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10 Best Books for 2-Year-Olds

Updated 14 September 2020

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Books can be life-changing, especially for two-year-olds! For them, a good book is not only about the story, it’s also about the pictures, the characters, and ultimately about how it’s read. As well as going on an adventure, they are also soaking up so much information about language, word flow, and learning new words.

With thousands of great books out there, buying online can be hard work. You can’t read the book before you buy it. Well, we’re here to help. We’ve looked into recommendations from people who have enjoyed their books and made a list of the 10 best books for two-year-olds. By then getting rid of any products with phony reviews, we’ve included different budget options so you buy only books that will be read over and over and over again.

1Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Best Budget Option)

This charming book is a cute, fast read for young kids. It features boldly-colored artwork and simple sentences that may guide two-year-olds in learning how to recognize the short words. Also, it’s easy for toddlers to hold because it’s available as a board book.

What we love

  • Story has good repetition
  • Features vividly-colored illustrations

We dont like this as much

  • Would be good if it also included a parent or carer figure

2Love You Forever (Best Quality Option)

“Love You Forever” is one of the 10 best books for two-year-olds that speak to the unconditional love from a parent to a child. Not only may it help develop some early reading skills, but it serves as an emotional moment between parent and child. It’s a wonderful way to help a child learn while also showing them how much they’re loved.

What we love

  • Illustrations are wonderfully detailed
  • Written in a timeless way so that it can grow with a child

We dont like this as much

  • Some sentences might be too complex for young kids

3The Very Hungry Caterpillar

As such a classic tale, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a much-beloved book that excites kids thanks to its unique, colorful illustrations. Children can enjoy going through the pages, seeing the tiny holes as evidence of the caterpillar’s ever-growing appetite.

What we love

  • Board book is well-made and easy for young children to hold
  • Can help teach kids to recognize colors and fruits

We dont like this as much

  • The pages might feel a bit stiff

4Goodnight Moon

Out of the 10 best books for two-year-olds, “Goodnight Moon” can be a great bedtime tale. It features adorable little animal characters and the story itself is written with a quality rhyming scheme that helps it flow. The lines are short as well so that it doesn’t take too long to read through.

What we love

  • There's a nice lullaby quality to the words
  • Illustrations gradually darken to mimic bedtime

We dont like this as much

  • Some of the words on the darkened pages might be tough to read

5Giraffes Can't Dance

With this funny book, kids can follow Gerald the giraffe as he strives to dance. It’s an adorable little story that features colorful animals all drawn in child-friendly ways. Beyond keeping kids entertained, this tale can also work as inspiration, teaching children to believe in themselves.

What we love

  • Has fun, colorful illustrations
  • Promotes a good message of self-confidence for kids

We dont like this as much

  • Some rhymes have long syllables

6On the Night You Were Born

This story can be just as good for two-year-olds as it is for parents. For kids, it celebrates them, their birth, and all the joy they bring to the world. For parents, it can be a wonderful way to connect with a child and let them know how special they are.

What we love

  • The story is suitable for children of various ages
  • Artwork is both simple and beautiful

We dont like this as much

  • Some of the illustrations might be easier for older kids to recognize

7There's a Bear on My Chair

“There’s a Bear on My Chair” is a simple, funny read that can leave toddlers giggling as the poor little mouse tries to get the large bear to move from their chair. It’s this level of silliness that can capture a young child’s attention and keep it throughout the story.

What we love

  • Easy for young kids to learn and repeat
  • Cute rhymes to keep a child's attention

We dont like this as much

  • Might be too simple for older kids

8The Wonky Donkey

This straightforward story is a fun way to get a quick laugh out of kids and make them eager to read it over and over again. It features an amusing donkey that’s missing a few parts, but it offers a good play on words that makes it more lighthearted and kid-friendly.

What we love

  • Features funny rhyming
  • A good way to celebrate uniqueness and differences in appearances

We dont like this as much

  • Some young kids might not understand all of the jokes

9The Going-To-Bed Book

Another one of the best books for two-year-olds at bedtime is the appropriately titled “The Going-To-Bed-Book.” Silly stories can be a wonderful way to help an active child wind down at night. In the story, the characters do everything a child should do before bed from taking a bath to brushing their teeth.

What we love

  • Offers a good bedtime routine for kids to follow
  • Catchy rhymes make it easier to memorize the story

We dont like this as much

  • Could be even better if the story lasted a bit longer

10Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book

Lift-the-flap books are a much enjoyed classic design when it comes to children’s books and this one is no different. Children can discover a new surprise each time they lift up one of the flaps, learning about all the animals that the zoo has sent until they find their perfect pet at the end.

What we love

  • Flaps are varied in size and open in different directions
  • Features appealing and colorful illustrations

We dont like this as much

  • Could do with more size variation among the animals