Favourite Books for Toddlers

Toddler Books

I’ve always been an enormous book lover and I’m ecstatic that my sweet boy seems to be following suit, so I thought for today’s Caterpillar Corner I would share some of his (and my!) firm favourites.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This Eric Carle classic has been a favourite of mine ever since I was a child myself. Even before I was pregnant it was the book I imagined reading to my kids (and subsequently I ended up being gifted three copies!). The board book version is the best in my eyes as it’s robust and perfect for little hands (my son especially enjoys poking his finger in the little holes the caterpillar has eaten through). This book has everything – beautiful illustrations, learning and repetition, food (!) and, most importantly, a wonderful story of transformation.

We’ve read this one so often that Caterpillar (my Caterpillar – this is getting confusing!) likes to read it to himself too, and especially enjoys reeling off all the food that is eaten on the Saturday!

Edward Built A RocketShip by Michael Rack


My mother-in-law found this in a charity shop and picked it up because it matches Caterpillar’s real name, it’s since been read many times. I love rhyming in a children’s book as it makes it a real pleasure to read (and hear, I should think). I particularly like the story of how Edward makes a rocket ship from household items and takes it on an adventure as it encourages imaginative play. Caterpillar loves the part “when the engines went KABOOM!”

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

We were quite late to this classic but have recently discovered why it’s so popular. Again, the rhyming is brilliant and Caterpillar seems to be at the perfect age to enjoy the story of the clever mouse who outsmarts all the other creatures.

Our copy actually came as part of a bumper pack of ten Julia Donaldson books I bought from The Book People for only £10, so a real bargain too.

Night Monkey, Day Monkey by Julia Donaldson

We’ve read this book dozens of times and it was only when compiling this list that I realised it’s also from Julia Donaldson! We originally found it at the library and all of us enjoyed reading it so much at bedtime that we kept renewing it for months. By a fortunate stroke of luck when I did eventually bring myself to return it the library said since this copy was so old and worn it would be going out of commission and did we want to keep it? I never imagined receiving a children’s book as an adult would make my day!

The words and illustrations are fabulous and I think the plot of two monkeys who experience the world at opposite times of day offers a great message to children about embracing each other’s differences.

That’s Not My…series by Fiona Watts and Rachel Wells

These textured picture books are brilliant for babies and Caterpillar has several. His favourites are That’s Not My Elephant and That’s Not My Dinosaur. They are really engaging, even from only a few months old, and the sensory element of the vividly different textures really captures their attention (and mine too frankly, I don’t know an adult who can read them without touching!)

Aliens Love Underpants series by Claire Freedman


Another steal from The Book People, Caterpillar has a five book set for only £7. They get read again and again thanks to the bright and comical illustrations and the really imaginative story of aliens stealing underpants from earthlings. The idea and writing is so creative that it’s a joy to read for Hubs and I, as well as for Caterpillar.

Sleepy Farm by The Gro Company

This isn’t actually a standalone book at all, but instead comes as part of the Gro Clock system from The Gro Company. When I heard about a clock that helps your toddlers to stay in bed I couldn’t resist!

The book is an integral part of the product as it tells the story of a grumpy pig who never has the energy to play with the other farm animals because he doesn’t sleep well at night. To help, the other animals buy him a special clock that displays a blue star at nighttime and a yellow sun when it’s time to wake up, which ultimately helps Percy Pig to feel happier and well-rested.

It’s a great tool for any toddler learning to sleep better and really helps get the message of the clock across. Plus, it’s a cute story with lovely illustrations, and is tiny and light which makes it great for taking in a overnight bag if you and your little one are staying away from home.

Busy Farm by Lego Duplo

This one was a gift from a friend and is such a cool, unique idea. It’s a board book farm animal story that actually comes with Duplo bricks to build the different animals (and clear instructions on how for Lego virgins like me!). It’s a great way to introduce your little one to Lego Duplo and would be a really unique present too.

Toddler Hide and Seek published by DK 


A third and final bargain from The Book People, this large, sturdy book is excellent for encouraging your toddler to speak. It includes an enormous range of words and vivid pictures and photos, all divided into clear subject sections. It goes from simple first words all the way up to specific technical names that even I wasn’t sure about (the difference between a grader and a loader anyone?). Because of this wide range of difficulty level I can see us getting use out of this one for a really long time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and are inspired next time you’re in the book store. Let me know your own recommendations in the comment box below!

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