best books for 2-year-olds
Children's Books, Education

30+ Best Books for 2-Year-Olds and 3-year-olds (24-48) | Updated 2024

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There are tons of books for babies, but what are the best books for 2-year-olds, and what are the best books for 3-year-olds? How to choose the most suitable for your baby’s first library? In general, children who are read to from an early age do better when they get to school. Learning baby rhymes and very short stories for kids together will give them a flying start in life! These are the major benefits of reading to children, but there is certainly more to that.

If you’d like to know how reading affects your baby, when to start reading with kids, and how to read to toddlers, check this guideline.

But doing better in school is not the most important point among them all. Reading to a toddler is, indeed, the most incredible paid-off activity because it enhances your child’s language skills, develops all mother-tongue languages at once, improves imagination of creating new stories, characters, and even learns to dream. I can’t stress out more about the importance of reading, especially if you read aloud to toddlers.

Check the age-by-age guide to reading to your baby, including the benefits of reading to children and toddlers.

Choosing books for 2-year olds is a very pleasant and interesting task. As a trilingual family, we have prepared for you an amazing selection of books in three different languages for different age groups.

30+ Books for 2-3-Year-Olds: Popular Classic Children’s Books You Should Read to Your Baby (0-12m)

It is important to note that all age groups are different and unique. So, when choosing books for two-year-olds, keep in mind a few things:

  • How old is your baby?
  • What does your routine look like?
  • What does she like doing the most? Does she like listening to music, touching different textures and surfaces, or looking at pictures?

Babies from birth up to one year of age are quite different from the toddlers who reached two years. They just start their journey in this world, and it is important to support them in every step, such as build an understanding of the world’s environment and their own body.

Check our special post on the benefits of black and white visual stimulation for babies.

Tip: because 2-3-year-old toddlers still tend to be hard on their playthings, stick mostly to board books for toddlers, which can take rough handling and even chewing.

Twenty-four months to thirty-six months (24-36)

Many toddlers find the familiar routine of reading reassuring and calming. The same goes for familiar books. This helps explain why children may ask for the same book repeatedly. Experts think it helps children make sense of and then remember new words.

When your child reaches two years of age, this is where the whole fun begins. You can enjoy reading, acting, pretending, creating stories with the characters, and even searching for a similar character in other books. We have been repeating stories that we had read with our farm animals and jungle animal toys, insects, and sea life. We also were taking roles and pretending to use whatever things we could find in the house at the moment. This time is truly fun and pleasant for both parents and kids. Therefore, storybooks for 2-year-old toddlers are so important.

You will spend a lot of time reading to your child and have great laughs. This is also the best way to avoid any screen-time.

30+ Top Books for 2-Year-Olds and 3-Year-Olds

1. Giraffes Can’t Dance Board book

One of the best books for two-year-olds, “Giraffes Can’t Dance”, is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.

It is an amazingly attractive book with jaunty rhythm, funny rhymes, and colorful pictures to spark interest in the read-aloud crowd.

2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Paperback)

What a great way to learn English letters and alphabet! This is a very fun and creative book filled with rhymes that you can read starting from one year of age. Your child will start repeating all rhymes quickly. This book also helps your toddler to recognize letters and start building them into the words.

3. The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books

Hit the road reading with Dr. Seuss! Tucked inside this cute little blue box topped with a plastic handle and secured by a tuck closure are board book editions of the classic Dr. Seuss titles “Hop on Pop”, “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!”, “Ten Apples Up On Top!”, and “The Shape of Me and Other Stuff”.

Ideal for the holidays, new mothers, and happy occasions of all kinds, this is a literacy-nurturing gift that babies can literally sink their teeth into!

4. P is for Potty! (Lift-the-Flap)

Sesame Street’s Elmo tells little girls and boys ages 1 to 3 all about how to use the potty in this sturdy lift-the-flap board book with more than 30 flaps to find and open. It’s the perfect mix of fun and learning for potty-training toddlers—especially while they practice sitting on the potty! Sturdy flaps will hold up to hours of repeat lifting and peeking, and toddlers will delight in the surprises they find under the flaps.

5. The Pout-Pout Fish Board book

This is the book in which a simple act of kindness goes a long way toward changing someone’s self-portrait. The Pout-Pout Fish delivers a few clear messages that are true not just for the children this book was designed for, but adults as well:

  • How we see ourselves can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • What we “see” in that mirror is who we’ll end up being.
  • We are capable of influencing others in positive ways by demonstrating simple acts of kindness and compassion.

6. Where’s Spot? Board book

This book is brilliant and is great for teaching spatial concepts, such as “under, behind, on”, etc. Also, it is super fun and it is really easy to facilitate conversation during it, which is so important for language development. For example,

  • Is he in the closet?
  • No.
  • What’s in the closet? What sound does it make? etc.

There are so many ways you can use this book to teach your toddler that he won’t get bored with the story.

7. Grumpy Monkey (Hardcover)

The hilarious #1 New York Times bestselling picture book about dealing with unexplained feelings, and the danger in suppressing them.

Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it–how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

Seriously, you and your child will have great laughs again and again.

8. I Spy – Animals! (Paperback)

This is a fun guessing game for 2-4-year olds. They’ll develop observational skills, learn about animals, and they’ll be having so much fun they won’t even know they’re learning.

Each puzzle focuses on a different letter of the alphabet – all you need to do is find the one animal that matches, then turn the page and see whether you’ve chosen correctly. A perfect book for little learners.

From this series you may like also:

9. If Animals Kissed Good Night Board Book

This is a bedtime story that is perfect for your one-year-old baby. It introduces a lot of animals and their sounds in a variety of settings. What I like the best about this book that it is structured in rhyme, so your baby soon is able to recite this book.

It also has a great collection:

10. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why

Personally, this is my favorite series. I love buying my child everything about the jungle, sea life, and ocean, space, dinosaurs, science, and body. At the age of two, we stocked ourselves with numerous such books in different languages.

This book hits all the records because it has all these “Why” questions that raise a lot of curiosity to your toddler but also yourself. It is colorful in good quality. And you can get it in hardcover, paperback, or on your kindle.

Check out their fantastic series and get a bundle set:

11. Look Inside Series: Space (Hardcover)

This is a great fun flap book packed with interesting information about space, and the amazing things that float through it – stars, moons, comets, and the planets of our solar system. Each double-page spread has a stunning color illustration, and several flaps to lift to find out more about what’s going on in the scene – such as what goes inside the International Space Station, how astronauts visited the Moon and what they did there, as well as the history of astronomy, from Galileo to the Hubble Space Telescope.

I love it because it has flaps which are a lot of fun for toddlers. This is a great motivation for a child to open this book again and again. Flaps are quite sturdy too.

Also, you can form an absolutely amazing set from this series. Our favorite was about the human body, transport, and how things work.

12. Read it Yourself with Ladybird Collection 50 Books Box Set Pack

It is an amazing collection that has it all for different levels (1, 2, 3, and 4). It offers 50 books box set, including such stories as Moshi monster, Peppa pig, Charlie and Lola, Wizards of Oz, Topsy and Tim, Cinderella, Harry, and the dinosaurs united, Heidi, Snow White, and the seven dwarfs and much more.

My husband got this set and then read these books in Spanish to our toddler.

It is great to have added these series and form a bundle set that will serve you during the entire primary school too.

If your child has started to read, here you can find more suggestions on chapter books for beginning readers.

Enjoy your time together reading books!

Do you have a more interesting book to offer? Share with us in the comments below!

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