Our favourite children's books for toddlers

I love books. There is nothing better than sailing away on a ship of words which swirl around you and reel you into this imaginary world and carry you away with it.

I don't get much time to read anymore, fitting everything into life is almost impossible and the reading has had to be put on the back burner for now. I'm not someone who can read a chapter a night, and when the chapter is over, put the book down and go to sleep.

I have, more times than I would like to admit, slipped out of bed once Gary is asleep and sat in the living room reading, for hours, until the book was finished. I cannot put books down, and I don't want to. Finding 8 hours in a day to read a really good book just isn't possible when you have a toddler and a baby. I'd rather wait until I have the time, than try to read a book chapter by chapter.

I have always loved reading, when I was little, my mum used to have to get me dressed for school around whatever book I was reading. I wasn't told off at school that often, but I often had reading books confiscated because I was reading under the table rather than listening to the lessons.

I'm so excited to read with my kids, especially when we get to some of my favourites, like The Faraway Tree and all or Roald Dahl's books. Winnie the Pooh and the Wind in the Willows, and all the other classics that I have loved since I was small.

We have a huge amount of books already, and our favourites change by the week. I know that there are so many books out there, and it's so difficult for parents to choose which ones their kids will love. So I've put together our current favourites (This is for my 2 year old, my baby couldn't really care less what we are reading, he'd listen to me read the weather report).

Each Peach Pear Plum:

Each Peach Pear Plum is a book from my own childhood and it's still just as good as I remember. We love reading it, and our daughter loved finding all of the characters as we went through the book. It's definitely one of our favourites, and I know it off by heart. I often recite it to our baby when he's crying and it helps to calm him right down, I think it is the rhythm, rather than my speaking skills! (Buy here)

Dear Zoo:

I'm really pleased that so many of the books that I read as a child are still around and still favourites today. Obviously they are classics that have stood the test of time. 

Dear Zoo is short and sweet but it's a great book for engaging toddlers, ours loves making all the animal noises. (Buy here)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

I usually have to read this book about eight times because it is so short, and our toddler loves counting out the different fruits. We also have the puppet version but it's not the full book, so we keep going back to this one! (Buy here)

Hairy Maclary and Zachery Quack:

I think we need to expand our collection of Hairy Maclary books because this one is a firm favourite. The rhythm and rhyming never fails to make our toddler giggle and she loves listening to me trying to keep up with the pace of the adventure. (Buy here)

Room on the Broom:

Julia Donaldson is our current favourite author, as you will see. Room on the Broom is the first Julia Donaldson book we read, and it's another one I can recite without even opening the pages. We also have the TV show and the audio cd in the car. We cannot get enough of this book. (Buy here)

The Gruffalo:

The Gruffalo is a book that swings in and out of the favourite category, because I think our toddler sometimes finds it too scary, even though the Gruffalo actually looks very cute and cuddly. It's a daytime book, rather than a bedtime book for her, but I know so many other toddlers who have this read to them at least twice a week at bedtime. (Buy here)

Peppa Pig Goes Swimming:

There is a serious Peppa Pig obsession going on in our house, both the TV version and the books. This is her current favourite and it's another one that I need to read eight times in a row before she'll move onto something else. (Buy here)

Monkey Puzzle:

I love Monkey Puzzle, I think even more than our toddler. I love doing the voice for the increasingly exasperated monkey as the butterfly keeps introducing random animals as his mummy. Our toddler loves it when everyone is reunited at the end, and loves to point out the family members in the grouping. (Buy here)

Tabby McTat:

The rhyming and rhythm in this book make it an ideal one for bedtime. The action happens in the beginning of the book and it's a nice tidy story to wind down for bed. (Buy here)

Tales from Acorn Wood: Rabbit's Nap:

We have three books from the Acorn Wood series, but we always seem to be reading this one. Our toddler loves lifting the flaps and looking for the animals, and as Rabbit gets to nap in the end, it's a great lead into getting our toddler into her own bed! (Buy here)


You forget how old this book is until you sit down to read it all over again. It's vert quaint and old fashioned, but that's why I love it so much. If you aren't British, this book might not make any sense whatsoever as it's full of references to the UK back in the 1950's (at a guess). (Buy here)

Five Minutes Peace:

While this is not the only book about The Large Family, it's the only one we really seem to read over and over again. Poor Mrs Large and her quest for five minutes peace is rather reminiscent of mornings in our household. (Buy here)

That's Not My Snowman:

Another series that our toddler loves. We have quite a few of them, but this is the current favourite. I'm sure next week we'll be back to That's Not My Fairy, but in the meantime the Snowman reigns supreme. Our baby loves this too as he likes to touch all the texture bits and he can have a go at turning the pages himself as they are really chunky. (Buy here)

So that's my round up of our favourite books for our 2 year old and our 10 month old. What are the favourites in your house? 

What Katy Said
what katy said


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