Two-year-olds are so exciting. They absorb everything around them at an incredible rate and learn quickly. Books are great for helping them to learn and process information. We have compiled a list of 27 books that 2-year-olds and their parents love.
How do you find the best books to read for your 2-year-old?
As 2-year-olds have their individual personalities, so do they have their preferences in books. One child may be passionate about something another child might not.
These tips are for educators, parents, grandparents, and other people who are looking for the best books to read for their 2-year-olds.
Simple illustrations and bright colors
Similar to how babies love bright, vibrant colors, 2-year-olds also find these colors very attractive. The illustrations are simple enough to keep 2-year-olds from becoming overwhelmed so they can follow the story and photos more easily.
Simple text with some new vocabulary
Two-year-olds can lose interest quickly if there are too many words. It is best to keep them interested by only mentioning a few words per page. Introduce new vocabulary, but don’t be afraid to use it! Even 2-year-olds can learn quantum Physics.
Small fingers can easily manipulate the thick pages and covers thanks to their thick covers. Children can also rip and destroy their books more easily if they are not careful. It is easy to tear paper pages, so we recommend that you read them with adult supervision.
Children love to interact with books with flaps and moving parts while they read. Text that asks questions, or books that encourage movement (such as yoga books), are all great to read.
Repetitive words or rhyming
Books with rhymes or sing-song text are a favorite among young children. Repetitive words are appealing to 2-year-olds, who love the predictability.
Topics and themes of interest
Each child is different, but they will be more inclined to read books that feature characters or animals they like. You can also start with different themes, like books about bugs and books about outer space.
What is the best way to read with a two-year-old?
Two-year-olds love to read books on their own. Parents and other caregivers should still read with toddlers every day. These are some tips to make reading with your 2-year-old a fun and rewarding experience.
Your 2-year-old can choose the book.
Preschoolers and toddlers love to feel independent and in control. This is a great way to give them the freedom to choose what they do each day.
Repeat the readings.
Although it may be difficult for parents to allow their children to read Go Dog, Go 23 times in a row, (the book is getting longer every time), repetitions can prove to be very beneficial to young learners. Each time they read the story and text, they learn more. This helps them to build a foundation for later reading.
Encourage them to read repetitive text.
When they are able to correctly “read” a page or word in a book, two-year-olds feel satisfied and accomplished. It is a great skill to let them predict a word or phrase in a story. (For example, see One Duck Stuck in this list.
Your 2-year-old can “read” the photos
Although most toddlers are not ready to read words, they can “read” pictures within a story. They can remember a book by heart, especially if they’ve read it so many times.
Ask them to read the story aloud to you, and then let them use the pictures to recall the details. It’s okay if they don’t get it right.
Our Top Picks for Books for 2-Year-Olds
My four children (and my youngest, a 2-year-old) have taught me a lot about books that 2 years olds love. These are our top picks for children’s books, both old and new. They will be loved by your 2-year-old!
Best Books Overall/Best Story Books for 2 Year-Olds
Brown Bear, Brown Bear. What do You See? Bill Martin Jr.
Parents and children love this classic, predictable book. Children love Eric Carle’s bold illustrations and the predictable text.
Brown Bear is a coloring book that teaches colors, rhymes, and animal names. Two-year-olds will quickly grasp the next page and enjoy pointing out each animal.
We recommend that you also check out Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr books!
Press here is an interactive book for toddlers that wishes they could have a tablet or a phone. Each page directs the reader in a different direction, with a new result every time.
Click Here to teach children about cause and effect, counting, colors, and how to count.
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
Where’s Spot is another interactive book we love for 2 year-olds. It features brightly colored illustrations and hidden flaps that lift. As you read, your 2 year old will enjoy chiming in with each “no”.
It is great for teaching spatial concepts like “inside” or “under”.
Peekaboo morning is an excellent book to begin your day or end it at the night. This book is boldly illustrated and will be loved by your 2-year-old. They’ll love finding their family members (and the bunny) through this book. This board book is a wonderful addition to our family’s collection. It will help our children learn that different people are beautiful.
This Caldecott Medal Winner deserves to be in every child’s book collection. Mothers and toddlers alike will relate to Max’s tale of mischief, love, and friendship in Where the Wild Things Are.
Although this story can cause too much rumpus at night, it is a great book to read during the day when you can be wild!
Nelly Gnu, Daddy Too is the latest book by the author of Llama Llama. This funny tale follows the adventures of a little girl with her dad as they go about daily life together. This book is a great example of how dads can get involved with their kids and also shows non-traditional gender roles within families.
Love makes a Family by Sophie Beer
Love is not just a verb. All the things we do are love, and that is what makes a family. It doesn’t really matter how your family looks or who it is made up of, what matters most is that you love each other. This book is a great way to highlight differences and diversity within families.
One Duck Stuck was a book that my oldest child received 16 years ago when she was in preschool. This book has been a family favorite ever since. Your child and you will both enjoy the rhymes and the excitement that builds as the animals try to free the duck from its rut. You won’t be surprised to hear your child say “help, help, who can assist” when he or she gets stuck.
The perfect book to give as a 2nd birthday present is You’re Two This book is one of the best books for 2 years olds. It celebrates everything that’s two. Two thumbs up, two arms open for cuddling, and so forth.
This springtime rhyme story shares the joy that can only be had on a rainy morning. Your 2-year-old will have fun counting up, and down, and enjoy the details of each page.
You and your little nature lover may even find yourselves on an adventure together the next time it pours. Get your rain boots!
This hilarious tale, written by Stuck’s author, will make your child laugh from cover to cover. Floyd does everything possible to lift his kite from a tree. He even throws an orangutan. Although it is a bit too funny to be a bedtime story in our house, we love it!
Opposites are also on our top list of best books for 2 years olds. It’s great for helping toddlers learn new vocabulary and helps them communicate. It is a fun book that entertains young readers and introduces the concept of opposites. Wright’s famous works are used to teach words like round/pointy or bright/dark as well as city/nature.