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Top Ten For Kids

Top Ten Books For Parents To Read To Toddlers

We’ve spent a fortune on books…but after the hundreth time reading the same book over and over, I wish i’d read a top ten books for parents to read to toddlers guide. I would then know which books stand the test of time and which ones are really only a one time only read.

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Busy Building Site and Me – The boys dressed up for World Book Day 2018.


Top Ten Books For Parents To Read To Toddlers


The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

It won’t surprise many that this is in our top ten. The book has been a hit globally. We have the story book, the characters, we’ve visited Chessington World of Adventures and stayed in a Gruffalo themed room. We love the movie and our children love acting out the Mouse’s adventures in the “deep dark wood”.  What  makes this story and the characters such a hit is how the story flows so beautifully, I feel like it is the first time i’ve read it almost every time. My husband and I know the words by heart and so do our boys. There are a lot of Julia Donaldson books to choose from but this is up there as number one.

You Choose – Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt

Our eldest has a wild imagination, we like to choose books where he can let his mind wander and join in the story, being four he isn’t reading yet so this book is perfect. On each page you get to “choose” where would you live? what pet would you own etc. The pages are full of wonderful bright pictures and every time we read it we choose different items. The book encourages your child to explore a wide variety of vocabulary and you can ask lots of questions like why would you choose that? tell me more…since every time is different it definitely makes it into the top ten books for parents to read to toddlers, you will never get bored. We also own Just Imagine which is just as much fun.

Supertato and other stories – Sue Hendra

This was on Bilbo’s Christmas list from Santa he first discovered them at nursery and knew the stories by heart. We borrowed the books from the library first and once they passed the “will they drive me crazy” test. They were added to the top ten books for parents to read to toddlers. We love the fact you get to talk about VEGETABLES in a fun way. Equally I enjoy Barry the Fish with Fingers and No-Bot the Robot with no Bottom. They are fun stories to read and the boys love them.

The Usborne Children’s Picture Atlas – Written by Ruth Brocklehurst Illustrated by Linda Edwards

This was one of the first books I bought my son he was about 3 months old. But as travel lovers I remember pouring over a gigantic map book when I was a child and this was the closes thing I could find. Our eldest LOVES it. He enjoys the book in so many ways, we use it to look up places we are visiting.

We use it alongside YouTube, he’s allowed to pick out 3 things per page and we find a video so we can see “it” where it is from. We’ve looked up scorpions from South America, blue-tongued skink from Australia and the Terracotta Army from China. It is a great early word book too as you can point to the pictures and get them to say what it is or repeat you. It is often found in our car as Bilbo loves it for a long journey.

Dinosaurs Love Underpants – Claire Freedman & Ben Cort

This is one of a series of “underpant” books. Aliens Love Underpants, Pirates Love Underpants etc. Similar to The Gruffalo these books have a wonderful rhythm which makes reading easy, sometimes when I read it I’m left wondering did I read this page before maybe I missed it last time. And i’ve probably read this at least 50 times over. You can often find the book in a set including a Christmas version and the latest edition, Aliens Love Dinopants.

You – Emma Dodd

Emma Dodd writes beautiful hardbook short stories which are perfect when you’re just starting the bedtime reading routine. We own You… and Me… the best bit about reading the stories are doing the actions, hugging them and telling them how much I love them. The words are short and descriptive, also great for learning words to speak and then again when learning to read. Harrison even dressed up as the penguin from Me for Worldbook Day 2018.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

There is a very good reason The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been around for nearly 50 years. It is a great book to explore language and get your child curious, i’ve read it as a child, to friends kids and now my own kids. It never ages and never gets boring. Everyone should have The Very Hungry Caterpillar on their shelf.

Stickman – Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson is a firm favourite in our house so she features a number of times on the list. Everyone has their favourite and Stickman is another one of ours. Like many of her books there is a rhythm that helps, we love the pictures and asking our boys to pick out things in the story. It is a beautiful story about a Stickman who goes on an adventure (not by choice) we’ve even taken time to make our own Stickman or play pooh sticks (which I know comes from Winnie the Pooh) but my boys prefer Stickman.

The Snail and The Whale – Julia Donaldson

This one is my husbands choice, he loves that the snail takes a risk to go on an adventure round the world. The snail has to help the whale out in the end and everyone works together to get the happy ending. He loves exploring the locations and themes in the book with our eldest. And of course being one of Julia Donaldson’s books it has the flow and is easy to read time and time again. It is definitely on Rich’s top ten books for parents to read to toddlers.

Ladybird Lift the Flap book: Busy Building Site – Amanda Archer

This book was our World Book Day 2018 book, Bilbo wore his builders outfit. He loves dressing up and fixing things around the house. He has a variety of tools and likes to role play the builder story. We talk about the different types of workmen that build the school. What they do and how it all works. The book follows along with the timeline of making a building. There are a variety of other books in the series we also own Busy Airport.

This is only a fraction of the hundreds of books we’ve read over the years, joining a library helps a lot.  Once you know you love reading the story it is worth investing in purchasing the book to keep.

I would love to hear what your favourite bedtime story is? Please use the comments to share which stories you love reading.





One comment on “Top Ten Books For Parents To Read To Toddlers

  1. Hey Kim, that is a wonderful resource list. I will see if I find the you book and the you choose your story in German as well, so I can read to my kids.
    Gruffallo and Very hungry caterpillar is one of our favorites as well! My son also loves Atlas and Flags, they also love Pippi Langstrumpf and the Olchis!
    Many greetings from Duderstadt, Daniella

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