Your winter reading list is here! In the enchanting world of early childhood development, few experiences are as powerful and transformative as sharing a book with an infant or toddler. The magic of storytelling fosters language development, cognitive development and emotional intelligence, all while creating strong moments of connection between a young child and their caregiver. As educators, directors, and parents, selecting the right books to reach with a child is a crucial first step to creating positive and enriching reading experiences for young children. In this blog, we’ll explore a curated selection of the best books to read with infants and toddlers, designed to captivate their imaginations and set the stage for a lifelong love of reading.


“Peek-A-Who?” by Nina Laden:

Peek-a Who? (Lift the Flap Books, Interactive Books for Kids, Interactive Read Aloud Books): Laden, Nina: 9780811826020: Books

  • Perfect for the youngest readers, this interactive board book combines a playful game of peekaboo with colorful illustrations. The repetitive text and surprise reveals make it an engaging choice as it builds anticipation and language skills.


“Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell:

Dear Zoo: Rod Campbell: 9780200727792: Books

  • This classic lift-the-flap book introduces toddlers to different animals. The interactive format and repetition make it an engaging choice for young children who love surprises.


“Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” by Oliver Jeffers:

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth - Harvard Book Store

  • Oliver Jeffers’ beautifully illustrated book is a gentle introduction to the world for young readers. With a focus on the importance of kindness and understanding, it encourages toddlers to appreciate the beauty and diversity of our planet.


“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems:

Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems | The Scholastic Teacher Store

  • Mo Willems’ humorous and interactive book features a persuasive pigeon who desperately wants to drive the bus. Through engaging dialogue and expressive illustrations, toddlers will enjoy saying “no” to the pigeon’s persistent requests.


Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Padded Board Book: 9780547366203: Fox, Mem, Oxenbury, Helen: Books

  • Celebrate the uniqueness of babies around the world with this sweet and rhythmic book. Mem Fox’s poetic text paired with Helen Oxenbury’s charming illustrations make it a delightful exploration of diversity and love.


“I Like Myself!” by Karen Beaumont:

I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont | The Scholastic Teacher Store

  • This uplifting board book promotes self-love and acceptance in a fun and whimsical way. The vibrant illustrations and positive affirmations empower toddlers to embrace their individuality and uniqueness.


“Tubby” by Leslie Patricelli:

Tubby/Bañito by Leslie Patricelli: 9780763693169 | Books

  • Join Tubby, the adorable protagonist, in this charming board book that explores the daily routines of a toddler’s bath time. With simple text and expressive illustrations, it’s a relatable and entertaining that helps children prepare for their own routines.


“Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney:

Llama Llama Misses Mama: Dewdney, Anna: 8601400945568: Books

  • Another heartwarming addition to the Llama Llama series, this book explores the emotions of separation anxiety. Little Llama learns to navigate his feelings with the support of his teacher and friends.


“Goodnight Songs: Illustrated By Twelve Award-winning Picture Book Artists” compiled by Margaret Wise Brown:

Goodnight Songs: Illustrated... by Brown, Margaret Wise

  • A collection of soothing bedtime poems with enchanting illustrations by twelve different artists. This anthology provides a diverse and enchanting array of bedtime stories.


In the realm of early childhood education, the importance of exposing infants and toddlers to high-quality literature cannot be overstated. The books mentioned above not only entertain but also lay the foundation for language development, cognitive skills, positive relationship development and a lifelong love of reading. These moments of shared attention and interaction create a secure and nurturing environment, fostering a sense of trust and emotional attachment. Through the magical world of storytelling, infants and toddlers not only absorb language and cognitive skills but also experience the joy of shared discovery.