20 Best Books For 2 Year Olds To Get Them To Start Reading Early On

It’s never too early to start reading to your child, but when it comes to turning your little ones into young readers, nurturing their love for books and reading by the age of two is essential. 

Knowing how to choose the best books for 2 year olds can be a bit of a challenge, though.

This article will highlight some of the best books for 2-year-olds. It will also discuss what milestones most kids hit by the age of 24 months, helping you to navigate what books may be right on target for their development.

What milestones should my two-year-old hit?

When it comes to young kids in this age bracket, development is not a black-and-white matter. 

Kids start to develop at their own pace, and unless your little one is severely behind, you probably don’t need to worry too much about them suffering. 

While all parents should work with their children to make sure that they are developing appropriately, learning at this age should be fun.

When kids love to learn, and they get to do it alongside a supportive caregiver, they tend to excel.

Emotional and intellectual milestones

At two years of age, your child should start to understand emotions when they see them, especially through facial expressions. 

At this age, kids are sponges, and they soak up and mimic most of what their primary caregiver does. They should be able to tell joy apart from sadness and frustration apart from excitement.

A child of this age should also be able to participate in reading books with a parent and identify things on the pages.

For example, “Where is the bunny?” should be something most two-year-olds can do accurately. Touch and feel books and interactive books are also excellent tools for toddlers this age because their motor skills should be developed enough to start having so much fun moving parts of the book around and feeling different textures.

Best books for 2 year olds

Now that we’ve discussed in a generalized manner what most children at this age should be able to do, it’s time to start looking at books for 2-year-olds. 

While books should be fun for them, it helps when the books you select to read aloud to your child or show them are also educational or offer some lesson.

The following are some of the best books for two-year-olds on the market.

1. My First Library Boxset of 10 Board Books for Kids

Each board book in this series will help your child to identify objects, letters, numbers, and more. The real-life pictures are also excellent for reverting to real-life experiences to identify the objects in the pictures.

Board books are fantastic for little hands that are still a bit too clumsy to turn thin pages, and a board book is far sturdier than a regular book.

These books are a great way to start a child’s library or book collection and will help grow their vocabulary almost immediately. 

The bright colors are also great in stimulating and holding their interest.

2. TouchThinkLearn ABC

This board book is one that young kids will love, not only for the fantastic illustrations but also because of the tactile cut-outs that help with the sensory effect.

Educational, and all about learning the letters of the alphabet, it’s also an outright fun board book, which is so essential when it comes to holding a child’s attention.

best books for 2 year olds

3. Dream Big, Little One

This book is almost a necessity if you have a little girl because it celebrates female power and intelligence. 

This is a board book with adorable illustrations that tells the true stories (in a simplified manner, of course) of women who paved the road to success in their respective careers. 

Highlighting women of color, you can start to show the little girl or boy in your life the power of strong women and the mark they have left upon history. This board book version is the companion to another book they can read when they are older, called Little Leaders.

4. Little Blue Truck

These silly farm animals and their friend, the Little Blue Truck, go on adventures together and learn things along the way! 

These story books (several of them with different themes) will teach life lessons, counting, problem-solving, the importance of kindness and friendship, and even animal sounds and truck noises.

5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

This classic book will grow with your child and later become a great first reader when they learn to read simple words. 

It also teaches color recognition and animal recognition, as you follow a brown bear and see the animals with him. 

The predictable text makes many children feel the need to chant the words along with it as your read.

6. Press Here

This is a fun, neat, interactive picture book that your toddler will love. 

Following the prompts that start with a simple yellow spot that tells you to “press here,” and become more complicated as the book progresses, your little one will get to learn new skills and practice existing skills in a fun way.

Teaching spatial concepts and how to follow instructions in a way that makes learning entertaining is something that this book has mastered.

7. Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball

This is a fun story for two-year-olds that will get them up and moving and having a blast. 

Interactive books are great for this age group, and this book and its vibrant illustrations will certainly prompt them to get some energy out.

With a sweet message at the end, this endearing book will have your child in stitches with giggles as they try to emulate the animals and their somewhat odd behavior.

8. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

If you’re looking for an excellent book for 2-year-olds that doesn’t have too many words but still follows a basic storyline, this may be the perfect book. This book also allows your little one to use their voice and the sometimes (okay, often) favorite word of a two-year-old: no.

This book asks your 2-year-olds to help out. There is a pigeon, and he wants to drive the bus. Your toddler is asked to keep it from happening by repeatedly saying no.

It’s a silly tale and a fun read, but it’s also interactive, and your child can use it to develop social and behavioral skills as they start to see how being told no over and over makes the pigeon feel.

9. Goodnight, Moon

Everyone has heard of this one, and for a good reason. Hailed as one of the best bedtime stories for toddlers, it’s the straightforward and adorable story of a little bunny who tells everything in his room ‘good night’ before going to bed. 

Don’t be surprised if this becomes the chosen book every night for story time.

10. One Duck Stuck

Repeated readings of this one are sure to have even the youngest readers rehearsing the lines! The rhyming words are fun, and so is the story. 

A duck is quite literally stuck, and the ideas to get him unstuck get funnier and funnier. It’s become a family favorite for the last couple of decades, and for a good reason.

11. Counting Kisses

It doesn’t get much cuter than this book! 

These colorful illustrations depict the love between a mom and her little one, and it’s your child’s job to count all the kisses shared between the two of them. This one will inspire a bedtime kiss and hug of your own!

12. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

With its repetitive words and colorful pictures, this book tells the story of the alphabet as the letters climb a coconut tree. This may be one that you can remember from your own childhood. 

This adorable book is a concept book that helps with language skills and cognitive development all in one! 

This classic by Bill Martin Jr. will most likely forever be a favorite of little ones.

13. Dear Zoo: A Lift the Flap Book

Known for their thick covers and interactive premise, lift-the-flap books are a great way to engage a toddler or little reader with a story that they get to help uncover themselves. 

They also encourage the movement of small parts and intricate parts.

In this story, a child writes to the zoo, asking them to give him the perfect pet. As the story continues, you must guess what the right pet for the little writer might be.

14. Opposites with Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright’s famous works of art make this one of the more unique picture books you might find out there. Teaching opposites, colors, and shapes, this book is fun for the little artists in your life!

15. Let’s Go To The Potty!

This is a great book to help your toddler potty ready. 

In the story, a toddler is potty training and discovers where animals go to the bathroom. He doesn’t think those places will work for him, so he decides to give his potty seat a try.

16. Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?

This fun story is excellent for little toddlers and older kids. 

It’s about dump trucks, diggers, and other big machines on a construction site at night. Even parents are sure to like this sweet and fun nighttime tale.

best books for 2 year olds

17. Peekaboo Morning

A book with repetitive phrases and lots of fun, the main character greets everyone in the family, right down to the favorite toy. Full of fun for kids in this age group, along with a sweet message, your toddler is sure to love it!

18. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This favorite by Eric Carle is still a favorite, which is saying something considering the fact that it was published in the late 1960s. 

Telling the tale of a caterpillar that eventually becomes a butterfly is one classic that every child’s library should have a copy of.

19. There’s a Bear on My Chair

It’s a pain to share sometimes, and that’s the entire point of this book. Relating to the big feelings of 2-year-olds, this is great for teaching a hard life lesson.

20. Where the Wild Things Are

Perfect for the troublemaker inside all of us, this is the beloved tale of Max, who goes to a magical land, makes new friends, and learns valuable lessons along the way!

The Bottom Line

Whether it has cardboard or paper pages, lots of colors, or lots of words, what truly matters is planting and nurturing a love of reading for your little one will turn into a lifelong passion. 

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you to grow your own library.

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