book by John Schindel and Molly Woodward
This diverse book is spot-on for the age group as it shares the fun antics that both babies and dogs do — things like cuddle, peek, sniff, and squirm.
You Can Be by Elise Gravel
“There are many ways to be a kid. You can be . . .” begins this brilliant book filled with acceptance for a child’s ways of being including funny, sensitive, noisy, artsy, caring, dirty, strong, studious, helpful, and scared. Gravel shows the possibilities in being yourself and feeling different emotions. Parents reading this book will express their parental love and acceptance of their children.
The Poop Song by Eric Litwin, illustrated by Claudia Boldt
Rhyming, adorable, and fun — especially for the potty training toddlers.
Everyone Says Please (Except Cat) by Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Katie Mazeika
You’ll crack up at this book showing animals with good manners and a cat who stops and fumes and demands CHEESE. It’s a full-on meltdown until he realizes that mouse got cheese simply by saying please. So the cat says please, too…and he finally gets what he wants.
Cuddly Cow by Axel Scheffler
Cuddly Cow is sleepy and looking for a good, quiet place to sleep. The cows are too noisy. So are the chickens. Where will she go? Includes a sound button which while cute, may get slightly annoying to parents, or at least to me.
My First Baby Signs by Phil Conigliaro and Tae Won Yu
Talk about a must-own board book! Parents, you’ll want this for you and for your little ones. It will first teach and then reinforce the important signs that kids ages 9 months, age 1, 2, and even age 3 can use to communicate with caregivers. This book’s colorful pages show eight essential signs that young children can use to communicate basic needs.
Up, Up, Up, Down! by Kimberly Gee
Lyrical and repetitive, this relatable storyline captures a day in the life of a talkative toddler and a stay-at-home dad with evocative, diverse illustrations. Sure to bring a chuckle to both you and your growing reader when you read it aloud.
The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley
This wonky donkey is walking down the road, he hasn’t had any coffee and up to mischief. It’s on this list of the best books for 2-year-olds because it’s a silly (very silly!) cumulative story filled with rhyme and onomatopoeias like “stinky dinky lanky honky tonky winky wonky donkey.”
Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse by Jane Goodwin, illustrated by Blanca Gomez
Fall in love with the simple, lyrical story showing the colors of a little girl’s world around her illustrated with bold graphic-style pictures
See the trains sparkle in the sun and in the rain.“
Forty Winks: A Bedtime Adventure by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Lita Judge
This large mouse family’s bedtime routine feels familiar and sweet. They get ready with rituals of reading books, whispering prayers, tucking in tight, goofing around, and procrastinating and it’s a read-aloud delight!
What Can You Do with a Rock by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Katie Kath
What an inspiring book to show children the creative ways to play with rocks…You can skip them, drop them, sort them, study them, change them, and so much more. There are many things you can do with a rock. “Skip drop kerplunk.“
I Say OOH, You Say AAAH by John Kane
I’m Brave by Kate & Jim McMullan
Firefighter fans are going to love to read about the life of a brave (and good-looking’) fire engine driving through smoke and heat to a blazing fire. Filled with lots of delightful sound effects: CLANG, HONK, WHOOSSSSSH and EEEEEEOWOOOO for young children.
Can You Yawn Like a Fawn! by Monica Sweeney with Lauren Yelvington, illustrated by Laura Watkins
This gorgeous sleepy time book prompts your child to do the same — sharing the nighttime rituals of baby animals and asking if the reader can yawn like them. It’s so perfect for bedtime, Yawn along with this highly recommended bedtime story.
F is for Fairy Tale by Greg Paprocki
Richard Scarry’s Super Silly Seek and Find!
Perfect for toddlers, this is a playful, oversized seek and find board book. From the bedroom to the bathroom to outside on a busy street and gas station, your littles will get to look for one or more items such as 3 trash cans, 7 green bugs, and 1 potted plant. Highly recommended to share with the little readers on your lap.
Teeny Tiny Farmer by Rachel Matson, illustrated by Joey Chou
Treasure Hunt for Kids by Roger Priddy
Develop counting and sorting skills while searching for the hundreds of hidden things in the busy, colorful scenes packed with multiple images and objects to seek and find.
Mommy Snuggles by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben
Animal mothers take good care of their babies. “Mommy swan glides with her cygnet / under her wing.” See the animals and learn the names of the adults and babies.
Jungle illustrated by Jane Ormes
What an adorable book to learn about animal families! I love the color schemes with neon orange, blues, and greens. For each animal, you’ll read what the daddy is called, the mommy is called, and then lift-the-flap under the mommy to read what the babies are called.
Roar! by Katerina Kerouli
Playful descriptions and lift the flaps show kids the mouthes of different safari animals like a snake, lion, crocodile, monkey, and tiger. “Snap Snap,” it says inside the crocodile. “Such colorful scales, such a flicky tongue, such pointy fangs…Look out, everyone! Hiss Hiss.” A darling, interactive animal book!
How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Mark Teague’s illustrations wonderfully depict these playful dinosaurs doing fun things that kids do all day long — playing with blocks, balls, toys, and teddy bears! Can you count along?