Good Books For Two Year Olds (To Read Aloud)
As parents, we hear advice about reading to our children often. But two-year-olds are squirmy. They also require a lot of attention and energy. At the end of the day, parents can be too drained to figure out what and how to read.
That’s why we have the best books for 2 year olds (that both parents and kids love). These read-alouds keep toddlers engaged while helping you make reading a routine part of your day.
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Best Board Books For 2 Year Olds
First, explore the list of 2-year-old board books. These are sturdy and made perfectly for little hands to hold.
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Ages 1-3)
*#1 Best Seller in Children’s Counting Books
This is an all-time favorite book for generations. It features gorgeous illustrations as one fuzzy caterpillar eats its way through the pages. And your child will love what it becomes!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar makes the perfect gift >>
2. The Pout-Pout Fish
*New York Times Best Seller
Swim along with one special fish as he realizes that being glum isn’t really right for him. Who wants to spread dreariness when you can turn your pouty “frown” upside down?
3. I Love You Through and Through By Caroline Jayne Church (Ages 1-3)
This book has such gentle and sweet rhyming text.
Read from the reader’s point of view. And your little one will feel like every word is straight from your heart to theirs. It is about all the parts of a child we love, from their “hair and eyes” to their “giggles and cries.”
4. Yummy, Yucky By Leslie Patricelli (Ages 1-3)
Leslie Patricelli brings back her adorably illustrated baby to explore the silly things
babies and toddlers are curious about. She does not disappoint in satisfying our desire to read about unusual things such as earwax, hot sauce, and dog poop.
This simple book of opposites shows readers the good vs. bad of all things yummy and yucky.
5. Good night Gorilla By Peggy Rathmann (Ages 1-3)
*A must-have for your collection!
The cover illustrations give insight as to the mischief this little gorilla gets into after dark. This is mostly a picture book (with limited text). It allows the grown-up to add narration or let the child take the lead and feel pride in guessing what will come next.
6. Row, Row, Row Your Boat By Jane Cabrera (Ages 1-3)
Be prepared to re-sing the rhymes from this book to your toddler in the car, as you prepare dinner, or waiting at the doctor’s office. Jane Cabrera has a brilliant way of writing classic children’s songs that introduce the listeners to rhythm and animal noises.
7. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (Ages 0-3)
*One of the most beloved books of all time
In this sweet rhyming picture book, we discover a quiet green room readying for bed. It’s a book that makes you and your toddler feel secure and sleepy as you wind down. And you’ll enjoy reading this one night after night.
8. Orange Pear Apple Bear By Emily Gravett (Ages 1-3)
*Classic board books for 2 year olds
How many ways can you show a story using only 5 words? Emily Gravett’s sweet illustrations make way for a clever rearranging of 4 items into a fun story your child will soon be able to “read” all by themselves.
Children learn through repetition. This book offers much for the reader to independently practice after the first couple of times!
9. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (Ages 1-3)
Little Blue is a kind truck always thinking of others. This book of rhyme introduces farm animal sounds as children discover that even big trucks need help from others at times. And when it comes to needing a friend, start with kindness.
10. Love By Emma Dodd (Ages 0-3)
Emma Dodd’s collection of Love You books are the sweetest way to connect and share precious moments with our little ones.
They are relatable descriptions of how we see love in our world. They are perfect for families to discuss the particular things we love about other people and how to show them we care.
11. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr (Ages 1-4)
#1 Best Seller In Early Learning Beginning Readers
It’s the alphabet chant your child can’t get enough of! Learn the alphabet through a lively rhyme that keeps the beat. The pages are filled with bright colorful illustrations too!
‘A told B, and B told C,
“I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree”‘
12. There’s a Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone (Ages 0-3)
*Crazy popular & interactive!
Grover REALLY doesn’t want you to turn the page. You see, there’s a monster at the end waiting!
Grover is astonished (and kids are thrilled) when he realizes who the monster is! This book is a sweet delightful adventure for little ones.
See more fun interactive children’s books here >>
13. LLama LLama Red Pajama By Anna Dewdney (Ages 1-3)
Little Llama is like many children at a young age, not wanting mama to leave at sleep time. Mama Llama is like many parents with small children, who have a few more things to get done before she can head to bed herself.
Anna Dewdney does an amazing job of revealing both sides of bedtime. Llama and Mama both have a moment of intense emotions come up, and resolve it with an extra dose of love and cuddles before sleep.
14. How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? By Jane Yolen Illustrated By Mark Teague (Ages 1-4)
The youngest readers enjoy the silliness of these dinos avoiding sleep time. (As if they would never act that way!)
When guiding your little one in a bedtime routine, this book provides comical imagery that even toddlers imagine themselves doing. As any good bedtime book would, these wild dinos calm down and see that peaceful rest is what is best.
15. Littles and How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio Illustrated by AG Ford (Ages 0-3)
*Best Books Baby-Age 2
With the most adorable pictures of littles of all ages and sizes, this book offers so much more than a cute rhyme. Your child will feel all the warm fuzzies.
This inclusive celebration of little ones and the people who love them is a sweet reminder to children ages 0-99 that we all start out small and grow up too fast.
16. Grumpy Monkey By Suzanne Lang (Ages 2-5)
*Hilarious NYT Best Seller
This chimpanzee is in a very bad mood. He doesn’t know why, and his friends can’t understand it either. So, they try to help. But the monkey has a bit of a meltdown instead.
Maybe this monkey just needs to be grumpy?
More Good Books For 2 Year Olds
These top 2 year old books aren’t board books, but they’ll still be childhood favorites!
17. Rhyming Dust Bunnies By Jan Thomas (Ages 2-5)
This silly story is about one dust bunny who seems to be bad at rhyming. Until he shows the other bunnies what his “un-rhyming words” mean in a funny surprise ending.
The brightly colored illustrations keep the reader engaged even with the very simple text.
18. Where’s Spot By Eric Hill (Ages 1-3)
*A popular lift-a-flap story
Kids have loved this puppy for 25 years! Spot is missing. Help find him in this lift-a-flap adventure with new cover designs.
19. Dini Dinosaur By Karen Beaumont: Best Two Year Old Books
Dini the Dinosaur needs a bath after fun in the mud. Your reader will enjoy the silly missteps Dini has trying to get all clean. Your toddler will even be learning a sequence of events, in this fun and practical story.
See Dini Dinosaur here >>
20. Leaf Man By Lois Ehlert (Ages 2-5)
It doesn’t need to be autumn for your toddler to see how a clump of leaves can look like a person. This photographic book shows how seemingly random things can be turned into whatever you imagine them to be!
After reading this book, your little one will be excited to create his or her own Leaf Man.
21. Waiting By Kevin Henkes (Ages 2-5)
*Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor Book
The toys in this story show how everyone has something they are waiting for. However, each is patient, calm, and even enjoying the passing time before they can do what they have been waiting for.
You never know what fun new things you will experience while waiting!
22. Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs By Eric Litwin (Ages 2-4)
*Author of the beloved Pete the Cat
“It’s awesome to share” is the mantra of this upbeat fast paced book. An exciting rhythmic story where the reader catches onto the repetitive storyline and predicts what will happen next.
Groovy Joe just wants to enjoy his Ice cream when dinos keep barging in and wanting what he has got. Thankfully, Groovy Joe can share so everyone has fun and a treat too!
23. Are You Ready to Play Outside? By Mo Willems (Ages 2-6)
*These best friends have a blast!
In this Elephant and Piggie Book, children learn what happens when Piggie and Gerald are faced with a rainy day. Try reading with two voices as the entire book is only conversation. And as always, Willems has a surprise ending with a bit of a moral in there too.
Look for Pigeon (another popular Mo Willems character) on the inside front and back cover for yet another added bit of fun.
Author Mo Willems is also featured in great books for 4 year olds. So, kids will love these books for years!
24. Duck and Goose By Tad Hills (Ages 1-3)
*New York Times Bestseller
Duck finds an egg, Goose finds an egg. The same egg.
After arguing about who it belongs to, Duck and Goose must work together to take care of it. The two begin to imagine what activities they will do with the critter once it is hatched. Finally, a little blue bird sets them straight as to what type of ‘egg’ it really is.
25. Bear Can’t Wait by Karma Wilson Illustrated By Jane Chapman
Everyone knows toddlers have a hard time waiting. What happens when enthusiastic waiting results in trouble and a big mess?
Bear Can’t Wait has a repetitive chant that “bear can’t wait” which leaves children full of suspense to see how Bear and his friends prepare for a surprise party.
26. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss: Best Books For 2 Year Olds (Ages 2-5)
*A Dr. Seuss beginner reader favorite!
This book is full of simple words and silly rhymes to keep your 2-year-old engaged. The combination of sounds and words helps your child recognize new words!
Hop on Pop makes an especially great gift for father’s day.
We like to Hop.
We like to hop
on top of Pop.
27. Goodnight Tractor by Michelle Robinson (Ages 1-3)
*The perfect bedtime book!
Watch as a fun day of play on the farm turns into a quiet night. Can you spot everything on the farm as you say goodnight? This book is great for farm enthusiasts!
Related Post: Best Bedtime Stories & Read Alouds
28. The Underwear Book By Todd Parr
This is a silly book about the do’s and don’ts when dealing with underwear.
Whether your little one has been potty trained or is just learning what underwear is, this book will be read dozens of times! Children and adults alike laugh out loud at the bold colorful illustrations.
29. The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz (Ages 2-5)
*Off-the-wall cute read-aloud!
This hippopotamus has a bad case of hiccups! But it’s about to get a whole lot funnier when an elephant, centipede, and rhinoceros try to help him get rid of them. Laugh along in this funny rhyming read aloud!
30. My Bus by Byron Barton (Ages 2-6)
Byron Barton expands his collection of vehicle books in this story of animal passengers. They’re being driven, flown, and even sailed to new destinations by all sorts of interesting transportation vehicles.
This book introduces the youngest readers to early math and literacy concepts as they discover where the last passenger is delivered. All while enjoying the bright child-like illustrations.
Interactive Books For 2 Year Olds
These books are great learning tools and also give young kids a more engaging, hands-on experience.
31. World of Eric Carle, Around the Farm (Ages 1-2)
*Best Seller in Children’s Puzzle Books
Explore the farm with this awesome sound book! Your toddler can press 30 different buttons to hear all of the noises on a farm. It’s a multi-sensory experience that your child will adore, and it includes the beautiful illustrations of Eric Carle too!
32. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (Ages 1-3)
*Our 2 year old books family favorite!
33. Paw Patrol First Words (Ages 1-4)
*Sound book great for early learning
Introduce your 2 year old to the beloved characters in Paw Patrol! Toddlers match sight words to pictures and get to hear the sounds the words make. This is a great early introduction to words!
34. Hide-and-Seek at the Construction Site: A Hidden Pictures®
Kids enjoy 40 hidden puzzles in a hide-and-seek adventure! This oversized board book is perfect for little hands and explores all the work that goes on at the construction site. It’s a great find for kids that love big machines!
35. Baby Shark Sing Alongs (Toddlers 1-3)
*Amazon’s Choice (& very popular)
Enjoy your favorite catchy shark songs with this cute book! Baby Shark Sing Along is perfect for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers who love music. And of course, it includes the iconic “baby shark” classic.
36. Van Fleet Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet (Ages 1-3)
*An Amazing ABC Safari for Preschoolers!
In this alphabet pop-up book, we watch as different animals reveal different letters! This alphabet book is unique and features many different textures for kids to touch. It also has pull tabs and even a scratch and sniff scent.
The back of this book includes a full color alphabet poster!
Educational Learning Books
In this section, you’ll find more learning books for 2 year olds – including stickers, activity books, and more fun!
37. In My Heart: A Book of Feelings (Growing Hearts) by Jo Witek (Ages 2-5)
*New York Times Best Seller
In My Heart helps kids celebrate their feelings. Toddlers learn that your heart can feel so many different things. Each feeling is ok and can seem different in your body.
The creative illustrations, lyrical lessons, and die-cut heart make this book a unique gem.
38. My First Library: Boxset of Board Books For Kids (Ages 1-3)
*#1 Best Seller
This comprehensive board book set gives you all the essentials in one place! Explore basic learning topics and everyday objects with your toddler using vivid pictures.
39. All About Weather by Huda Hurajli MA (Ages 2-5)
Don’t miss this exciting weather adventure! Kids and parents will enjoy learning about the seasons, why it rains, how rainbows are formed, and more.
Explore vibrant drawings and simple-to-understand explanations to answer all of your little one’s weather-related questions.
40. Count the Dinosaurs (Ages 2-4)
*Fun Picture Puzzle Book for 2-5 Year Olds
This unique counting book for kids features dinosaurs! Are there more yellow or green dinosaurs? You’ll soon discover in this fun array of creatures to explore.
This book is great for early learning numbers and also colors, opposites, and more.
41. 123 Counting Sticker Book (Ages 1-3)
And if dinosaurs aren’t your thing, try this cute counting sticker book instead. The reusable stickers and easy instructions make it hands-on for your child.
Why are books important for toddlers?
While it sometimes seems that toddlers aren’t interested, all kids benefit from read-alouds at an early age.
First, reading with your child strengthens your parent-child bond. It builds your relationship. And if reading is part of a regular routine, it helps your child feel secure as well.
The chart below shows other benefits kids of all ages get to have with books.
*Need more motivation? Check out these good statistics about reading success!
How do you start reading to a toddler?
Getting a squirmy toddler to sit for a book can be difficult. But have no fear!
Here are a few easy tips to help:
- Don’t always make your toddler sit. (Be ok with letting them roam freely as you read. It may seem as though they’re not listening, but they still benefit from hearing the words)
- Choose short books that flow easily (all of the books on this list!)
- Let kids turn the pages
- Make it part of a regular routine. Whether it’s morning or night. When your toddler knows what to expect, it will be easier for everyone to enjoy reading together.
I hope you enjoyed this big list of books for 2 year olds! What are the favorites in your home? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Free Printable Pdf of the Best Books For 2 Year Olds
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