Reading Tips and Books for Toddlers

Hoping to instill a love of reading in your busy and curious toddler?  I’ve got you covered.  Here is a great resource for parents, a breakdown of useful reading tips and authors that cater to toddlers. You are guaranteed to have a home where reading comes alive!

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First off, repeat after me…books know no gender!  So don’t only read princess books to your little princess or truck books to your messy little man.  Switch it up and keep things interesting so that your little reader is actively engaged.

Make your reading come ALIVE! Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean that you are too mature or serious to use elephant voices and shout with excitement.  The more excited you get about reading, the most excited your tot will be.

Have an antsy little one who doesn’t like to sit still for an entire book?  That’s okay!  He or she is still listening and learning while walking around, building blocks, etc.

Take trips to the library as often as possible.  By introducing them to the “palace of books” as my boys like to call it, they will become more familiar with books and start to find beloved characters and stories.

Don’t do all the work yourself.  When you are reading to your little one, especially when reading a book with strong rhymes, have them repeat with you or even play “fill in the blank” with key words after reading the story a few different times.

Ask questions while reading.  Depending on your child’s age and how familiar he/she is with the story, you want to aid their comprehension by asking them to point to certain objects on the page, ask what they think will come next, etc.


Mo Willems

Dr. Seuss

Drew Deywalt

Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

Herve Tullet

Sue Fliess

Amy Krouse Rosenthal 

Looking for more book suggestions?  Check out my Ultimate Book List.

Happy Reading!


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  1. Natasha says

    This is a great post. Love all the reading suggestions. Also, I’m ashamed to say this, but thanks for the reminder to use the library. We don’t go often enough.

    • amandasimkin says

      I find that visiting different libraries (and most of them have reciprocal relationships) always helps keep a visit to the library “fun and fresh.”

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    The little Miss and Mr books are a bit long, so I saved those for when my kids were older. My kids lost interest in the story because it took too long to get to the end 🙁

    • amandasimkin says

      Really? I found that books nowadays are much lengthier. I’m lucky because as a Reading Specialist I encounter thousands of fantastic books.

  3. Alli says

    I love all the Dr. Seuss books – they are timeless and all the grandkids love when I read any of these books to them. And you definitely have to get into character when reading to kids. Great tips!

  4. ricci says

    This is a great post!! I love to read and I hope that my nieces and nephews do too!! I always get them a book for part of their birthday/Christmas present!

    • amandasimkin says

      What a great Christmas/birthday gift idea. I know I always love when the boys get books instead of noisy and annoying toys!

  5. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    I love all the books you listed here. I want to see the habit of reading bedtime stories with your kids to go on forever. Technology is supposed to make things easier for us, not pre-occupy most of our time that we forget to bond with our children during bed time.

  6. Angie says

    Asking questions is so important! I also try to change up my voice for different characters and make a lot of sounds to keep that age engaged. Great book suggestions!

  7. Britni says

    My kids are a little to old for these books now. I have heard of about half of them. Makes me miss having little toddlers running around the house! My kids also really loved the little books by Sandra Boynton. Pajama Time and Barnyard Dance were my personal favorites! I still read to my kids. They all like to gather around before bed and we read a few chapters a night. It is one of my favorite times of the day.

  8. lisa says

    My kids love reading. We have been reading to them since they were babies and now they read to us. Dr. Seuss is great and we really like Sandra Boynton too.

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