The best books for 2-year-olds

Mum and daughter reading together - the best books for children aged 2

by Samantha Ball |

From two years old, your child's language is developing quickly and they probably know around 200 or more words. Encouraging reading is a great way to get your little ones to expand their knowledge, enabling them to learn new words and start making connections between books and real life. That's why we're helping you find the best books for your 2-year-old.

Books that you can link to challenges your toddler might be facing in real life, such as potty training or brushing their teeth, are a good way to get your toddler to interact with reading and see the positives to each story. Not only that, but lots of books for little ones include interaction and sensory stimulation - which we're big fans of.

Reading is great for cognitive development, speech, empathy and imagination.

How do I get my two-year-old to read?

1. Let them choose the book

By letting your little one choose their own book, they're more likely to sit and join in reading it. In particular, repetition and rhyming words are easy for children to remember, too. So, even if they pick the same book each storytime, they'll eventually start helping to re-read the book back to you. Maybe they'll even correct you if you read the story wrong, (especially if you sometimes skip a page to speed up storytime - we've all done it!)

Related: How phonics can help your child to read

2. Set an example

Children learn through watching what you do and trying to copy you, which is why toy kitchens and cleaning toys are perfect gifts for children, as it teaches them social skills and how to use their imagination. With this in mind, it's a good idea to start reading while your toddler is playing. If they see you reading a book at least once a day, they'll see you doing it and be happier to join in on storytime.

3. Choose funny books

Choosing books with funny rhymes and silly storylines is a guaranteed way to keep little ones engaged with reading and eager to turn the pages! Who doesn't love a book that gives a good giggle?

Check out our list of the best books for 2-year-olds: {#h-take-a-look-at-our-pick-of-books-that-are-perfect-to-read-to-your-two-year-old}

The best books to buy for two-year-olds

Where The Wild Things Are

Best-loved monster book
children's story book The best books for 2-year-olds

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This adorable story of Max and his monsters has entertained children for years. After dressing up in his wolf costume, Max wreaks so much havoc (sound familiar?) that he is sent to bed before dinner. That night, his bedroom transforms into a forest, and he is taken to where the Wild Things are. A classic, this book makes the perfect nighttime story for all those loveable little monsters out there.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar The best books for 2-year-olds

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A book that needs no introduction, if you haven't already got your toddler The Very Hungry Caterpillar, what are you playing at? Snuggle up wand read as one very hungry caterpillar eats his way through the week.
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The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Best classic book
Tiger who came to tea The best books for 2-year-olds

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Another classic that has stood the test of time, this beautiful story of Sophie and her very hungry tea-time guest is a must if you’ve got an animal lover in your blood. It’s purr-fect. Why not plan a tea party for your own hungry tigers at the weekend?

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Best repetition book
Going on a bear hunt The best books for 2-year-olds

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This fun, rhythmic and repetitive book by Michael Rosen is a great way to encourage children to repeat phrases! Plus, the illustrations in this little book are beautifully done in watercolours. We're going on a bear hunt; will your toddler join?

Giraffes Can't Dance

Best confidence-building book
Giraffes cant dance The best books for 2-year-olds

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Giraffes can't dance, or can they? This funny, touching and triumphant book is a joyful read for children. We love a story that has a simple moral. In this case, it’s about daring to be different and finding your own confidence.

Room on the Broom

Best witch book
Room on the broom The best books for 2-year-olds

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Room on the Broom is a favourite – and tells the story of a kind witch and her cat who invite three other animals (a dog, a bird and a frog) to join them in travelling on her broomstick. The witch and her cat fly happily over forests in the night, but when a stormy wind blows away the witch's hat, bow and wand, who will retrieve them for her? Perfect for a bedtime read.

Pirate Pete's Potty

Best potty training book
Potty The best books for 2-year-olds

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This book is great for little ones who might be starting to potty train! It's easy to follow along, and when Pirate Pete uses his potty correctly, tots can press the 'cheer' button for a noisy reward. It’s the perfect matey for a little one who is starting to use the potty. There's even a Princess Polly's Potty if your little one prefers this character.

How to Brush Your Teeth with Snappy Croc

Best tooth-brushing book
Snappy Croc The best books for 2-year-olds

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As we all know, brushing our teeth is the best way to look after them. This board book about brushing teeth is a lovely way to encourage tots to brush away, with the help of the lovely crocodile. Your little one will be smiling a-plenty after brushing their gnashers.

Help! My Dinosaurs are Lost in the City!

Best dinosaur book
Help! The best books for 2-year-olds

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Your little one will be channelling their inner palaeontologist with this dinosaur-themed Where’s Wally book. Most importantly: can your little one find the missing dinosaurs? This lovely book tests children’s puzzle-solving skills. We love this roar-some addition to the list.

You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus

Best book to make your little one laugh
Elephant on the bus The best books for 2-year-olds

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You can't take an elephant on a bus or ask a whale to ride a bike! With hilarious and clever rhyming, this book will definitely have your little one in fits of giggles! We love this because it is over-flowing with animals causing total disaster as they try to travel in the most unsuitable of vehicles.

Peppa Pig: At the Zoo

Best Peppa Pig book
At the zoo The best books for 2-year-olds

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What toddler doesn't love Peppa Pig? Join Peppa on her class trip to the zoo! What animals will she see?

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

Best sounds book
Dr Seuss The best books for 2-year-olds

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This book can introduce your little one to a lot of rhyming and can encourage them to repeat the sounds they hear in the book, with a moo-mo! Hoo hoo! And a cocker-doodle-do, what else can Mr. Brown do?

Roald Dahl's Colours

Best colours book
Colours The best books for 2-year-olds

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This lift-the-flap book will help your tots discover all the colours of the rainbow with Roald Dahl, the world’s favourite storyteller. It’s perfect for little hands.

Roald Dahl’s 123

Best counting book
123 The best books for 2-year-olds

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2 little chiddlers waiting for their friend. Can you spot 1 enormous crocodile hiding in the grass? This book is a great way to teach children all about numbers and counting, with a fun little storyline.

Goodnight, Pooh

Best Winnie the Pooh book
Goodnight Pooh The best books for 2-year-olds

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Join Winnie the Pooh as he gets ready for bed, in this delightful story with peep-through holes to play peep-o!

Maisy's Bus

Maisy's bus The best books for 2-year-olds

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Maisy’s adventures have been translated into 28 languages and sold over 25 million copies. You can now find more than 150 stories full of letters, numbers, and shapes for your baby to learn, all featuring the wonderfully illustrated mouse.

The Baby's Catalogue

Best routine building book
Baby Catalogue The best books for 2-year-olds

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The Baby's Catalogue is a lovely picture book of objects and scenes from a baby's world. The content of this book has made it a classic addition to your nursery library.


Best classic peek-a-boo book
Peepo The best books for 2-year-olds

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Peepo! Is set in the early forties, showing an unpretentious vision of a baby's contented life based on Allan Ahlberg's own working-class childhood.

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