This post contains affiliate links which means that we may earn a commission if you use them. We only recommend items that we use and trust. You can read our full disclosure here


There is no such thing as too many books in a home library. Cuddled up together sharing stories that your little one will love and eventually memorize is purity itself. But even the best of times it can be a dreadful thing to read the same book for the umpteenth time (inner groan). It’s okay to admit that you hid the book Goodnight Moon – we do not want to encourage our children to say goodnight to every object in their room (the book itself is a mere stall tactic for bedtime). What makes a great toddler book is one that you can read over and over again without getting that sinking feeling as a parent. Instead of adding books to your library that are geared toward toddlers, aim for books that captivate the adults in the family as well. So here is our list of books that you will love as much as your toddler.

Animalia by Graeme Base

best books for 18 month old

This was our first Graeme Base we added to our library and if you haven’t added this to your library, you should. The complex illustrations make it an interesting read even on the 50th read as you find something new each time. The elevated vocabulary makes me continue to reach for the dictionary (okay google). This book is what made us put away the traditional toddler books and is what made us want more out of our child’s library. This whimsical children’s alphabet is so detailed it will cause you to linger on each page discovering more as you take part of the hidden search game. It is what started our love affair with Graeme Base and think it will start yours too.

Animalia on Amazon

The Water Hole by Graeme Base

best book for 18 month old

All the animals peacefully gather around the water hole for a common need. As the animals that gather around grow from 1-10, each page highlights a different region, including indigenous animals therein. The border of each page also cleverly displays silhouettes of animals from the region. The more you read this book, the more animals you will discover lurking in the background. Hidden among the pages are even more animals basked in the elaborate detail that Graeme Base is known for.

Llama Llama Trick Or Treat By Anna Dewdney

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

best book for 18 month old

Who doesn’t love tacos? Dragons love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well. As much as dragons love tacos, they hate spicy salsa even more. What happens if dragons eat spicy salsa? Find out in this refreshing story with a fast pace that will quickly become a household favorite. We love this book so much, we bought the sequel, Dragons Love Tacos 2, and every other book by Adam Rubin. 

Dragons Love Tacos on Amazon

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae 

best books for 18 month old

Gerald is a tall giraffe who wants nothing more than to join the other animals in the jungle dance. But every time he goes to dance, he buckles at the knees. The catchy rhymes and colorful illustrations make Gerald’s journey to dance come alive.

Giraffe’s Can’t Dance on Amazon

The Last King Of Angkor Wat by Graeme Base

The book begins with four animal friends arguing about who would make the best king. Join the adventure with tiger, gecko, water buffalo, and gibbon to the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Their individual journey to the ancient ruins reveals their true characters. A great tale with impressive illustrations about what it takes to be a great leader.

The Last King of Angkor Wat on Amazon

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

This was our first favorite board book as parents. Is a pout pout fish truly destined to be glum? You can’t judge a pout pout fish by its pout just as you can’t judge a book by its cover. With its jaunty rhymes and heavy repetition, it’s easy to see why children and adults love the exploration of the pout pout fish to his true identity.

The Pout-Pout Fish on Amazon

Mousetronaut Goes To Mars by Paula Wiseman

Best Books For Toddlers

Follow a little mouse with big ideas. NASA announces a crew for the record breaking trip to Mars. But, to Meotor the Mouse’s shock, he is not included as part of the crew. Mischievous Meteor sneaks on the shuttle anyway and shows you the power of small as he helps his fellow astronauts on their journey to mars. It’s a book that your toddler will be able to grow into and understand more and more about space travel with age. 

Mousetronaut Goes To Mars on Amazon

Footloose by Kenny Loggins

Boardbooks for kids

Everybody cut footloose. Unless you have been living in a cave, you know the catchy song footloose.  Inspired by his own grandchildren, Kenny Loggins wrote this version for kids. Just as catchy and set at the zoo, this uplifting book is a daily read at our house. Best yet, this book comes with the song, so you can listen, read, and dance to Kenny Loggins Footloose. 

Footloose on Amazon

AB to Jay-Z by Jessica Chiha

99 problems but a good book ain’t one. We love reading this hip-hop inspired book. If you love a good throwback to your favorite musicians, this is the book for your family. Your child will love your enthusiasm, and hopefully will love your ability (or lack of) to rap along. After you master the ABC’s, be sure to checkout 123 With The Notorious B.I.G. These books also make great baby shower and birthday gifts.

AB to Jay-Z on Amazon

If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul

best books for toddlers


There is no better way to say goodnight than with kisses and cuddles. A sweet night time read with twisting rhymes that goes through different animals and their babies in the jungle kissing goodnight. Of course, the sloth and her baby, slow as can be, take their time kissing goodnight, soooo sloooowwwly. 

If Animals Kissed Goodnight on Amazon


For more of our favorite products, checkout The Best Outdoor Toys For Busy Toddlers.


Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment