An exciting list of 25 books to read aloud with your toddler. This list consists of some of my family’s most loved books.
Exploring the world of reading has never been so fun. Now that my boy is a toddler, we’re beginning to move into true storybooks to read aloud, and not just picture books that help my boy recognize everyday items like a ball or spoon. We read aloud books my mother handed down to me from my childhood, and it’s incredible watching my little boy grow and change with each story told!
As a result, I am a huge advocate for steering clear of twaddle (a term coined in the Charlotte Mason circles that I happen to enjoy using), and instead focusing on good quality children’s literature. I don’t know about you, but I sorely dread reading a silly book with the latest action figure on it. The sentences are bland, the storyline sub par, and the illustrations busy and overwhelming (the majority of the time). I prefer reading books that have stood the test of time, and I have found … so does my little boy!
But before you think I’m too crazy, rest assured we have a few dinosaur books that talk, fire engine gears to turn, and horns to honk on a few of our books. But these are a fun exception, not the rule for what we spend the majority of our time reading. The point of reading is to help my son to develop language skills, including his vocabulary. Not to mention, the incredible moments of bonding while curled up in the chair reading a riveting story of a curious little monkey! Reading isn’t for the sake of reading, something to check off my to do list. It serves a purpose. I want to make it count.
A local reader recently asked me to share book ideas for toddlers and preschoolers. Since I just shared with you my passion for reading aloud with your children, I thought it’d be helpful to list some of my favorite books to read aloud to my toddler!
Also be sure to check out the Before Five in a Row Curriculum we use with our toddler.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I am also an affiliate of other affiliate programs for individual companies. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
25 Books to Read Aloud to Your Toddler in 2013
The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones
“Every Story Whispers His Name” – This is hands down our favorite children’s story Bible. It is accurate in its retelling of the stories, and beautifully illustrated. We read a story (or two) every night before bed. We’re on our fourth or fifth read through of this little gem.
The Fruit of the Spirit is Jesus In Me, by Dandi Daley Mackall
I love this fun little introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit. This book will have a key spot on our bookshelves in the coming year as I plan to do a Fruit of the Spirit preschool curriculum with Samuel.
Read more about the fun we had with our Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers/Preschoolers here!
If Jesus Walked Beside Me, by Jill Roman Lord
A sweet story about a little boy imagining Jesus walking beside him from baseball to bedtime. It’s a gentle reminder that Jesus is with us always.
Prayers for Children, by Eloise Wilkin
Prayer for Children is a great introduction to prayer that has stood the test of time. This is a classic, full of beautiful poetry and illustrations.
Little Blue Truck, by Alice Schertle
We’ve been reading about Blue since Sam was a year old. Not a week goes by we don’t read this book multiple times. It’s a permanent in our books. It never gets rotated out!
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox
This book is an introduction to all the different kinds of babies God has created. I love sharing with Samuel about all the different kinds of boys and girls. It is beautifully illustrated, and we always have fun counting all the different babies fingers and toes.
Take a look at another great picture book by Mem Fox, Yoo-hoo, Lady Bug!
Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz
Another wonderful counting book, as well as body part recognition. I attribute much of Sam’s awareness of eyes, nose, ears, and knees to this book. Plus it’s just plain sweet kissing those chubby baby hands!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff
A silly little book about a mouse and a boy who goes to school. It’s fun to read about the crazy adventures of the little mouse, and the illustrations are wonderful!
See all the wonderful If You Give a Mouse… Fun with Mouse and Friends series here! Sam loves these!
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
We’ve recently become enthralled with teddy bears, so this book was much enjoyed. A cute story about a bear looking for his missing button so he can find a home. I can never read this book without considering adoption.
A Letter to Amy, by Ezra Jack Keats
Anything by Ezra Jack Keats is a winner. We’ve not read this one to Samuel yet, but it’s on my list for him in 2013. I adored this book as a child. It will be fun to partner sending letters to family with the retelling of this story in the months to come!
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
We’ve read The Tale of Peter Rabbit a few times, but it’s on our list to read through the entire Beatrix Potter series this year. Classic tales by an incredible author!
Curious George Flies a Kite, by H.A. Rey
This entire original collection is just wonderful. Actually, anything by H.A. Rey is wonderful. Samuel loves this monkey to death! He requests him often. When I took him to the library and showed him the Curious George selection, he went, “Whooooaaaa, George-yyyyy!!!!” And promptly pulled them all off the shelf.
But beware the new Curious George books are … well, not as good as the originals. But don’t worry, we still thoroughly enjoyed Curious George Snowy Day. We just prefer the older books!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
I would be remiss not to mention Eric Carle books. These are popular, and with good reason! Some other favorites are The Very Busy Spider, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?.
The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss
To be honest with you, as a kid, I wasn’t fond of these books. The silly words and storyline didn’t make sense to me, but as an adult, I love reading them with Sam. The sing-song verses and the quirky illustrations are incredibly engaging. The Foot Book is one of Sam’s favorite, along with There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! So I can’t leave out Dr. Seuss! We also enjoy Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!.
The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper
We love trains, planes, and automobiles. Therefore, this is such a fun read! Chu-chu!
A Color of His Own, by Leo Lionni
Song and Dance Man, by Karen Ackerman
A grandpa relives his days of being a song and dance man for his grandchildren … in his attic before dinner. I loved this book as a kid, and it’s fun to share with Sam now!
The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack
Come along with this funny little duck on his misadventures! This book has been around since 1933! Another one from my childhood boxes.
The Jumblies and Other Nonsense Verses, by Edward Lear, Diane Havens
Edward Lear is an acquired taste. It’s nonsensical writing, which simply means it doesn’t make a lick of sense. But it’s funny to children (and adults, if we’re honest) and engaging.
What books would you add to the list?
If you want to be intentional with telling your toddler or preschooler about Jesus and the Bible, then you’ll love our Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum!
As I researched various ways to teach my son his colors, shapes, and letters, I also began to brainstorm ways to teach him stories from the Bible. That’s how this was born.
Go HERE to read more about the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum.