Best Baby Books for Toddlers
|The Space Child’s Mother Goose||Press Here||Max the Brave||Where's My Cow?||On the Night You Were Born|
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Storytime is a great opportunity for your little one to learn, be entertained, and bond with you as a parent. Books offer moments of peace and calmness to an otherwise hectic, high-energy life, and promote a wide array of skills, including curiosity, artistic appreciation, literacy, and language development. All the while, these and more are presented in a visually stimulating way that can ignite a love of the written word for a lifetime to come. Books for toddlers are also simple, easy gifts for birthdays and holidays, allowing you to build a library for the special child in your life. Out of all the books out there, which ones deserve your attention the most? We’ve curated a list of the top five offerings on the market today, ranging from classics to new favorites that are sure to fit your needs.
BEST OVERALL | The Space Child’s Mother Goose, by Frederick Winsor
Originally published in 1956, this forward-thinking classic by Frederick Winsor takes the traditional Mother Goose tale and turns it into an enjoyable rhyming adventure through space. The Space Child’s Mother Goose combines cleverly designed black-and-white line art and easily understood rhyme schemes to give your child a taste of just how big, empty, and surprisingly cheerful space can be. The concepts within the pages are incredibly far-reaching, spanning rubber-band mathematics, Newtonian physics, Moebius strips, and even some more fantastical elements like telekinesis, presented in such a way that your child will find intellectually and imaginatively stimulating. Because it presents complicated ideas in such a simple manner, this book will continue to engage your child as they grow and come to understand more and more about the remarkable world of space within this narrative. Beyond that, The Space Child’s Mother Goose is just simply fun. It is an outstanding book with excellent presentation, visually interesting imagery, and easily grasped verbiage in rhyme, making it a joy to read aloud. If you grew up with this book during your own childhood, there’s no reason why you can’t pass on that wonderful experience now with a new hardcover copy. The Space Child’s Mother Goose by Frederick Winsor has an MSRP of $13.95, but check the current The Space Child’s Mother Goose – Amazon price here.
BEST DESIGN | Press Here, by Herve Tullet
What if I told you there was a book out there that could be more interactive for your child than just flaps and tactile textures? Press Here by “The Prince of Preschool” Herve Tullet will have your little one enraptured by just how much power their imagination has over the printed page. After they press the yellow dot on the cover, each page adds more and more interaction, from blowing on the dots to “turning the lights off and on.” Press Here is a uniquely designed children’s book that will delight even the most digitally-oriented toddler. Give that precious one in your life a moment away from the touchscreen and battery-operated toys with a book that invites them to play just as much. The book itself augments your encouragement, telling the reader “well done!” when they’ve completed a task and continues to give them simple, clear instructions on how to knock all the dots from side to side or clap to make them bigger. Visually simple but powerful in execution, Press Here works to encourage imagination and task management in a way that is valuable and unique. Herve Tullet has a large collection of similar books and even games, so if you really enjoy this one, you won’t be lacking for more creative ways to engage with your child. If you’re looking for something incredibly unique to add to your library, this is unquestionably the book for you. Press Here by Herve Tullet has an MSRP of $15.99, but check the current Press Here – Amazon price here.
EASIEST TO USE | Max the Brave, by Ed Vere
Max the Brave is a read-aloud gem from author Ed Vere, combining fun humor, well-crafted visuals, and a quality narrative for the little one in your life. Featuring the brave, curious, and somewhat naive cat Max, you and your child will follow along on this journey for knowledge. He knows that cats are supposed to catch mice but has to learn what they look like first. Follow along as he politely searches for answers, asking a fly, fish, bird and more if they know where a mouse is, eventually ending up in the belly of a not-scary monster before being sneezed free to go about his way. He is still brave, but perhaps he doesn’t have to be brave all the time. Part of learning is making mistakes, and your child will find Max’s to be a delightfully entertaining way to learn about risk management and exploration. Digitally produced to look like crayon on brightly colored pages crafted to appeal to curious readers, Max the Brave is visually engaging and supports its tongue-in-cheek humor with fun imagery. You don’t have to be a cat person to enjoy the quirky adventure of Max the Brave. Available as both a board book and hardcover, if your child is rather rough on books, this sturdy alternative may very well be the one thing that stands up to the trials and tribulations of a child’s library. Max the Brave by Ed Vere has an MSRP of $16.99, but check the current Max the Brave – Amazon price here.
MOST VERSATILE | Where’s My Cow? By Terry Pratchett
Imagine a children’s book that appeals just as much to older children and adults as it does to your toddler. Written by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Where’s My Cow? is a thoughtful, creative story about a book that functions on multiple levels, a solid presentation for any age. Pratchett’s lifelong service to literature for all ages shines brightly through each page, making this a storybook that works hard to earn a place on your shelf. Though the text is laden with Discworld references for those adults “in the know,” Where’s My Cow? doesn’t rely on these external supports to weave a quality narrative; rather, they are included for the fun and enjoyment of all readers. If this book sparks an interest in Sir Pratchett’s other writings, there are a whole world of novels and children’s books to grow with. This is one of those titles that receives glowing recommendations both online and off and tends to pop up in even casual conversation with other fantasy fan parents. This children’s book makes a great gift for readers of all ages, even if that receiver is yourself. Whimsical artwork and fantastical imagery are sure to entertain and delight, this hardcover book is worth the investment if you want to ignite and fuel your child’s passion for the fantasy and fictional while feeding your own interest at the same time. Where’s My Cow? by Sir Terry Pratchett has an MSRP of $16.99, but check the current Where’s My Cow? – Amazon price here.
BARGAIN BUY | On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman
As a parent, you are likely fully aware of just how far-reaching technology has become for children, and embracing the digital generation doesn’t have to be a difficult task. For ease of travel and simplicity of availability, the Kindle version of Nancy Tillman’s On the Night You Were Born make it a great and convenient budget option. Once you’ve made an investment in a Kindle, iPad, or other tablet devices, it is simple to start building a digital library for your child to read and enjoy no matter where they are. On the Night You Were Born is a loving narrative with beautiful illustrations, a touching story to show your child just how important and wonderful they are. For parents who seek a story with a gentle Christian touch, this could just be the perfect way to bond and share a loving moment with your child. As a digital copy, you don’t have to worry about torn pages or bent covers and spines, and you can freely download the book from your library at any time, making it a great way to entertain your child on the go if you find yourself in need, on the road or visiting friends or family. On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman has an MSRP of $12.99 on Kindle, but check the current On the Night You Were Born – Amazon price here.
Your toddler’s imagination is a spark yearning to be ignited, and books can be that fuel for bigger and greater things. Learning how to embrace curiosity, appreciation for art and the written word, and enjoying the calm, quiet times in life will encourage the littlest member of the family to grow beyond all expectations. What better way to take a moment out of the crazy world and bond with your child over a few exciting pages? Whether you are building a library for your own family or searching for the perfect gift for another, these five books will appeal to your every need. And if you’re looking for something more for mom and dad on the topic of parenting, then check out our Best Baby Books for Parents right here!