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Best books for your toddler

Reading aloud to your toddler can foster a love of books from an early age. So what are the best books for your little one?

Mom reading book to toddler

Toddlers adore and will learn best through books which use rhyme and repetition. Often you will find yourself reading the same book over and over again. As far as they’re concerned, the more times they hear, read, re-read or re-listen to their favourite stories, the better. When choosing the best books for your toddler, keep in mind that you will need to select books that will withstand many hours of mouthing, page turning and grubby hands. Look for books made from cloth, vinyl or thick, durable cardboard (often called “board books”). SheKnows has compiled a list of books your toddler will love.

Wombat Stew By Marcia K Vaughan

Wombat stew by Marcia K Vaughan

Even adults will enjoy this Australian classic with its detailed illustrations. It’s a fun way to teach your child about Australian animals and is perfect for reading aloud, especially with Dingo’s gooey, brewy, yummy, chewy, wombat stew!

Koala Lou By Mem Fox, P. Lofts

Koala Lou by Mem Fox, P Lofts

Keeping within the Australiana genre, Koala Lou is a cute and cuddly koala who wants nothing more than her mother’s affection. She decides the best way to gain this is by entering the gum tree-climbing event in the Bush Olympics. A tender and beautifully told story with colourful, realistic illustrations.

Are You My Mother? By P.D Eastman

Are you my mother? by P D Eastman

This story has stood the test of time for generations. A baby bird who falls from his nest goes on the search for his mother, but not before he meets a cow, a dog, a plane and a snort. Simple illustrations but a great story your child will want to hear over and over again. Available in hardcover to withstand slobber.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Where is the green sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Here is the blue sheep, and here is the red sheep. Here is the bath sheep, and here is the bed sheep. But where is the green sheep? A captivating page-turner with memorable characters and bright illustrations. Awarded the 2005 Children’s Book of the Year for Early Childhood, it is available in board book style.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle

The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle

A newly-hatched caterpillar literally nibbles his way through all kinds of food — from leaves to sausages and cakes — in this story with bright illustrations. The die-cut holes indicating where the caterpillar has munched his way through the pages will fascinate your toddler for hours. Teaches days of the week, nutrition and counting. Also available without the CD.

The Bike Lesson by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The bike lesson by Stan and Jan Berenstain

An absolute classic! Father Bear decides to teach Small Bear how to ride his new bicycle. As usual, Father Bear’s “lessons” lead to a series of hilarious disasters. The book’s rhyme, rhythm and humour will appeal to your child. It uses simple sentence structure and bright illustrations to give even non-reading children the confidence to give reading aloud a go.

These books are available from all good book stores across Australia.

Addditional information

How to raise a healthy active toddler
Best educational toys for toddlers
Toddlers and portion control: What you should know

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