Finding toddler books that will keep your little one’s attention throughout the story enhances their imagination and love for learning. Reading bedtime books is a great way to wind down from the day and get ready for dreamland. Some toddler books, although geared toward little ones with bright colored artwork and a cute story, become frustrating because the story is a bit too long. But never fear, we put together a list of our favorite short, yet attention-keeping books for 18-month-olds. Your little one will love them so much that you will be reading them together over and over again.
READ MORE: Books for Preschoolers and Young Kids
Reading to your toddlers helps them become familiar with the idea of a book and builds their curiosity and imagination. Reading bedtime books even helps develop language and communication skills, as little ones absorb the language they hear. Reading toddler books even teaches patience and hand-eye coordination as they learn to turn sturdy board book pages and then graduate to paper pages. Of course, toddler books are a great way to introduce and teach your little ones about the world around them – animals, emotions, letter sounds, rhyming words, and more. Needless to say, reading toddler books daily with your little ones is the perfect way to spend quiet quality time together.
Books for 18-Month-Olds
When looking for books for 18-month-olds, look for bright-colored pages with fun sounds and silly stories. Animals, dinosaurs, and lift-the-flap books keep children wanting storytime to go longer. It is important to re-read books to your littles so they become familiar with the vocabulary and rhyming sounds. As they learn to talk, your littles will even “read” their favorite books along with you because they will have them memorized.
Sandra Boynton boasts an amazing ability to write children’s stories that grant parents the ability to talk and sing with the sillies, which makes children laugh and really get into the toddler books. “Dinos To Go: 7 Nifty Dinostories in 1 Swell Book,” is no exception. Your little one will love Zoomer and Dozy. Once your little one has a favorite dinosaur story, you can use the colorful picture tabs to read the fun stories in any order.
Bedtime Peekaboo, a touch-and-feel and lift-the-flap book tops the list of interactive toddler books. Little ones love a good game of Peekaboo. Bedtime Peekaboo by DK Publishing will quickly create a nighttime routine for you and your little ones. Behind the durable flaps are illustrations of babies and toys. As you read the first sentence, your child will already be wanting to flip the flap to get you to say, “Peekaboo!”
Eighteen months is the age when animals and sounds are of real interest. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman is about a sweet little baby bird that hatches as the mom is out finding food. The baby bird falls out of the nest and starts to look for his mommy. He comes across a few animals and non-animals thinking they are his mommy. He is reunited with her at the end, of course.
My Little Animal Book by Roger Priddy makes a fantastic 1st birthday gift! As your child grows and learns leaps and bounds, he often starts learning animals and their sounds. This 8.8 by 8.8-inch book is filled with vibrant photographs of household pets, farm animals, and exotic animals so your little zoologist can learn about a variety of animals. Like most toddler books, it can be wiped off with a damp cloth so it is able to withstand sticky fingers.
Who doesn’t love googly eyes? In “See the Sea!” by Allia Zobel Nolan colorful sea creatures come to life in Michael Terry’s illustrations. Each character from Winona Whale to Clark T. Shark boasts the laugh-out-loud movable googly eyes. Your preschoolers will love “seeing the sea” and learning colors with the big-eyed underwater creatures.
Let’s Look! A Baby Einstein First Look and Find Book is a great way to get your child to interact with the pages of the book. The book teaches listening skills and observation skills as you and your child explore shapes, colors, and concepts in colorful Baby Einstein scenes. Children will search for everyday items like animals, shapes, and toys, as well as letters of the alphabet.
“You Are My Baby” is a simple yet beautifully illustrated story. You turn the main page for the mama animal, and then the middle of the book is a smaller page so your child can turn it to reveal that mama animal’s baby. It is really great way to involve your child in the reading process.
Best Toddler Books for Children Ages 2-3
Bedtime stories can be a way to teach your toddlers and preschoolers about more than animals and the alphabet. Your children will also enjoy learning about potty time, school, family, and more. Your littles will continue to love lift-the-flap books, colorful illustrations, and witty stories. After all, don’t you?
Lift-the-flap books are a major hit at this age but this one really helps little ones grasp the concept of the potty. Author Karen Katz writes “A Potty for Me!” from the point of view of a child who just received her first potty from Mommy. From sitting on the potty to success, this toddler book can be a road map for beginning to potty train.
“Who Do You Love? A Touch and Feel Book” features different textures so your little one can pet the animal fur throughout storytime. It is a giggly favorite because of that. The book by Bendon Publishing is illustrated by Melanie Mitchell with colorful and lovable animals. It is a very sweet book and especially perfect for families with multiple children.
Your children will love learning their letters from Lois Ehlert’s book, “Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z.” Not only does this book teach the alphabet literally from A to Z, but also introduces your little ones to fruits and vegetables from around the world. Ehlert, the author and illustrator, makes learning and mealtime fun with a glossary at the end of the book to learn more about the fruits and vegetables.
Sandra Boynton’s “Tickle Time” is a great book to read any time of the day. It has made-up words that will have the whole room laughing. It is fun and short and will make you laugh and laugh, tickling each other when it says “gitchy-gitchy goo” (which is A LOT!).
Another Sandra Boynton book, “Snuggle Puppy!” is about a mommy dog and her puppy making cookies. Mommy dog tells her puppy how much she loves her. It is a fun way to reassure your little one of your love!
Best Bedtime Books for Preschoolers
As your toddlers begin to grow up, they will continue to love books with lots of actions, pictures, and repeating words. They will enjoy stories about family, children their age, and animals. And, yes, they will still love reading the same story again and again. It is a way for your little ones to continue learning language, vocabulary, communication, and about the world around them.
This one is an oldie but a goody. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch is the inevitable tear-jerker that every mom reads to her children at least a hundred times, and cries even harder every time it is read. The book, beautifully illustrated by Sheila McGraw takes Mom and the child on a journey of growing up and growing old.
It is not a complete list of kid’s books without at least one Dr. Seuss book. “The Foot Book” boasts lots of tongue-tying sentences that will really capture your preschooler’s attention. From slow feet to quick feet to trick feet to sick feet, “The Foot Book” teaches children about opposites and a love of reading with its sing-song memorable phrases.
Once you and your child read your first Llama Llama book, you quickly will discover the entire series of Llama Llama books about every occasion. “Llama Llama Nighty-Night” by Anna Dewdney takes you and your preschooler on Llama Llama’s trip to bed. From a splish splash in the tub to putting on his red pajamas, your child will love the catchy rhymes and easy rhythm of the short story. The adorable artwork will have you falling in love with the cute little Llama Llama.
All children love animals. You may feel like you have every animal book known to man, but “Dear Zoo” is one of the Top 5 animal books that you should have in your collection. The story by Rod Campbell incorporates the lifting of the flaps to make your child feel involved as you read. The lift-and-flap book helps your child remember what is going on in the story and teaches him to anticipate what is coming next.
Who doesn’t love this book!? “Guess How Much I Love You” is a sweet story about a love between daddy and son. The story by Sam McBratney is refreshing to see the daddy taking care of his Little Nutbrown Hare. Little Nutbrown Hare shows “Daddy” Big Nutbrown Hare that he loves him as wide as he can reach and as far as he can hop. Big Nutbrown Hare assures Little Nutbrown Hare that he loves him even further and higher. The sweet animals come to life in the delightful drawings by Anita Jeram.
This is another oldie but a goody. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” incorporates the life cycle of a butterfly into the story. The story written and illustrated by Eric Carle teaches children about nature. The little holes in the book where the caterpillar is eating through everything from an apple to salami keep your child’s attention. Your preschooler will have fun pretending to have tummy aches when the caterpillar eats all the junk food. And, of course, your preschooler will quickly be “reading” along with you because the picture cues in the story help with early reading.
When you build your home library with books for 18 month olds, your little ones will reap the benefits of bedtime books, quality time with parents and older siblings, knowledge, communication skills, and more. The perfect toddler books let you read fun stories with love and laughter creating a love of learning for your children that can last a lifetime, as well as create a tradition and routine for you and your little ones. Setting aside a daily time to read to your toddlers makes them feel safe, connected, and loved.
WANT TO READ MORE?
For more wonder toddler books check out the Daily Mom article, “12 Books Your 12 Month Old Will Love.”
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