Best Books for Toddlers

It's never too early for kids to fall in love with books. And finding stories that are captivating to look at and fun to hear when read aloud is half the battle. Here's a list of engaging toddler books for 2- and 3-year-olds that are filled with cute characters and easy-to-grasp storylines. Some are recent releases. Others have stood the test of time, having charmed the stroller crowd for generations. Many come in board-book format. (For more surefire kids' books, be sure to check out our Picture Books and Bedtime Books lists.)

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Book Poster Image
Classic delights tykes with bright colors, gentle rhymes.
By Bill Martin Jr.
(2012)
(1996)
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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Book Poster Image
Colorfully illustrated alphabet rhymes.
By Bill Martin Jr.
(2003)
(1989)
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Corduroy Book Poster Image
Sweet, heartwarming picture-book classic.
By Don Freeman
(2003)
(1968)
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Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late Book Poster Image
The perfect go-to-bed book for stalling kids.
By Mo Willems
(2007)
(2006)
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The Going to Bed Book Book Poster Image
Sweet, silly board book makes bedtime fun and cozy.
By Sandra Boynton
(2013)
(1982)
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Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Book Poster Image
Charming bedtime book is magic for truck lovers.
By Sherri Duskey Rinker
(2012)
(2011)
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Goodnight Moon Book Poster Image
Ultimate going-to-bed book has stood the test of time.
By Margaret Wise Brown
(2004)
(1947)
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Little Excavator Book Poster Image
Fun, fast-paced construction story is truck lover's delight.
By Anna Dewdney
(2017)
(2017)
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Make Way for Ducklings Book Poster Image
Kids and parents enjoy this story about family.
By Robert McCloskey
(2003)
(1969)
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Mighty, Mighty Construction Site Book Poster Image
Cheerful trucks show teamwork at its best.
By Sherri Duskey Rinker
(2017)
(2017)
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Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go Book Poster Image
Excellent vocab builder is also big wacky fun.
By Richard Scarry
(2012)
(1974)
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The Runaway Bunny Book Poster Image
Sweet, imaginative story makes little ones feel secure.
By Margaret Wise Brown
(2011)
(1942)
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Say Zoop! Book Poster Image
Joyfully noisy book sparkles with creative energy.
By Hervé Tullet
(2017)
(2017)
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The Snowy Day Book Poster Image
Classic captures a kid's delight in freshly fallen snow.
By Ezra Jack Keats
(2003)
(1962)
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There's a Wocket in My Pocket Book Poster Image
This is a terrific read-aloud or primer.
By Dr. Seuss
(2003)
(1974)
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Where the Wild Things Are Book Poster Image
Classic all-ages masterpiece has a wild imagination.
By Maurice Sendak
(2001)
(1969)
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Poster Image
Carle brings humor to caterpillar's development.
By Eric Carle
(2003)
(1970)
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Bear Says Thanks Book Poster Image
Warm animal story celebrates gratitude and friendship.
By Karma Wilson
(2012)
(2012)
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The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend Book Poster Image
Cute, fresh take on having an imaginary friend.
By Dan Santat
(2014)
(2014)
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The Book with No Pictures Book Poster Image
No pictures but oodles of silly words and giggles.
By B.J. Novak
(2014)
(2014)
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Bully Book Poster Image
Simple animal tale of bullying, empathy, and forgiveness.
By Laura Vaccaro Seeger
(2013)
(2013)
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The Dark Book Poster Image
Clever story of a boy who conquers his fear of the dark.
By Lemony Snicket
(2013)
(2013)
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The Day the Crayons Quit Book Poster Image
Crayons complain to their owner in funny ode to color.
By Drew Daywalt
(2013)
(2013)
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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music Book Poster Image
Gorgeous, magical story of a girl with music in her heart.
By Margarita Engle
(2015)
(2015)
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Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed: A Five Little Monkeys Story Book Poster Image
Silly sing-along about bedtime is a counting classic.
By Eileen Christelow
(2013)
(2012)
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Flora and the Flamingo Book Poster Image
Girl makes a feathered friend in whimsical, wordless outing.
By Molly Idle
(2013)
(2013)
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Go, Dog. Go! Book Poster Image
Go, new readers. Go!
By P. D. Eastman
(2012)
(1961)
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Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale Book Poster Image
Hilarious tale of a toddler outing gone terribly wrong.
By Mo Willems
(2012)
(2004)
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Harold and the Purple Crayon Book Poster Image
Imagination reigns in timeless classic about drawing boy.
By Crockett Johnson
(2012)
(1955)
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Ladybug Girl Book Poster Image
Sweet story and pictures celebrate unstructured play.
By Jacky Davis
(2012)
(2008)
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Last Stop on Market Street Book Poster Image
Tender story of Nana showing grandson city beauty via bus.
By Matt de la Peña
(2015)
(2015)
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The Lion & the Mouse Book Poster Image
Retold fable with out-of-this-world art; a true keepsake.
By Jerry Pinkney
(2010)
(2009)
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The Little Engine That Could Book Poster Image
Charming, encouraging picture book engages and inspires.
By Watty Piper
(2012)
(1930)
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Mr. Tiger Goes Wild Book Poster Image
Tiger lets loose his roar and finds joy in gorgeous book.
By Peter Brown
(2013)
(2013)
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Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too Book Poster Image
Cheery portrait of a fun day with Daddy.
By Anna Dewdney
(2014)
(2014)
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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Book Poster Image
Infectious rhymes great for early reading or read-aloud.
By Dr. Seuss
(2010)
(1960)
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Otis Book Poster Image
Sweet, nostalgic friendship tale with a truly classic look.
By Loren Long
(2009)
(2009)
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Press Here Book Poster Image
Delightful, interactive fun -- no batteries required!
By Hervé Tullet
(2011)
(2011)
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Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? Book Poster Image
Engaging classic makes work delightful.
By Richard Scarry
(2013)
(1968)
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The Story of Ferdinand Book Poster Image
Warmhearted, well-told classic will charm readers.
By Munro Leaf
(2003)
(1936)
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The Tale of Peter Rabbit Book Poster Image
Beatrix Potter's first and one of her best.
By Beatrix Potter
(2003)
(1902)
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Thank You and Good Night Book Poster Image
A perfect charmer of a bedtime book; the real deal.
By Patrick McDonnell
(2015)
(2015)
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This Is Not My Hat Book Poster Image
Little fish tries to outsmart big one in funny thief tale.
By Jon Klassen
(2012)
(2012)
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Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth Book Poster Image
A dad's witty guide to the world his baby's been born into.
By Oliver Jeffers
(2017)
(2017)
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