20 Great Story Books for Toddlers

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Even though they can’t read, toddlers love to look at books. These story books for toddlers will keep them engaged with gorgeous pictures and great stories.

20 great books for toddlers

The world of books is so vast that we may miss out on a lot of great titles. Because of this I have compiled a list of books for toddlers based on what both of my kids have enjoyed and recommendations from friends.

I have intentionally left out some of the perennial favorites since I think most of us know and love Good Night Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, etc. If you have any books to share that didn’t make this list I would love to hear about them!

Story books for toddlers


Triangle is the first book in the shape trilogy by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. It is not only beautiful, but it’s also funny. This book will have you and your toddler wondering which shape they can trust.

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Cars and Trucks and Things that Go

Your toddler will love looking at the fun illustrations in this book, especially funny cars like pickles and hot dogs.

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Chicka Chicka 123

Help teach the toddler in your life to count in a fun way that they will want to hear over and over again.

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Mo Willems is a favorite in many families. The modern vintage look of his illustrations and his witty storytelling are engaging to kids and adults alike.

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Dr. Seuss’s ABC

Who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss? This book is a fun twist on learning the alphabet with typical Seuss silliness.

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The Foot Book

Your toddler will learn about opposites and parts of the body as only Dr. Seuss can teach them.

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Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

This retelling of the old classic tale is a truly laugh out loud funny book that will have you and your toddler in stitches.

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Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Say goodnight to all of the vehicles who work hard at the construction site all day long. This is a very cute bedtime book for toddlers who loves vehicles of all kinds.

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Good Night Gorilla

There aren’t many words in this cute story about a gorilla who follows the zookeeper home from the zoo, which is perfect for younger toddlers.

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If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

All of the If You Give a _____ a _____ books are a fantastic addition to a young child’s library. They will love the humorous and rhythmic storytelling and ask to read it over and over again.

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In the Night Kitchen

Join Mickey in his dream as he travels through the night kitchen.

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It’s Too Noisy! by Joanna Cole

We inherited this book when my oldest son was little and I’m glad we did. It is a story about a farmer and his very large noisy family. To get some relief from the noise he visits a wise man to ask him what to do. The solution ends up being pretty creative.


Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry

This beautifully illustrated rhyming book is sure to be a favorite. This story teaches children how to be respectful and thoughtful of others by helping out when you can.


The Maisy books by Lucy Cousins

We love Maisy. The pictures are mostly in primary colors with short text that makes these books very easy for little ones to memorize. I no longer read these books to my toddler, he” reads” them to me.


Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton

As a young toddler I had to read this book to my son several times a day. It’s a fun story that makes young children giggle.

Pete the cat and his 4 groovy buttons

Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean

Right now my son is obsessed with Pete the Cat. This was another library discovery that we ended up adding to our collection. Pete is a groovy cat who likes to sing his silly songs because it’s all good. As I write this my son is singing this story with his father.


Snow by Uri Shulevitz

A very nice winter story without many words but it doesn’t need them. The illustrations tell the story beautifully.


There’s a Cow in the Road! by Reeve Lindbergh

Rhyming stories seem to be a favorite of children and this is another one. When we read this book my son and his older brother before him love to read along. “…and the cow said moo” on every other page is their part and they say it loud and proud.


There’s a Monster at the End of this Book (Starring Grover) by Jon Stone

Another book from my childhood that I had to make sure was in my children’s’ collection. Who doesn’t love Grover? Grover hears that there is a monster at the end of the book and he does everything he can to keep the reader from getting to the end of the book. There is also a sequel with Elmo but it isn’t nearly as good as the original. This is another great read along book for young children.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Another classic. The illustrations are arts and craftsy and the story goes through the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly in a very cute way.

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