53 best Recommended Reading List For Toddlers

3 to 5 year reading books

When children reach the preschool years, they start to take an active part in reading by asking questions, following the story and really paying attention to what the characters do and say. Reading fosters language development and auditory processing, as well as bonding between parents and their kids. The editors at bestappsforkids have compiled a library of their favorite children’s books that you and your children will enjoy reading over and over again. The characters are intriguing; the stories delightful! We hope you enjoy sharing them with your kids as much as we do with our own children. Happy reading!

Reading to your toddler is a wonderful thing that helps strengthen the bond between you and the child while also helping prepare the youngling for academic life. Use the following list of some of the best books for toddlers to get started!

1.I Am A Bunny

i am a bunny

I Am A Bunny is a simple story about–you guessed it–a bunny. The illustrations are wonderful, and your toddler will likely delight in them as well as the tale.

2.Where The Wild Things Are

where the wild things are

Where the Wild Things Are is a must-read for all children. It tells the story of Max, a child who misbehaves and is sent to his room without supper. A forest grows in the boy’s room, allowing him to continue with his wild ways. The forest features an array of “wild things,” aka strange-looking, huge creatures who decide Max is their king. Despite his newfound fame Max gets homesick and goes home to find his mother has left him dinner. The book and its stunning illustrations is a treat for both children and adults alike.

3.Goodnight Moon

Good night Moon

Goodnight Moon is a children’s classic, and one that features a beautiful, rhythmic story. Repeating the phrases is often enough to coax your child to sleep!

4.Little Monster’s Bedtime Book

Little Monster’s Bedtime Book is another classic and a collection of humorous poems. It introduces your child to 15 unique monsters, all of whom are getting ready for bed.


Corduroy books

Corduroy tells the tale of a department store plush bear who comes alive at night. He goes on a search for his missing button and discovers the store elevator, which he mistakes for a mountain, as well as the furniture section, which he mistakes for a palace. Corduroy tries to remove a button from a mattress only to fall off the bed and knock over a lap. The night watchman puts him back on the shelf, and the next day he is purchased by a little girl who has saved money in her piggy bank. It’s a great story about a little stuffed bear waiting for his child companion.

6.The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree - 2 to 8 Year book
This story of a young boy’s journey into manhood, with the tree that gives him so many wonderful things throughout the years, will capture your heart. A bittersweet tale, The Giving Tree shows the gift of giving and receiving, and our ability to love unconditionally.

7.The Little Mouse, The Red Strawberry and the Hungry Bear

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry - 1 to 4 years book
Do you think you can trick the mouse into giving you his juicy red strawberry? The reader takes part in this adorable book about a mouse, a bear and a tricky narrator (that’s you!) who loves strawberries. This is a book to be read over and over with your child.

8.The Runaway Bunny
By Margaret Wise Brown

The Runaway Bunny

When a young bunny decides to run away from home, his mother follows him to the ends of the earth to make sure he knows she loves him. This classic book, with its detailed illustrations, has sent many children to dreamland each night since it’s first publication in 1942.

9.Goodnight Moon
By Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon

When a little rabbit doesn’t want to go to sleep, he decides to tell every object in site goodnight. Children will love this book filled with goodnight wishes, and finding all the objects will keep them entertained!

10.The Tale of Peter Rabbit
By Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Mrs. Rabbit warns her children not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden. Will they listen? Peter ends up getting himself in some trouble in this humorous classic tale that has been a favorite of generations of children.

11.The Little House
By Virginia Lee Burton

The Little House

A little house in the country, surrounded by apple trees and lush green fields, soon finds itself surrounded by the big city. Winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1943, The Little House will delight children as this small country house finds its way back to where it belongs.

12.The Kissing Hand
By Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand

It’s time for Chester Raccoon to go to school, and he doesn’t want to — he wants to stay home with his mother. Chester’s mom finds a way he can take a part of her with him. Published by the Child Welfare League of America, this book is a delight.

13.The Little Engine That Could
By Watty Piper

The Little Engine That Could

A little train carrying toys for good little boys and girls encounters a mountain that looks almost impossible to pass. This beloved classic has generation after generation saying those magic words, “I think I can … I think I can.”

14.Blueberries For Sal
By Robert McCloskey

Blueberries for Sal

Sal, a young girl, sets off to collect wild blueberries with her mother. At the same time, a young bear cub sets out to find blueberries with her mother. What will happen when these two little ones start following the wrong mother? Children will love having this delightful Caldecott Honor Book read to them over and over again.


By Ludwig Bemelmans


Madeline is the smallest, but most mischievous student in Miss Clavel’s class. One night Madeline wakes the whole house with an attack of appendicitis. The book’s charming rhymes and Parisian charm will make it an instant favorite.

16.Harold and the Purple Crayon
By Crockett Johnson

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Harold takes a walk one day, taking with him only his big purple crayon. The adventure starts when he draws himself into a wonderfully imaginative story. This is a great book to kindle your child’s imagination and to show them that anything is possible.

17.Millions of Cats
By Wanda Gag

Millions of Cats

When an old man sets out to find the prettiest cat, he ends up bringing home “hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats.” When his wife points out they cannot keep them all, which one will get to stay?

18.The Complete Adventures of Curious George
By Margaret Rey

The Complete Adventures of Curious George

Curious George has entertained children for more than 50 years. This book combines all of Curious George’s famous antics into one 416-page collector’s book. It includes all seven of the original Curious George titles: Curious George, Curious George Takes A Job, Curious George Rides A Bike, Curious George Gets A Medal, Curious George Flies A Kite, Curious George Learns the Alphabet and Curious George Goes To The Hospital.

19.Where the Wild Things Are
By Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are

Sent to bed without his supper, Max has some ideas on how to spend his time. He puts on his wolf suit and imagines himself in a world full of loveable monsters. A Caldecott Medal winner; ALA Notable Children’s Book; Reading Rainbow Selection and New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book

20.Are You My Mother?
By Philip D. Eastman

Are You My Mother

When a baby bird is hatched while his mother is away from the nest, he sets off to find her. The little bird runs into many creatures along the way, including a cow, a steam shovel and a plane, all of which he asks, “Are you my Mother?” A wonderful first book for children!

21.The Velveteen Rabbit
By Margery Williams Bianco

A stuffed rabbit living in a nursery full of other toys waits for the day he will be picked as the child’s special toy. The rabbit befriends a Skin Horse who tells him, “When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” A timeless classic since it’s first publication in 1922.

22.Possum Come A-Knockin’
By Nancy Van Laan

A fast-paced, comical, rhyming book that gets more fun each time you read it. When someone knocks on the door, everyone stops what they’re doing to find out who, or what, it is. Could a possum come a-knockin’? Find out in this Parents’ Choice Award winning book.

By Janell Cannon

Stellaluna is a fruit bat that has been separated from her mother. She is adopted by a family of birds, and must quickly adapt to their way of life. Beautifully illustrated, Stellaluna is a wonderful story about being different and accepting others as they are. Factual notes on fruit bats are included at the end of the book


24.The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By Eric Carle

A hungry caterpillar eats his way through the book — literally! Each day of the week the caterpillar dines on a different delicacy, from apples on Monday, to plums on Wednesday, until he turns into a beautiful butterfly.

25.If You Give A Moose A Muffin
By Laura Joffe Numeroff

If you give a moose a muffin, of course he’s going to want some jam to spread on it. Children will love following along these series of events that take place because a young boy gives this moose a muffin. This is a great book to read aloud.

26.If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
By Laura Joffe Numeroff

Is you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk to go with it. But that’s not all he’s going to want! A little boy learns the hard way that giving a mouse a cookie is not as simple as it sounds. Another great book to read aloud!

By Kevin Henkes

“Isn’t he getting a little old to be carrying that thing around?” Maybe Owen is getting too old for his favorite blanket, Fuzzy. He will be starting kindergarten soon. But Owen will not give up Fuzzy that easily! A wonderfully told story about that special relationship between a child and his blanket or “lovie. ”

28.The Rainbow Fish
By Marcus Pfister and J. Alison James

Rainbow fish is so proud of his beautiful, shiny scales. He may be beautiful, but Rainbow Fish is also lonely. He learns that friendship is more important than beauty, and also learns the art of giving.

By Carol Carrick

Heather is sad each day her mother leaves her to go to work. But this Valentine’s Day she’ll find something else to do when she discovers a new lamb in Grandma’s barn. She thinks she’ll call him Valentine.

30.No More Kissing
By Emma Chichester Clark

For Momo the monkey, kissing is yuck! But after his baby brother arrives, Momo finds out that kissing isn’t so bad.

31.A Book of Hugs
By Dave Ross

What does it feel like to hug a fish? Or how about a tree? This delightful book covers all sorts of hugs, and even has some facts and hints on something kids love to do — Hug!

32.Mouse’s First Valentine
By Lauren Thompson

What could Little Mouse’s big sister be doing with paste, lace, paper and ribbon? Little Mouse will soon find out! A great book to introduce Valentine’s Day to your child — and possibly inspire a craft project or two!

33.Counting Kisses
By Karen Katz

A family showers Baby with kisses in this adorable counting book. Just how many bedtime kisses are enough? Read this delightful book and find out!

34.Froggy’s First Kiss
By Jonathan London

Frogilina is the prettiest frog Froggy has ever seen. Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Could this be love? Froggy needs to find out!

Parenting Books:

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have, but you don’t have to do it without support! We’ve picked our favorite books to help you over most of the hurdles you’ll encounter during your parenting adventure.

35.How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too!
By Dr. Sal Severe

This is an excellent tool for parents — and professionals — who want to improve their parenting skills. Dr. Severe gives down-to-earth, realistic tips and advice to help parents increase their skills, which will encourage more positive behavior in their children.

36.Run, Yell, Tell: Safe Choices, Safe Children: A Pro-Active Guide to Teaching Children About Abduction and Abuse
By Diana R. Jones

Filled with practical advice on how to talk with your kids about abduction and other safety issues in a non-scary way. A great resource for parents as well as teachers.

37.150 Ways to Raise Creative, Confident Kids
By Silvana Clark

A creative collection of resources, ideas and recipes emphasizing getting the family together to have fun. Practical, easy-to-do activities that will make your child want to turn off the TV and interact with the family.

38.Perfect Parenting : The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips
By Elizabeth Pantley

A whole book of ideas to answer all your parenting questions. Practical advice on almost any topic that will give you confidence as your raise your child.

39.Hidden Messages: What Our Words and Actions Are Really Telling Our Children

Real-life scenarios introduced through short stories will teach you how your words and actions are really affecting your children. A refreshing approach that will show you the hidden messages you’re sending your children.

40.The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children: Parenting from the Heart
By Steven W. Vannoy

A collection of real life, uplifting stories about how parents can instill good morals in their children. Stories cover sharing, kindness, courage, trust, communication, responsibility, integrity and more.

41.How to Handle Bullies, Teasers and Other Meanies: A Book That Takes the Nuisance Out of Name Calling and Other Nonsense
By Kate Cohen-Posey

Cohen-Posey helps parents help their children through the rough spots. Her book helps children — and their parents — to understand what makes bullies act the way they do.

42.The Safe & Sound Child
By Larry Stone

An informative sourcebook with the most current information on how to keep your children safe. Easy-to-follow techniques and tips, from fire safety to childproofing your home, are covered.

43.Raising a Thinking Child: Help Your Young Child to Resolve Everyday Conflicts and Get Along With Others
By Myrna B. Shure

Shure’s program, called I Can Problem Solve, was developed to teach children how to think and solve daily conflicts on their own. Includes games, activities, communications techniques and dialogues to show you how to talk with your child.

44.Ready for Kindergarten
By Sharon Wilkens

Is your preschooler eager to start kindergarten? Wilkin’s banishes drudgery from getting ready for school with 156 imaginative kindergarten-prep activities that will delight your child so much she won’t realize she’s learning!

45.Don’t Divorce Your Children: Children and Their Parents Talk About Divorce
By Jennifer M. Lewis and William A. H. Sammons

Jennifer Lewis and William Sammons have combined their 20 years experience with dealing with families of divorce to write a book that represents both sides of a divorce — the parent’s and the children’s. Written in a diary format, it discusses a specific problem then follows with a doctor’s response.

46.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families : Building a Beautiful Family Culture in a Turbulent World
By Steven R. Covey, Sandra Merrill Covey

Stephen Covey has incorporated his famous “seven habits” from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to apply to parenting and today’s families. A practical guide to solving family problems — from serious to the everyday.

47.Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping With Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
By Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

Through stories from their patients, and personal experiences (both authors have ADD) authors Hallowell and Ratey try to explain many myths associated with ADD. Filled with tips for dealing with an ADD child or adult.

48.The Discipline Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Better-Behaved Child-From Birth to Age Ten
By Dr. William and Martha Sears

Dr. William and Martha Sears, who have raised eight children together, talk about such issues as self-esteem, divorce, being a single parent, spanking and much more.

49.The Montessori Method
By Maria Montessori

This book is Montessori’s own exposition of the theory behind her innovative educational techniques. She shows parents, teachers and administrators how to “free a child to learn through his own efforts.”

50.1001 Rhymes & Fingerplays
By Totline Staff (Compiler)

A wonderful resource for parents and preschool teachers! Packed full of fingerplays, rhymes and songs that can be easily incorporated into playtime, story time or used as themed teaching units for homeschoolers.

51.Preschool for Parents: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Preschool
By Diane Trister Dodge

How do you know you’ve selected the best preschool for your child? This book will help! Based up the latest research, author Diane Trister Dodge reminds us that children learn at their own pace, and that academics is not the only factor when picking the right school for your child

52.Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A Family Peace Plan
By Cynthia Whitham

A step-by-step guide for help reduce the conflict many parents have with their children. Whitham offers practical solutions to make your children more cooperative.

53.Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems
By Richard Ferber

Wish your child would go to sleep at night and stay asleep? Richard Ferber, the director of the Sleep Laboratory and Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, offers help and solutions for parents dealing with sleep problems.