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5 books for every toddler’s bookshelf

Jeff and I started reading to Eleanor the week she came home from the hospital. Obviously our teeny tiny newborn didn’t care at all about the bright pictures we were holding in front of her or the silly rhymes we were singing, but we knew we were developing good habits as a family.

It wasn’t until Eleanor was 1 year old that books really clicked and she became interested in books as more than chew toys. She loved pointing to pictures of objects she knew and turning the pages to keep the story going. She would sign more more” when a book was over and we’d read it six times straight.

Now at 15 months Eleanor has favorite books that she requests us to read, she turns to her favorite pages, and she tells us what’s happening in the book. I absolutely love seeing my little girl enjoy books and I hope that her interest continues to grow.

5 books for every toddler's bookshelf
Today I thought I’d share 5 books that Eleanor and I believe should be on every toddler’s bookshelf. So whether you’re starting a new collection or growing your library, here are a few of our top suggestions:

1. First 100 Words
5 books for every toddler's bookshelf  
Eleanor picks up this book all throughout the day. Each set of pages features a different category of common objects. Eleanor’s favorite pages are bath time and vehicles. She points to the train and says “choo choo” and tells us about everything baby needs to take a bath. This book is great for helping little ones recognize and name objects around the house as well as understand basic categorization.

2. Where is Baby’s Belly Button
5 books for every toddler's bookshelf
Author Karen Katz is a baby genius. Eleanor LOVES anything by Katz, but Where is Baby’s Belly Button tops the charts. The book features fun interactive flaps for your little one to lift while searching for various body parts. The teacher in me also loves that the text reinforces prepositions as you search “over, under and behind.” Eleanor and I like to find her ears, eyes, and belly button on her own body as we read the story too.

3. All the Awake Animals are Almost Asleep
5 books for every toddler's bookshelf
This book was a gift from my sister, and I absolutely adore it! As you can tell from the title, the entire book is written with alliteration. It goes through each letter of the alphabet using alliteration to tell about different animals going to sleep for the night. The illustrations are beautiful and it’s wonderful for developing phonological awareness. This book is a bit long for Eleanor’s attention span right now, so we just choose a few animals to read through at a time.

4. Bedtime for Chickies
5 books for every toddler's bookshelf
As the name suggests, this is a bedtime favorite around here! It is an incredibly clever book with good rhyme and predictable repetition. The chickies all have to get drinks, go potty, and hear a story before they can finally go to bed. I think every parents can relate to that saga, haha! Eleanor loves reading the story to us by saying “cheep cheep” when she sees the chicks and “nigh nigh” when they finally go to bed.

5. On the Night You Were Born
5 books for every toddler's bookshelf
Selfishly, this pick is less about Eleanor and more about me. On the Night you Were Born reminds me a lot of I’ll Love you Forever – it’s a book that just tugs at a mama’s heartstrings. I usually get a tear in my eye as I read this beautiful story and the illustrations are just wonderful. Eleanor gets to pick 99% of the time, but when it’s my turn, this one is always up first!

Bonus: Babybug Magazine 
5 books for every toddler's bookshelf
Now this pick isn’t a book, but it’s definitely something we love reading in our house. I subscribed Eleanor to Babybug magazine back in March and we’ve loved receiving these tot-sized magazines in the mail each month. I grew up reading Ladybug and Spider, so I knew that I wanted Eleanor to experience the same joy of getting the mail and diving into a new read!

Each issue contains short stories, poems and rhymes. It also includes fun extension activities for parents to do with their kids that coincide with the stories. I love having something fresh to read to Eleanor and appreciate extra tips wherever I can find them!

There’s nothing I love seeing more than Eleanor pulling over a basket of books and settling into her big fuzzy chair to read. I hope you find a new favorite from our suggestions today!

Your turn:
What book should we add to our library?

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