Reading to your baby at an early age brings great benefits to baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you read to your baby when he or she is an infant. The organization published a study in 2017 that discovered that the more time parents spent reading and discussing age-appropriate books with their children, the better prepared their children were to read once they entered kindergarten.
So, even if your newborn doesn't understand the stories you're reading, you're making a long-term impact on their literacy.
Reading can help babies soak up all the words you're using, which can boost vocabulary skills later in life, besides being a great way to spend close-up face time with your little one. Books aid in understanding what they see, hear, think, and feel.
Still, there is a significant difference between a newborn, a one-year-old who has just spoken in short sentences, a two-year-old who is active and intensely engaged in learning about their surroundings, and a three-year-old who can recite the alphabet—possibly backward.
That means the best books for this diverse group will meet them where they are; any book that tickles their funny bones will undoubtedly become an enduring favorite. But, encourage them to stretch their abilities to remain relevant as children grow.
Below, we’ve rounded up books for kids from 0 to 3 years old with different categories that are appropriate and fun for them. Books with many colors and simple illustrations are ideal for honing our newest readers' skills.
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: Best books for infant to boost their early senses
An infant may not understand the meaning of the pictures in a book, but they can focus on them, particularly faces, bright colors, and unique patterns.
Between the ages of 4 and 6 months, your baby may show an interest in books. Your child will not only grab and hold books, but will also mouth, chew, and drop them. Choose books made of sturdy vinyl or cloth with bright colors and familiar, repetitive, or rhyming text.
Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, your baby understands pictures represent objects and may show a preference for specific pictures, pages, or even entire stories over others. While you read, your baby will react by reaching for the book and making noises. By 12 months, your little one will turn pages (with your help), pat or point to objects on a page, and repeat your sounds.
When buying books for infants, choose books with simple, repetitive, and familiar text and clear pictures. During the first few months of life, your baby is only interested in hearing your voice. So you can read almost anything, especially books with rhyming or sing-song text. Choose books with simple pictures against solid backgrounds as your baby becomes more interested in looking at things.
You can't discuss the best books for babies without mentioning Goodnight Moon. For decades, young readers have been captivated by the simple, engaging story, which follows a little rabbit through his bedtime routine (and even inspired other writers in their work). The enchanting illustrations are full of surprises and delights, and children will enjoy tracking the minute details that change on each page. It truly is the ideal bedtime story, so don't be surprised if you receive many copies at your baby shower.
The gentle, lulling illustrations and the quiet poetry of the words combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day in this classic of children's literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners. Goodnight Moon is a must-have for any child's library; it's been a classic for decades. This board book edition is ideal for small hands.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
For decades, children have enjoyed munching their way through the pages of this book, just like everyone's favorite little caterpillar.
There are dozens of books by Eric Carle that could have made this list, but none will ever top the delights of his most famous children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Babies and toddlers will enjoy following along with the greedy caterpillar as he devours the beautifully illustrated book. There are also opportunities to count and learn the days of the week. The sweet story concludes with a hopeful message: anyone can grow up to become a beautiful butterfly regardless of their humble beginnings.
This is one of my son's very first book and it is also a very famous book for kids from 0 to 3 years old.
I Love You Through and Through
This sweet book will teach them from the start that you will always love them unconditionally. It is one of our favorite books to give to new parents as a gift.
When arranging my list of books for kids from 0 to 3 years old, I think it is important for kids to love and feel unconditional love at their early age as it will sharp who they are.
“Once there was a gorilla, and everybody loved him. His mother loved him. His father loved him….even when he was only one day old, everybody loved Little Gorilla… But then Little Gorilla began to change.”
This heartwarming story about how a baby—and love—grows during the first year of life will make you cry. And the stunning retro illustrations will never go out of fashion.
Our favorite peekaboo book promises lots of giggles. This brightly colored book is packed with cleverly hidden animals (and a train) and the sounds they make. It begins with "Peek-a...:”. While lots of flaps to lift and brightly colored animals to spot promise lots of learning for young children! But instead of raising a flap, you turn to the next page to find the answer.
This book allows your child to read using repetitive phrases and rhyming words. They'll also enjoy making amusing noises.
Where Is Baby's Belly Button?
This adorable and colorful little book begins by asking where the baby's eyes are located. When you open the flap, you'll find his eyes hidden beneath a hat. It then inquires about other body parts discovered by looking under the flap.
This book is a fun way for your baby to learn about the different parts of their body and will provide plenty of entertainment along the way.
Moo Baa La La La
Are you ready to laugh? Moo, Baa, La, La, La is filled with hilarity! This small book introduces babies to various animals and their sounds. You get to imitate eclectic animal sounds, and your child will undoubtedly laugh the entire time. This book is a great way to introduce your child to different animal sounds, including horses, dogs, and cats, among others.
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: best books for 1 year old to boost their intelligence
By the time they reach their first birthday, babies will have learned all the sounds required to communicate in their native language. The more stories you read aloud to your baby, the more words they will hear and the better they will communicate.
Hearing words contributes to developing a rich network of words in a baby's brain. Children who have had their parents talk and read to them often know more words by the age of two than children who have not been read to. And children who are read to from an early age are more likely to learn to read at that age.
However, don't panic if you haven't read books for your little one, or only have a few books in the house for him. You can start reading at any time, it's never too late. Just refer to my books for kids from 0 to 3 years old guide, and pick out a few books for your little one.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
This adorable book is about a parent's undying love for their children.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be celebrates the parental acceptance of their children and discusses how a parent wonders about all the amazing things their child will do in their lives. Without a doubt, The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a touching novel!
I Love You to the Moon and Back
I Love You To The Moon and Back follows a bear and her cub as they do their daily activities.
They make a splash in the water, climb a mountain, and express their love by touching noses, hugging, and cuddling.
It is a sweet book to share with a toddler, and there are customization pages at the beginning, making it an excellent gift for a one-year-old.
The Pout-Pout Fish
It is one of the best board books for one-year-olds, and it's also available in paperback.
Pout-Pout Fish follows these downcast fish around, and he realizes that being despondent isn't the best way to live his life.
Being depressed is not his fate! The book is full of bright colors and fun illustrations that one-year-olds will enjoy reading with their parents.
If Animals Kissed Good Night
What would it look like if animals said goodnight as we do? It's a silly subject wrapped up in a cute book for kids at age 1. In this book, a giraffe, a wolf, and a sloth say goodnight to their babies. Each creature expresses its love uniquely; this book is endearing and ideal for reading before bedtime.
This book will keep your child's attention at bedtime with its engaging rhymes and beautiful, whimsical illustrations. The ridiculous concepts may even make you laugh! But if your child sees animal friends peacefully kissing goodnight, it will strongly reinforce your sleep training work; it also serves as a model for what you want your child to do at bedtime. And it supports the idea that everyone, including the baby animals, needs to sleep.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
Llama Llama Red Pajama is a well-known children's book. It's a rhyming story about a small llama's chaos before bedtime.
It makes small children laugh uncontrollably, and the rhyming helps with early reading skills!
Your toddler will identify with some of Baby Llama's emotions, while you will appreciate Mama Llama's gentleness and reassurance.
Spot is well known in the world of toddler books; everyone knows who Spot is!
This adorable book is a lift-the-flap book in which you search for Spot. Spot, where are you?
Your one-year-old will enjoy lifting the flaps to look for Spot, and when Spot is finally found, your child will be overjoyed.
It's a sweet story that has been around for decades and is still a best-seller.
The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early
Dr. Seuss is a well-known children's book author. But, you can start your toddlers off right by purchasing this Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books. You can't go wrong with this collection of board books for one-year-olds.
This set includes four popular books that your toddler will enjoy, including Hop on Pop and Tens Apples Up on Top.
These books are shortened and simplified for a 1-year-old to enjoy, and most of them emphasize rhyming to aid in the development of early reading skills. Rhyming is an important skill to have. Best of all, because these are board books, one set will last through all your children!
Giraffes Can't Dance
Giraffes Can't Dance is an additional option for the best board books for one-year-olds.
Gerald the Giraffe wishes to do nothing more in life than dance, but giraffes do not dance. Gerald's thin legs and crooked knees make dancing difficult for him, but with the help of a friend, he finds his tune and dances.
What a wonderful book to teach our children at a young age that they can achieve anything they set their minds to!
Corduroy is another of the best books for 1-year-olds that I believe every child should have on their bookshelf.
Corduroy is a charming story for children of all ages, one or five.
It follows Corduroy, who has lost his button and must search the department store where he works to find it.
Corduroy is a favorite of both children and adults!
Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? is a classic toddler story, and this version includes buttons for your 1-year-old to press to hear the sounds that animals make.
Your baby can press the button when each animal appears on the page; they'll love this book!
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: top books for 2 years old to boost their vocabulary
Have you ever had a 2-year-old repeat something to you, and you couldn't figure out what they were saying? Communicating with toddlers can be difficult, especially when they have a limited vocabulary and use a lot of babble.
Books are an excellent way for your baby to learn new things and expand their vocabulary. Some of the best books for 2-year-olds are listed below for parents, grandparents, and educators looking for the best books for 2-year-olds.
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: Board books for 2 years old
Peekaboo! In the Snow!
Can You Say It, Too? Cheep! Cheep!
Do You See My Tail?
Because it is made of thick paper rather than cardboard, it is appropriate for children aged 2 to 3. Readers see the tip of someone's tail when they look at the illustrations. Can you figure out who the tail belongs to? To meet the animals, lift the flap. “Well done! I am a deer! / My baby is lying in a little nest in the high grass. / She loves giving kisses.”
Happy Birthday: Sing Along With Me!
Although it is only four pages long, this board book will appeal to young children who enjoy celebrating birthdays, both their own and those of others. See the parents’ surprise you, reveal what's inside the wrapped present, receive happy birthday mail, and sing with friends. I predict you'll be singing this song a lot after that!
What are Stars?
Wheels on the Bus
That's Me Loving You
Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!
Two is the age when big questions fly around, and let's be honest; we don't always have the answers! Enter the Baby Loves Science series, which introduces high-level concepts in ways that toddlers can understand, such as this one, which explores the idea of flight through the eyes of a young girl who meets a bird.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
The book begins with a brown bear illustration and the question, "Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?"The story continues, with the bear asking the red bird in return, the red bird asking the same of a duck, and so on. The questions keep coming, and your child will have to turn the page to find out what happens next.The illustrations are brightly colored, allowing your child to learn colors at a young age. The text is simple to understand because it is predictable. As they turn the pages, your child will soon "read" or sing along. Your two-year-old will quickly figure out what comes next and will enjoy pointing out each animal as you read the last page.
First 100 Words
This brightly colored book is an excellent way to introduce your two-year-old to various numbers, shapes, and colors. It connects pictures to their names using simple text.
The book contains illustrations that your child may recognize in their daily life. It promotes cognitive development and aids in vocabulary expansion.
It is a must-have set of board books for any toddler parent, especially for those with speech delays. Toddlers can hear you say the word and understand what they've listened to, thanks to his colorful pictures that contain nothing but the object word (with the help of the image). It is critical for their language development because toddlers with speech delays hear the word. Having a connected understanding of the word for reference is best to learn. We like that they're actual photos because toddlers can make real-world connections.
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: Storybook for 2 years old
Press Here is a fun, interactive book for toddlers who wish to play with a tablet or phone. Each page instructs the reader to take a different path–with a different outcome each time!
Press Here teaches children about cause and effect and counting and colors. Hervé Tullet, a French artist and author, believes that his artwork is only complete when the audience interacts with it, an ethos that is central to his best-selling picture book. To make things happen on the pages, kids are encouraged to press on the book, turn it upside down, shake it, and do other things.
Peekaboo Morning is a brilliant book to start or end your day with! Your two-year-old will enjoy this brightly illustrated book as they search for each member of the family (and the beloved bunny). Our family is excited to add this diverse board book to our collection so that our children can learn that differences are beautiful.
Where the Wild Things Are
Every child's library should have this Caldecott Medal winner. Max's story of mischief and love in Where the Wild Things Are will resonate with moms and two-year-olds everywhere.
While this wild story causes too much commotion at bedtime, it makes a brilliant book to read during the day when we can become wild things ourselves!
This award-winning classic book has helped readers worldwide recognize that we all have a little wildness inside us. (In particular, ahem, toddlers.) The dream-like illustrations transport readers along with Max on his quest to escape the confines of his home life and discover where other "wild things" like him live. The book, heavily influenced by the author's childhood, has spawned films, operas, and even birthday party themes.
Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too
Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too are new books by the author of the Llama Llama series. This amusing story follows the adventures of a young girl and her father as they go about their day together. We like how this book shows how dads can be involved with their children while also showing non-traditional gender roles in families.
You're Two! is a lively celebration of a milestone birthday. The personalized feel of this little board book that looks for two in the world — like two thumbs up and two arms for hugs — will appeal to children.
You're Two is the ideal book for a 2nd birthday present! It is one of the best books for two-year-olds because it celebrates everything about the number two. Two thumbs up, two cuddling arms, and so on.
This springtime rhyming story depicts the only fun on a rainy day. Your two-year-old will enjoy counting up and down, as well as the details on each page.
As a bonus, the next time it rains, you and your little nature enthusiast may find yourself on an adventure. Put on your rain boots!
A Little Stuck
Oliver Jeffers' work is popular with children of all ages, but this young-reader edition of his best-selling picture book will make them laugh. To save his kite from a tree, Floyd tries throwing everything up there to knock the kite down, from his shoe to an orangutan, in a hilariously futile attempt.
This hilarious story from the author of Stuck will have your child giggling from cover to cover. Floyd tries everything, including throwing an orangutan, to get his kite out of a tree. In our house, it's far too amusing for a bedtime story, but we all enjoy it.
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: Children's book for 2 years old
In this book, a child writes to the zoo and requests a pet. The zoo sends a pet, but each is returned because it is too big, fierce, tall, or naughty. Will they be able to find the ideal pet?
This interactive book provides only a few hints to help your baby figure out which animal is hidden beneath the flap (container). It encourages pre-readers to take part by using repetitive phrases, large text, and bright illustrations.
This book benefits toddler development in a variety of ways. It gives little fingers different flaps to open, encourages them to learn the sounds and noises that each animal makes, and provides a lot of repetition, which is a fantastic way to promote early literacy. It also aids in the development of children's motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It's an absolute must-have for 2-year-olds! This one is unbeatable!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Are you tired of failing miserably at teaching your children the alphabet? This board book is an excellent way to introduce your child to the subject without boring them.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Boom Boom is the story of the alphabet's 26 letters racing to the top of a coconut tree. The tree bends and groans under the weight of the letters as they climb it, eventually snapping. The letters fall to the ground. The book improves your child's letter recognition and may help them master the alphabet.
It is one of our favorite books for two-year-olds, but we enjoyed reading it when our children were babies as well. It teaches numbers and counting, and what better way to count than all the kisses between a mother and her child?
A tired baby is getting ready for bed in this story. What follows is a countdown of kisses given to the baby by all family members, beginning with the baby's tiny toes, moving up to her belly button, and finally to the top of her head... Unless, of course, the baby falls asleep.
During reading time, mommy and baby can practice these kisses. It will help reinforce your love for your baby, and they will know they are loved.
Potty first appeared in our home two years ago, when my daughter began potty training. It's now my two-year-old son's favorite book to read while he's on the potty!
The simple text and illustrations grab your attention, and your two-year-old will enjoy doing the potty dance with the character. Expect to hear "tinkle tinkle toot" at every potty break from now on, but it will be well worth it.
Little Blue Truck
Your two-year-old may only see a fun story involving a blue truck and farm animals. However, this book can teach so much more about life, kindness, and perseverance with your guidance. It is an excellent book for high school students, not just little kids.
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: books for 3 years old to form character
From the young age 3, the kid could follow more complex narratives and sit for more extended periods than they could as 2-year-olds. In terms of development at this age, you are teaching children about story structure and characters, how to connect those black squiggly lines to words that mean something, and how to hold a book correctly.
Kids are ready to dive into more layered and interactive stories. They will, however, appreciate a straightforward book about theories such as colors, beautifully designed figures, or farm animals. Children at three can read to themselves by looking at pictures and narrating what they think is happening in the story — either to themselves or to you.
Books for 3 years old to develop language
If your 3-year-old has a speech delay, you've probably searched for the best books to help with kid speech delay, hoping to assist your child in developing his or her speech. We know that reading helps all children improve their language and vocabulary acquisition.
A recent study discovered that reading to our children daily exposes them to nearly 1.4 million different words when they start kindergarten than their peers who are not consistently read to. Other studies have discovered that reading to your children improves their reading success rates. Dr. Dominic Massaro found in his research that while talking to your children improves their vocabulary, reading to them is even more effective.
It's essential to find books to help toddlers with speech delays because reading can help them develop word mastery. Dr. Massaro studied language acquisition and literacy and discovered that picture books are two to three times more likely to expose your child to extra words and pronunciations when looking for books to help toddlers with speech delays.
We love so many authors and books to help your toddler's speech development, so this is not an exhaustive list. We also understand that there are many books to read to your child, but there are also some that you might want to read for yourself, and we'll include those as well.
A Mouse Cookie First Library
We adore all Numeroff's Circle stories, but the one where we first met Mouse holds a special place in our hearts. Toddlers love Mouse's antics, and the repeated characters and minimal text on the pages make it ideal for allowing your toddler to absorb the scenes and words. There are many opportunities for conversation. “Is Mouse silly? Yes, Mouse is SILLY!” This collection includes If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and If You Take A Mouse To School in board book form, ideal for children aged three.
That’s Not My puppy
Because they provide so much tactile opportunity, any of Usborne's "That's Not My..." series of books is ideal for toddlers with speech delays. The repeated text is perfect for kids to giggle and mimic practical wording in their daily routines. They introduce basic vocabulary and then supplement it with some enriched adjectives but minimal phrasing, so kids at age three are not overwhelmed as they feel the puppy's various features. There aren't enough of these books!
Hickory, Dickory, Dock
Books based on classic nursery rhymes with a sing-songy tempo are ideal for 3-year-old, especially if they are interested in music. Kids at three benefit from the repeated text as a listening and learning tool and the timeless words can be set to music. When kids with speech delay can'sing' or 'hum' when they can't'speak,' giving them a repertoire of rhymes with pictures to help them make a connection is an excellent way to increase their vocabulary.
Sandra Boynton's books are excellent resources for kids at 3 with speech delays because they contain repeated text, colorful imagery, and amusing antics that keep toddlers engaged and taking part in the story! Kids enjoy dancing and stomping with the barn animals, and the additional sensory input as they hear and process what they hear helps bring the words to life for them. We love the verbs she gives kids for each animal's activity, and the pages have minimal text for better interest in the illustrations while listening.
The Napping House
Another kid with three favorites, it's perfect for kids with speech delays because it tells a related story from plot to resolution using repeated speech. It has been enhanced with lovely imagery and attention to detail that kids will adore. There are many opportunities for genuine conversation with your toddler, such as “What’s going on here? Where what’s the dog doing? Where’d he come from?” is a story they'll want to hear again and again. And that's precisely what you want to happen!
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old to help them sleep better
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old to help them sleep? Is it even a thing?
Well, it is.
Remember sometimes you read books and feel asleep right after? But sometimes some books keep you awake all night?
We are not talking about boring books that make you want to go sleep, but interesting and most importantly, calm books that help to rewind your little one.
One of the most common pieces of parenting advice I've heard and read is the importance of establishing and sticking to a bedtime routine. Many experts (as well as fellow parents) advise beginning as soon as possible to help establish the link between away and falling asleep.
It can be easier said than done, as with many pieces of advice, but thankfully there are many books to help illustrate routines. It's also nice if the book rhymes or lulls your child to sleep. The purpose of reading a story before bedtime is to make them feel happy and secure. Here are some stories to help you and your child develop a nighttime routine that works for your family.
Good Night, Gorilla
You've probably heard of this one. And you might think it's too minimalist, and that because there isn't a sing-songy story, it doesn't work as a lullaby. However, it does. Make up your explanation for what the Gorilla is doing. Just keep it consistent every time. It works.
So few words, but so much fun at bedtime. As a zookeeper walks around the nighttime zoo, saying good night to each animal, the gorilla follows behind, letting each one out to form a parade behind him — until they all join him and his wife in their bedroom. Then it's back to the zoo for the animals, and then it's off to bed and sleep for the humans — and your baby.
I Am a Bunny
You're probably thinking, "That's not a bedtime book!" But it is.
Nicholas goes to sleep at the end of the book, waiting for it to be spring again. The changing of the seasons from spring to summer, then fall and winter, is also highly soothing for kids at 3. The illustrations are delicate. That is the purpose of bedtime.
If I Were A Kangaroo
It's not just humans who have sleep routines; here's a book that depicts various animals as their babies fall asleep. Larsen's prose has a wonderful rhyming pattern that will capture a child's attention, and Raff's illustrations are full of love between the parent and baby animals. The book concludes with fun sleep-related facts about the various animals featured.
Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep
Bedtime fears and fear of the dark are very facts for kids at age 3 – and it's possible that your child will become scared at bedtime during the sleep coaching process. This book solves that issue!
Little Willa is afraid to sleep–luckily, her big brother Willoughby is there to tell her something happy before she sleeps! Willa's "happy thoughts" before bedtime can become your child's–or, once the book is finished, come up with some of your own! Babies will adore the snuggly bunny characters in this sweet little book.
It's Time to Sleep, My Love
This fantastic book, complete with gorgeous, lush illustrations, is about Mama animals gently putting their babies to sleep.
It can be very reassuring for your child to know that many other things–including animals–do well when it's time for bed.
This book's soft, lilting rhymes will lull even the youngest babies to sleep, and the message that everything in the world is going to bed can help your baby or toddler settle down and fall asleep without a fuss.
If your baby is having a hard time sleeping, this is highly recommended in my list of books for kids from 0 to 3 years old.
Sleep Is for Everyone
This small book provides excellent basic information about why living things need sleep and an examination of how animals sleep, how people sleep, how sleep affects our brains, and other topics.
If your child needs to understand the "why" behind why she needs to sleep, pick up a copy of this book. It explains why sleep is essential in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner. This book will undoubtedly persuade your little bedtime skeptic that rest is important, making sleep coaching even easier for both of you!
Mother Goose's Pajama Party
If your child enjoys classic nursery rhyme stories like Little Bo Peep and Jack and Jill, he'll love this clever book, in which he'll get to see all of his favorite characters settle in for the night and fall asleep under the loving care of (who else?) Mother Goose herself! It is yet another book that emphasizes the universal need for sleep; reading this book will help your child see that everyone, including nursery rhyme heroes, requires rest.
Books for kids from 0 to 3 years old: final word
It is highly beneficial to read to your child. It is one of the most effective ways to instill a love of learning in children and improve their language and literacy development. Studies show that it improves their social and behavioral skills. You'll also bond, play, and have fun with your baby.
Your child will be more interested in participating rather than passively listening to you tell a story. We hope you enjoyed our list of the best books for kids from 0 to 3 years old. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started!