reader. 2-3 year old books

Books for toddlers are hard. I feel like the little baby ones are too quick and easy, but most of the big books are too long and complex to follow. And don’t even get me started at the tons of just TERRIBLE kids books there are out there (poor art, terrible sentences, lack of direction or ideas, yikes). Ethan has recently entered the stage around age 3 that he can follow longer story lines (aka Dr.Seuss books, full curious george books). And I thought I’d document some of those books we’ve found at the library that he’s loved. I would keep your eye out for ones in your library too!

If you want more ideas on book choice for kids, “Honey for A Child’s Heart” was originally printed in the 1960s and continues to be a wonderful resource for parents. It includes updated book lists per age of worth-while recommendations, as well as idea’s for parents how to pick valuable books for their kids.

Big board books with REAL photos and big letters, this entire series by American Museum of Natural Hisotory is fabulous.  ABC

(Almost) Anything by Eric Carle. They have fabulous board books, sound books, even beginner preschool chapter books. “From head to toe” is now one of Evy’s favorite books too! Lots of learning!


A secrete gem we found at our library — these have “trails” that are slightly indented to encourage fine motor skills. We loved them so much we emailed the illustrator (from Europe) and got a personalized thank you and follow up in response! Another thing — email kid’s authors or illustrators that do wonderful work, it means the world to them.


No surprise but food books are a huge hit with Ethan. However not very many are worth the time. These three we have found to be really fun, great photos, and favorites!


OOOOOH these books are shaped extra long and are SO FUN! Each page has a big photo of a vehicle with the sound it makes phonetically written out. Our son adores them.


I can’t say enough good things about Llama Llama books. The board books are short and fun for Evy’s age (such as nighty-night). But once you hit that 2 year old mark, the other ones are AMAZING. Each has valuable lessons that we shamelessly quote on a daily basis. YES YES. Try one (start with Red Pajama. And then Time to Share).


Wait for it. These books are the perfect gift. And the perfect read. Put out by World Vision, simple pages with gorgeous photos of kids from all countries, it doesn’t shy away from the poverty in the photos, but it joyfully shows kids playing, traveling, learning…in all areas of the world. It’s the perfect visual for little eyes to start learning about the greater world and needs.

world vision

I had to include Curious George because it’s what our son loves. But in reality, if there is a “pop culture thing” that your kid loves, attempt to embrace it and use it for learning. Whether it’s Thomas the Train (um he kinda weirds me out! Glad Ethan bypassed that one) or some other “brand”, we attempt to limit these (or at least balance them out). But he eagerly reads and listens to them. Win.

curious george

Best for last — any and all books on the “classics” list are generally well loved no matter what the age. In fact they say if a book appeals to a toddler and a 80 year old then you’re probably looking at a good book. The list is too long, so Amazon that or Google it and then grab a stack from your library and find the ones that you love too!