8 best books to read to toddlers (ages 1-2)


Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.  And what better time is there,to guide them through the great adventures that lie in books than when they start taking those little small step of theirs.

At this tender age of theirs, a child between the ages of 1-2years can hardly sit for long hours while you read to them, so reading a Daniel Steel or a Stephen Covey will definitely leave them in fear of books.  Instead, why not read age-appropriate books that uniquely illustrates stories for early learner, this will definitely do the trick towards developing an avid reading culture in your toddler and kill the fear of books later in life.

Exciting , colorful-picture filled books with engaging contents will develop great language skills, cognitive skills and at the same  time, stretch their young minds and imaginations. Words in books, should flow smoothly to make for easy memorization and should resonate with something they might be feeling.

Reading with toddlers is also a great way to bond while at the same time observing their reaction as you read and making necessary adjustments to make reading experience fun and memorable.

 Here are top amazing books that your child will love;

  1. Global Baby Bedtimes

When my brother was a little baby, he would always play sleep with his little newphew. One of them would immediately hit their head on the bed pretending to be fast asleep while my little brother watches with gleeful fascination and follows suit when his newphew wakes.Cute,you think?!

Babies love little people and are good at mimicking themselves. This fascinating book features different babies sleeping around the world in large, clear and colorful photos of their faces. Just like the cover of the book, where a baby’s face is covered in fairy like dust while he sleeps. Each page is accompanied by a simple text of “Baby(in a particular country) goes to sleep in a cradle or on the floor…’’  indicating which country the baby is in. It won’t come as a surprise when baby falls asleep on your laps while reading to him or her. Global Baby Bedtimes was published to raise funds for more children books.

2. MAMA MAMA by jean Marzollo;

What do you wish to be your child’s first word? The precious sweet words of “mama’’ or “dada’’?

Just like a toddler’s first word, the sweet words of this book together with the calming pictures, represents a child and mother’s love. Basically making it one of the favourites among toddlers. Toddlers who have started speaking the precious “mama’’ language will excitingly identify with the familiar words. And in case you’re wondering, “Dada’s’’ aren’t left out on this one, as there’s a Daddy version too; PAPA PAPA.


3. Diary of a toddler by Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi:

A unique book written by a Nigerian author, Olunbunmi Adoderin Talabi. Diary of a toddler uniquely illustrates the story of a little Nigerian girl and her daily adventures.  Your toddler will easily resonate with examples of good etiquettes, such as; exemplary manners, good personal hygiene and a desire to engage in wholesome activities, amongst others. Quite inspiring,I must say, as well as a fun read. On the cover, we see a toddler sketching an uneven line, which is highly common amongst imaginative children. Diary of a Toddler comes in a collection of related reads by Olunbunmi Adoderin Talabi.  

You can get this book at Patabah Bookstore,ikeja city mall or you favorite Nigerian book store closest to you.

4. Bedtime Peek a boo by DK Publishing ;

Another great read for early childhood. This book depicts the daily bedtime routine of a child. We all know how bath time can be quite frustrating especially when a child has a dislike for anything; foamy water, tub, sponge and the talk of a bath. Imagine all the fun and adventures that can lie in having a bath and being tucked into bed?

This peekaboo read, has an item hiding under each page, waiting for a child to lift a flap and discover the exciting shower treasures that awaits them, such as a fluffy ear, bath sponge and other treasures.  This colorful interactive book will add to a child’s interest and keep their minds glued in the book.

5. SO MUCH by Trish Cooke

“ Our relatives are coming to visit!!’’ That’s what happen when baby has arrived and our relatives are itching to have a look at the newest addition to the family!   That’s the beautiful story behind this book, where a Mum and her baby are having a special time together and all of a sudden the bell rings and in pops aunty, then followed by all other members of the family, all of who want to see baby because they love him So Much. They want to hold him, touch him and pinch his plump cheecks!   So Much Illustrates the African culture of relatives popping in to have a look at the new baby, holding him and spending time with him or her. They bring with them gifts for the new born baby. 

6. Chika Chika Boom Boom by Bill Martin jr and john Archambault

“A told B, and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no; Chika Chika Boom Boom!

This award winning book will definitely leave your toddler in high spirits! A classic rhythmic read perfect for children learning alphabets. Making it super easy yet fun. With its bright, bold and cheerful colors, there’ll be a merry parade of letters as the letters race up to each other up the coconut tree.   And knowing how children love rhymes, this lively rhythmic alphabet chant will make a delightful read.

7. Lets play with pictures and words by Efe Lovetta  Ani et al;

What’s a book without pictures? You definitely don’t intend to bore a child with a book without pictures and with no color at that!

This early beginner’s book by Efe Loveta Ani spell FUN! Filed with colorful pictures and brilliant words, Let’s play with pictures and words is quite a read in making a happier toddler. There are fun activities after, thus creating an engaging read.            Situable for a memorable early development.

8. Leo Can Swim by Anna McQuinn 1-3

If your Toddler loved the book, “Lola reads to Leo” by Anna McQuinn, then your little one will love this adventurous book.

In this book we’ll see an excited toddler being supported by adult hands as he carry out exciting activities in a pool. Leo and Daddy interact lovingly as he attends his swimming class in a community pool.  From sitting together, viewing a book about Daddy Fishes by Eric Carle, to taking a swim in a pool full of other adult pairs with different skin color. The bubbling toddler,his Daddy and others have a swell time at the pool. They splash, sing, play and sploosh like a fish in getting Leo ready for early swimming readiness. This book beautifully illustrates love, fun and adventure that will sound charming to your little ones ears.

A perfect pick for a bubbling toddler who is about to take swimming class and better still for a cuddle goodnight read.                        


If you loved these books,you may also like; 

Peekaboo Bedtime by Rachel Isadora

Leo loves Baby time by Anna McQuinn

Children’s mini library 6 mini books.

Baby goes to market by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank.   https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Goes-Market-Atinuke/dp/076369570X


In case you want to know what’s it like reading to a toddler,check out this video.

Video: Shutterstock

This is not an exhaustive list and if you feel that some books are missing on this list or you have a favorite you want to share with us, drop it in the comment section below.



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