13 Must-Have Books for Your Toddler

Reading with my three-year-old is one of my favorite things to do, and that's a good thing because there are so many benefits to reading with your children.

Reading with toddlers and preschoolers promotes communication and language and exercises their critical thinking skills. Reading also promotes creative thinking and helps kids relate to new and different situations in their lives, such as starting a new school or becoming a sibling. Reading also requires patience, discipline, and concentration, which are skills toddlers are beginning to learn and grasp.

Here are 13 popular books for toddlers. There's something to discuss in each of them, whether it's a lesson or a fun story from the imagination.

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

By Maurice Sendak

This classic book is a whimsical tale about a young boy whose imagination transports him far away from problems at home to a land where almost anything can happen. The author writes in free-flowing, dream-like text, which seems to mirror the flow of the child's mind. Children of all ages will be enraptured by this wonderful fantasy story.

The Day The Crayons Quit

The Day The Crayons Quit

By Drew Daywalt

Do you ever wonder what your crayons are thinking? Duncan finds out in this hilarious book where all the crayons show their true colors, their complaints and their arguments with other crayons within the box. This is a funny book for both kids and parents.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Knuffle Bunny

By Mo Williams

Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat, but on the way home Trixie realizes she left her bunny behind. How will they get the funny back? This book takes place in Brooklyn and is beautifully illustrated. This true-to-life tale is about what happens when Daddy's in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong. Knuffle Bunny has two more books to the series which follow Trixie and Knuffle Bunny as Trixie grows up.

Giraffes Can't Dance

giraffes can't dance

By Giles Andreae

Gerald the giraffe wants to dance, but he looks funny and his body doesn't move right. All the other animals tease him, but there is one little creature who believes in Gerald. "Everything makes music," the cricket explains, "if you really want it to." Gerald starts swaying to his own music and realizes he can dance! This inspirational tale has fun rhymes and colorful pictures that children will love.

Can I Eat That?

Can I Eat That?

By Joshua David Stein

This is the new favorite in my home. It is a playful and factual series of questions and answers about the things we eat... and don't eat! This humorous, stylized and entirely unexpected set of food facts will engage both good eaters and resisters alike. With questions both practical ("Can you eat a sea urchin?") and playful ("Do eggs grow on eggplants?"), this read-aloud text offers young children facts to share and the subtle encouragement to taste something new!

Rosie Revere Engineer

Rosie Revere Engineer

By Andrea Beauty

Rosie Revere Engineer is an inspiring book about a young girl who who dreams of becoming a great engineer. Rosie and her aunt create a flying contraption which doesn't work and Rosie deems herself a failure. Aunt Rose teaches Rosie you can only truly fail if you quit. This book has beautiful pictures and is a charming story about pursuing your dreams and believing in yourself.

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

By Shel Silverstein

This a classic story about a young boy and his beloved tree. This is a sweet story, with a bit of sadness that teaches children about the power of love, giving and acceptance.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

By Michael Rosen

This is a fun book where your child can join a brave family as they head off in search of bear. There is wordplay, humor and sing-songy language. This book can be chanted aloud and acted out by children of all ages.

Press Here

Press Here

By Herve Tullet

Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and join the author for a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and engage in other silly things. Children will giggle as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! This unique picture book is all about the power of imagination and interactivity.

The Pout Pout Fish

The Pout Pout Fish

By Deborah Diesen

Mr. Fish has a permanent frown on his face. One by one, other sea creatures tell him he should be happier, but he always has the same reply: "I'm a pout-pout fish with a pout-pout face, so I spread dreary-wearies all over the place." Then one day a new friend unexpectedly kisses him! From that moment on, Mr. Fish realizes that he isn't a pout-pout fish after all. He's a kiss-kiss fish, and he spreads cheery-cheeries all over the place. This book has beautiful illustrations, catchy lyrics and an uplifting story line.

Peanut Butter and Cupcake!

Peanut Butter and Cupcake

By Terry Border

Peanut Butter is lonely and tried to find some new friends, but good friends can be hard to come by. This story is silly on the outset, but shares a meaningful message about friendship. This rhyming books with food characters is fun for kids and parents alike.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If you give a mouse a cookie

By Laura Numeroff

This best seller has bright colorful drawings and an entertaining story of how one simple event, giving a mouse a cookie, triggers other thoughts and events. As a favorite of many children. Children can identify with both the mouse and the boy. Everyone knows that if you give a mouse a cookie...well, he'll end up wanting your entire house!

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos

By Adam Rubin

Dragons love tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa...oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble. This story has lovely drawings, great humor and is a fun reads for kids of all ages.

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