If you are reading this list of books for 2-year-olds you are either A) tired of reading the same few books over and over and desperately seeking something new; or B) want to give a new book to your favorite 2-year-old but need to find a book they don’t already have!
You’ve come to the right place. These are the best books for 2-year-olds that you haven’t read. Because who needs another copy of Goodnight Moon, right?
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by Yusuke Yonezu
This adorable board book for 2-year-olds will show your kids the joys of sharing. With bold graphics and clever die cuts, Yonezu’s simple story demonstrates how some is better than none, and a half can bring a whole smile. But what happens when two children both want mommy? The sweet ending will result in lots of hugs.
Making Tracks Series
by Abi Hall
These sturdy board books include fun die cuts and lift the flap interactive features. Double page spreads ask “Who is making tracks?,” leaving clues to help little ones make predictions and develop visual perception skills. The series includes Mountain, City, Jungle and Desert-themed books.
by Tatsuhide Matsuoka
Jump is sure to bring a huge smile to your child’s face. The book opens vertically to show, one by one, animals jumping. Each sequence begins with a single animal and the text, “A frog jumps,” (kitten, dog, etc.) Turn the page and you see the animal high in the air with the word “Boing!” Variations in body formation, graphics and jumping ability create a cheerful and utterly delightful narrative.
Vroom Vroom Garbage Truck
by Asia Citro, illustrated by Troy Cummings
This absolutely delightful board book will have 2-year-olds making their favorite garbage truck noises. The onomatopoeic and rhythmic text is so much fun to read aloud and the bold and colorful illustrations are spot on. Your tot will surely join in with their own sounds, too.
Mad, Mad Bear
by Kimberley Gee
It’s never too early to help children learn to recognize, name and process their feelings. This charming, age appropriate book does just that with the big scary emotions of anger and frustration. Bear is very mad because he had to leave the park early. When he gets home he has a meltdown, but with some help he breathes, has a snack and a rest, eventually coming out on the other side.
Will Ladybug Hug?
by Hilary Leung
Ladybug is leaving on a trip and saying goodbye to her friends. One by one, the narrator asks if each of Ladybug’s friends will hug. Every one hugs in a different style, except for Sheep who doesn’t want to hug at all. This book gives 2-year-olds a friendly introduction to the concept of personal space, boundaries and consent.
Rosa Loves Cars
by Jessica Spanyol
I love the entire All About Rosa book series. Each story shows Rosa engaged in pretend play or a learning activity, breaking traditional and stereotypical gender roles. The companion series, All About Clive, which I also highly recommend, pushes back against gender stereotypes for boys.
My First Book of Poetry
ed. by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar
Bet you never expected to be reading verse by Gertrude Stein to your wee one! I adore this collection of unexpected poems for kids ages 0-3, and they are will be enjoyed by preschool-aged children, too! Yolen and Peters have filled this compilation with poems by stellar poets like A.A. Milne, Langston Hughes and Robert Louis Stevenson. It really is impressive how well-chosen the poems are and how delightful they are to read. You won’t find another collection like this and Polly Dunbar’s whimsical illustrations just increase the magic!
by Mary Murphy
This sweet board book shows toddlers and 2-year-olds how a simple act of kindness can be passed on. It begins with Hen giving Pig a present and Pig answering, “How kind!” Pig is then inspired to pass on the kindness to Rabbit, Rabbit to Cow, and on it goes. All this kindness, of course, comes full circle when the original gift hatches and Pig returns the egg-now-chick to Hen.
My Heart Fills with Happiness
by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett
This is a super sweet and wonderful board book perfect for any age child. The text celebrates finding happiness in the everyday events and joyful, colorful illustrations.