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Great Books to Read to Infants and Toddlers - Recommended 2021

"Great Books to Read to Infants and Toddlers - Recommended 2021" encourages parents to read aloud to infants and toddlers every day. 13 books are a quantifiable, operable, and achievable early parent-child reading goal.

The selected bibliography is comprehensively considered based on the following four aspects:
  • Development areas: different areas that promote the early development of infants and young children
  • Age: Consider the developmental characteristics of infants at different months of age
  • Topic: Focus on topics that are generally encountered and paid attention to during the growth of infants and young children aged 0 to 3
  • Material, size, and safety of books
I hope this booklist can help more families to carry out parent-child reading together so that more children can start reading from birth and become life-long readers! I also hope that more people will take action, read aloud for the children, and hold stories about infants and toddlers!

In order to let children enjoy reading and really like reading, parents nowadays are more and more aware of the importance of parent-child reading. Parent-child reading can cultivate children's interest and habits in reading, improve reading ability, and at the same time enhance the emotional communication between parents and children, timely understand children's psychological activities, and provide beneficial positive guidance, but books suitable for parent-child reading are also crucial Importantly, although 'Reading and Thinking' -website has previously shared parenting books and few many articles for children's book lovers, for a child in the growth stage, these are far from enough. 

In this issue, the editor of 'Reading and Thinking' found another 13 best books suitable for Infants and Toddlers reading. 

I hope that parents and friends can choose a few from them, and have an intimate parent-child reading with their infants and toddlers, and enjoy the joy of family!

Reading List for Infants and Toddlers: Those "First Books" that accompany your growth


What is the first book to accompany you in your life? I remember, the first book to accompany me is this one.

Read to Your Baby Every Day

by Rachel Williams


great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

This is the earliest book in my memory. I bought this book from Amazon. I was sitting on the bed reading this book. My father accompanied me and praised me for memorizing all the rhymes in this book. The joy of happiness still lingers in my heart. This is my earliest memory of reading, and it is also the reason why I will solemnly write this recommended book for children aged 0-2.

"Do infants and young children need to read?" Many parents will ask this question. This may be based on everyone's understanding of "reading". When you think of "reading", you will think of books, learning, knowledge, and other slightly boring content.

The child is learning every moment after birth, absorbing information like a sponge absorbing water. We often see what the baby gets and puts it in the mouth. This is how babies and young children feel in front of them through "taste" and "touch". This object, this is his/her way of learning. "Reading for infants and young children" means that parents and children "together" and read together. With the narration and company of the parents, the reader and the listener share the joy of language. The child is using his ears just like sucking with his mouth. Absorb language. Feel the mood of mom and dad through words, and feel the company of love.

Based on the "reading for infants and parents", I screened various "low-age books" on the market. In the process, it was discovered that many books labeled as "0-2 low-children" are not suitable for young children. It is not too complicated, and it is not conducive to the reading interaction between the infant and the parent if it is separated from the cognition and life of the infant. Reading is related to the child's initial experience. The content of some books requires some life experience to understand. Only with a certain life experience can it easily resonate, and reading can arouse interest and have an effect.

According to the growth and development characteristics of infants and young children at different months of age, I roughly sorted the selected books, envisioning the life of a newborn baby in my mind, and entering the world of reading step by step as they grow up.

Developmentally Appropriate Books For Infants And Toddlers

    Best Books to Read With Infants and Young Toddlers (Recommended 2021)

     

    1. Good Night You, Good Night Me

    by Surya Sajnani

    • In the beginning, books are just a kind of companionship.
    • Parents cannot be absent from reading for children aged 0-2.

    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    This hand-painted cloth book has 8 pages on the cover, and the content is very simple. As the pages turn, children can say good night to stars, cars, rabbits, bees, etc. It is a very cute sleeping book.

    Although the number of pages in the book is very small, it is because every page has fillers. Therefore, this book is thick, soft, and light to pick up. It is very suitable as a pillow toy for babies. Every time your child is quiet before going to bed, you can read together. The cloth book has a strong texture and can be hand-washed, so it is suitable for accompanying very young babies.


    2. Marta! Big & Small

    by Jen Arena

    • When the bridge of Sound' is in the mother's belly,
    • The child listens to his mother’s heartbeat every day,
    • After birth, I listened to the mother's humming again.
    • Children's books are just an extension of this connection.
    • The simpler the harder it is,
    • Able to distill the world so simple,
    • It is not easy to be presented directly in front of children in this way.
    • Only by understanding big and small can you experience the joy of reading,
    How amazing.

    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    The whole book uses bright patterns and colors, a simple storyline, and constantly tells children the various changes between "big and small". The whole book has 10 pictures and the story is simple and easy for young children to accept.

    The content of this book looks abstract, but it is very specific to children. Simple "big" and "small" have produced various changes through the relationship between pictures and texts, and they can surprise children as they turn the pages.

    The same content will be interesting for adults to read. It is a good picture book suitable for parents and children aged 0-2. The binding of this book is hardcover + thick cardboard + rounded corners. The book is very strong and will not be damaged by babies. In addition, the rounded corners of the pages of the book avoid scratching the baby's skin, and the details are very careful.


    3. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

    by Mem Fox 


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    A global celebration of adorable baby fingers and baby toes--now available in a lap board book edition. Born in the hills or in a town, in a tent, or on the ice, these babies from across the globe all have one thing in common --adorable fingers and toes. But one little baby has something only its mother can give. 

    I like it better than my baby likes it. Maybe this kind of faint picture is not enough to catch the baby's attention. But it does not prevent this is a very beautiful book. I feel that he is praising the common attributes of people and telling you that although people in the world are different in one way or another, we are all the same creatures and have the same biological attributes. In this sense, each life is equal. . But at the end of the story, the story changed again, saying that despite the similarities between people, the little baby in my arms is so different in my eyes, because he is a little baby that belongs only to me. Once I read this, I cried.


    4. Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?

    by Bill Martin Jr.


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    "Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? "is the final collaboration from this bestselling author-illustrator team. Young readers will enjoy Baby Bear's quest to find Mama, and they'll revel in identifying each of the native North American animals that appear along the way. The central focus on the special bond between mother and child makes a fitting finale to a beloved series. These groundbreaking picture books have been teaching children to read for over forty years, and their consistently strong sales prove their staying power and continued applicability for today's kids. A Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection


    5. Global Babies

    by The Global Fund for Children 


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    From Guatemala to Bhutan, seventeen vibrantly colored photographs embrace our global diversity and give glimpses into the daily life, traditions, and clothing of babies from around the world. Simple text in Spanish and English teaches the littlest readers that everywhere on earth, babies are special and loved.  

    A perfect baby shower gift or first book for the toddler in your life. Babies love to look at babies and this bright collection of photos is a ticket to an around-the-world journey. Part of the proceeds from this book’s sales will be donated to the Global Fund for Children to support innovative community-based organizations that serve the world’s most vulnerable children and youth.


    6. I Am a Bunny

    by Ole Risom

    • As the child’s experience becomes more and more enriched,
    • Various thoughts are becoming more and more active,
    • They began to pay attention to more animals and plants.

    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    I am a bunny. My name is Nicholas. I live in a hollow tree.

    This classic Golden Book, illustrated by Richard Scarry, celebrates its 50th anniversary with the story of Nicholas, a bunny clad in red overalls. In the spring, he picks flowers, and in the summer, watches the frogs in the pond. In the fall, he sees the animals getting ready for winter. And when winter comes, he watches the snow falling from the sky...then curls up in his hollow tree to dream about Spring. No child's library is complete without this gentle story of the seasons.

    If I were a rabbit, what would my life be like? What do I experience every day? The 12 pictures show us the life of rabbits in different environments and weather throughout the year.

    The picture of this book is so beautiful that it feels a strong sense of pleasure when you open it. Cardboard books are suitable for children to read, purely because the pictures cannot bear to let go. 


    7. Mommies Say Shhh!

    by Patricia Polacco


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    Goats say “maa-maa-maa.” Birds say “cheep-cheep-cheep.” Horses say “neigh-neigh-neigh.” Rabbits say nothing at all! But when all of these animals get together and raise a honking, braying, neighing ruckus, what does Mama say? “Shhhhhh!” Now available in this adorable board book, Patricia Polacco’s fun-filled collection of animal sounds and beautiful rural landscapes is a perfect read-aloud for beginning readers. They’ll want more-more-more.


    8. Bears 

    by Ruth Krauss


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    Bears, written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Phyllis Rowand, was first published in 1948. Maurice Sendak was still an unknown artist at the time, but he and Krauss soon became close friends and collaborators. In this reissue, Bears has new illustrations by Sendak. Krauss's charming story about bears and their fantastic habits now has a new twist. In addition to illustrating the bears, Sendak added a subplot: Max, the white-suit character from Where the Wild Things Are, can be seen searching for his dog, who has snatched one of Max's teddy bears. . This is a piece of literary history and a seductive read for children.


    9. Pio Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes

    by Alma Flor Ada


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    This groundbreaking bilingual collection of traditional rhymes celebrates childhood and Latin American heritage—a perfect book for those learning Spanish and fluent speakers alike! This picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 6 to 8 who are ready to read independently. It’s a fun way to keep your child engaged and as a supplement for activity books for children.

    This edition comes complete with a beautifully produced CD of the text. Perfect for learning and enjoying, at home or in the classroom.

    Passed down from generation to generation, the twenty-nine rhymes included have been lovingly selected by distinguished authors Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. English adaptations by Alice Schertle capture the spirit of each rhyme and have a charm all their own.

    Accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Spanish artist Viví Escrivá, this collection is destined to become a beloved classic for children already familiar with the rhymes as well as those encountering them for the first time.

    From playing dress-up to making tortillas, and from rising at daybreak to falling asleep, these joyful rhymes are sure to delight young readers.


    10. Peekaboo Bedtime

    by Rachel Isadora 


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    Peekaboo Bedtime, a sequel to Peekaboo Morning, is a guessing game that turns the page on everyone a child sees on the way to bed. “Cuckoo! I see. , with several pets, too. The book incorporates elements of a successful bedtime routine: greet the moon, take a bath, and replace shoes with slippers. Family and routine make it a comforting book on getting ready for the bed. Use the chorus from the book to describe something you see: "Peekaboo! I see . . . the blanket that your grandmother made for you! "


    11. Hello, Day!

    by Anita Lobel 


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    Nobody paints like Lobel, and she dedicates an entire page to the illustration of each of the farm animals that appear on this day in the country. Pictorial representations of a cow, a sheep, a horse, and more are accompanied on the facing pages by simple language that describes what each animal "says" (moo, baa, neigh). Her toddlers can practice animal sounds as they read together. Lobel's twist, which tells readers what the animals are really saying, brings an element of discovery and offers a satisfying summary of the colorful day.


    12. Mother Goose Picture Puzzles

    by Will Hillenbrand


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    It’s fun to see a picture and figure out the word it stands for. Some people call this kind of picture puzzle a rebus. Children will have fun guessing some of the words in twenty Mother Goose rhymes. It’s not hard! There are clues on every page in Will Hillenbrand’s sparkling, imaginative mixed-media artwork!

    With 20 known rhymes on 40 pages, this Mother Goose collection covers the basics and accomplishes so much more. Each rhyme is illustrated on a generously sized double page, giving young children great close-ups of all the beloved Mother Goose characters. The humorous and popular illustrations capture characters in carefree (Peter the pumpkin eater), disheveled (Jack and Jill rolling down the hill), shocked (Little Miss Muffet), and unconscious (Little Boy Blue) states. 

    While it's wonderful to read to infants and toddlers, older children will also enjoy the puzzle component: about one word per line in each rhyme is replaced with a picture that must be “read” as part of the text. In the first line of "Little Boy Blue" ("Little Boy Blue, come, honk your horn!"), An image of a horn replaces the word horn. Due to the nature of illustrations and puzzles, this book can be enjoyed by the whole family.


    13. My Farm Friends

    by Wendell Minor


    great-books-to-read-infants-and-toddlers

    Here’s a perfect introduction to our farm friends. Is there anything cuter than a little lamb or playful piglet? Farm animals are fascinating, and they are full of surprises, too. Naturally, cows make milk—but did you know they need to drink a bathtub full of water every day? And of course, the turkeys gobble—but sometimes they purr like cats. Wendell Minor’s bright, bold artwork and jaunty verse celebrate the wonders of our farm friends. 


    Recommended Reading:
    • The 15 Best Children's Literature of All Time - Literary Classics
    • Best Books for Gifted Children and Students of 2021 - Newborn to Age 12
    • The 10 Most Popular Children's Picture Books 2020-2021
    • The Best Picture Books for Toddlers of 2021
    • The Best Children's Picture Books of 2020 (Recommended Collection 2021)
    • Best Books for Babies Under 1-Year-Old | Parenting advice for new parents


    Great Books to Read to Infants and Toddlers - Buying Guide

    Too many people ask what books to buy for their children. This is actually a systematic project and requires parents to do a lot of homework instead of pulling up a list and just buying it as a single item. Some of my principles are like this, for your reference. 

    Reading Characteristics of  Infants and Toddlers

    Babies from 0 to 3 months old have weaker visual contrast sensitivity. They only see rough outlines, which is a vague black and white world, but they can feel the brightness of the light, and they have the ability to listen at birth. Therefore, after the baby is born, visual materials with strong contrast, a simple structure, and a clear outline can be introduced.

    During the 4~6 months, the baby’s perception of the color of the object becomes stronger and stronger, can distinguish the four colors of red, yellow, blue, and green, and can see the difference between distance and distance, and can look at the picture for a relatively long time to distinguish the details. Babies at this stage are in the period of oral desire. They like to chew and bite things including books. Their mouth is a tool for them to explore the world. Therefore, at this time, when introducing brightly colored reading materials, it is necessary to consider that the material is best to be safe, hygienic, and convenient to chew. Bite.

    From 6 to 12 months, the baby's vision gradually develops, and the visual sensitivity has gradually approached the adult level. It can gradually distinguish three-dimensional images such as distance, size, height, etc., and the ability to distinguish the details of books has also matured. At this stage, babies’ fine finger movements are developing. They like to move their little fingers to exercise and develop their own abilities. With the improvement of their cognition level, they have gradually shown greater interest in stories that have plots and are closer to life scenarios.

    The first principle is to respect the wishes of the child. 

    Regardless of the ignorant baby or the assertive adolescent, the most important thing is to respect his wishes. This is the basis for cultivating an interest in reading. Respect is embodied in allowing himself to choose books and also embodied in giving him the right to decide. He stops when he wants to stop, he skips pages when he wants to jump, and he reads this book repeatedly if he wants to read it repeatedly. For children who can read on their own, you can recommend books to them, but don't force them. You can also discuss with him, what you require as a "must-read" bibliography, and what he chooses as an "optional" bibliography, the ratio of the two is 1:1, or the number of compulsory courses is slightly more. We must put an end to the subconscious pursuit of "usefulness". 

    Secondly, respect for children's developmental stage. 

    Children's picture books basically have a rough recommended age, but this is a broadband concept, and it will be different for each child's mental development maturity, and reading experience. 

    You need to have a keen observation of your child, know what stage he/she is in, what interest points or challenges he/she has recently, and which stage is about to develop, and then select books in a targeted manner. Fitting his characteristics can cultivate interest, help him solve problems, and even plan ahead. 

    There are three situations: 

    1. If you cater to your interests, you can watch a whole set, such as the "Starting by Driving" series, and you can also extend reading, such as "Metro Started", or even "World Military Aircraft Illustrated Book". 
    2. To help solve the challenge, it is best to choose a book slightly earlier than the time when the challenge occurs, so as to minimize preaching. Of course, this requires parents to have a strong understanding of children's developmental psychology, and they are also extremely sensitive to children's changes, and they also need to have a certain accumulation of books. 
    3. Nourish the soul, such as the gentle spring breeze, into daily reading. 
    Parents should respect their children's own reading stage, do not have to compare the amount of reading, let alone think that a book with more words means a high level of reading. We cannot say that poetry is inferior to novels, that short stories are inferior to novels, nor that picture books are inferior to written books, right? 

    The third is to choose a good book. 

    My personal criteria are three: 

    1. There is a difference between the beauty of language, poetry, and running accounts, and most online novels and classics are also different. The best is rhythmic, with a certain amount of repetition, and children will be very interested. 
    2. The drawing is good. The picture in the picture book is the main body that pays equal attention to the text, not the supporting role of the text. A good picture book is at least drawn by a professional artist. 
    3. The emotions are true: the emotions conveyed by the story and the pictures are sincere. The author has a pair of eyes that discover beauty. These eyes can see the interest of the world from an earthworm (for example, "Earthworm's Forehead Diary"), and from the cold machine See the beauty of the world (for example, "The subway starts"), and see the gentleness of the world from the heavy death (for example, "When a Duck Meets Death"). The first two standards allow children to experience beauty, and this standard is to allow children to learn to love, love themselves, love others, and love every bug in the world. To achieve this, the most basic thing is not to preach. If a person tries to preach to another person, even if the other person is a child, there is actually a lack of respect and tolerance.

    Recommended Reading:
    • Best Parenting Books for New Parents & Expectant Parents
    • 22 Best Collections of Children's Classic Books
    • Great Books to Read to Infants and Toddlers - Recommended 2021
    • The Best Books For Baby Brain Development (Recommended 2021)
    • The Best Books For Baby Development - Parenting for Parents (2021)
    • The Best Parenting Books For Newborns That You Need To Know

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