Best Books for Children Under Two

Youong woman reading a book to a baby girl.

It’s never too soon to introduce your child to the joy of reading. Here are just a few reasons why reading together is important:

  • EARS: Babies are attracted to sound, and reading helps little ones attach meaning to what they hear.
  • EYES: Books encourage babies to focus on an object, which helps develop vision.
  • HEART: Babies are comforted by the sound of your voice and knowing you are near, which makes reading the perfect way to bond with your baby.
  • BRAIN: Early experiences with books are linked to later success in learning to read. Nurturing a love for books and reading is the best gift you can give your baby.

Choose books that…

Are made of cloth or cardboard with rounded edges.

Baby with Cardboard Book with Rounded EdgesTip: Babies love to touch, move—and even chew—on their books. Board and cloth books are made for baby hands—and mouths—and allow for safe exploration. Many classic children’s titles are available in these formats.


Baby's Day cloth book jaket of a artoon baby's large head and a teddy bear in a red wagon with yellow wheels.Baby’s Day: Cloth Book
by Karen Katz
ISBN: 9781416935803

The I Love You Book, book jacket with a red heart with a yellow cartoon child with a red and blue striped shirtThe I LOVE YOU Book
by Todd Parr
ISBN: 9780316247566

Who Do You See? book jacket with a cartoon cow with a mirror for a body.Who Do You See?
by Will Grace
ISBN: 9780545102940


Feature bright, primary colors and high-contrast patterns.

Baby with Book of Bright Colors

Tip: Babies under six months can’t see subtle shades yet, but they’re attracted to bright contrasting colors. Bold black-and-white books are perfect for baby eyes!


Black and White jacket cover with black and white text and simple object illustrations: a chair, a spoon, a cat.Black & White
by Taba Hoban
ISBN: 9780061172113

Hello Baby: Words jacket cover with a red and white beach ball on the cover.Hello Baby: Words
by Roger Priddy
ISBN: 9780312515980

Look at the Animals jacket cover with a black an white panda bear and birds.Look at the Animals!
by Peter Linenthal
ISBN: 9780525475828


Show objects that are part of baby’s world.

Baby's WorldTip: Look for point-and-say books that show one familiar object per page. When sharing with baby, name each object and describe it in a sentence.


 I Love to Eat jacket cover with a red headed toddler drinking from a baby bottle, cartoon drawing.I Love to Eat
by Amelie Grauz
ISBN: 9780547848426

Let's Name jacket cover with multicolored squares containing blocks, an apple, a teddy bear, and a pair of rain boots.Let’s Name!
by Rod Campbell
ISBN: 9781509804368

My Toys jacket cover, yellow with a brown teddy bear cartoon drawing with a red ribbon around his neck.My Toys/ Mis Juguetes
by Rebecca Emberly
ISBN: 978031617494


Depict all kinds of faces.

FaceTip: Babies are fascinated by faces—even their own! Go for books that present diverse faces. Books with mirrors also make great options.


Baby Faces Peekaboo! jacket cover of a small baby with a red shirt with a star on it, surrounded by stars with babies' faces in them, all on a yellow background.Baby Faces Peekaboo!
by DK Publishing
ISBN: 978-0756655068

Global Babies jacket cover with a pciture of a baby with a beeded head dress with colored tassels hanging from it.Global Babies
by The Global Fund for Children
ISBN: 9781580891745

Hugs & Kisses jacket cover of a woman kissing a baby on the mouth.Hugs and Kisses
by Roberta Grobel Intrater
ISBN: 9780439420037


Are textured and touchable.

Baby with Colorful Plastic BookTip: Babies love to touch, so books with special textures grab their attention and stimulate brain development.


Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy jacket covver with a large cartoon cow head with a pink nose.Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!
by Sandra Boynton
ISBN: 9780689863639

Baby Touch and Feel: Animals jacket cover of two light brown rabbits and a carrot, photograph.Baby Touch and Feel: Animals
by DK Publishing
ISBN: 9780756634681

That's Not My Bunny, jacket cover with a gray bunny on the cover with a large white puff tail, a cartoon.That’s Not My Bunny: Its Tail Is Too Fluffy
by Fiona Watt
ISBN: 9780794509576


Allow for interactive play.

Interactive Play Baby BookTip: Look for lift flaps, holes, and built-in puppets. By age one, babies develop a sense of object permanence—which makes peek-a-boo a blast!


Peek-a-Who?Peek-a-Who? jacket cover with a blue leaf-covered bakground and a large red cartoon owl face with greenish yellow eyes and an orange beak.
by Nina Laden
ISBN: 9780811826020

This Little Piggy, book jacket and package, five figer puppet pigs in different colored outfits.This Little Piggy: A Hand-Puppet Board Book
by Jill Ackerman
ISBN: 9780545030380

Whre is Baby's Belly Button? book jacket of a large cartoon baby with a short checkered shirt showing his or hear belly button.Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
by Karen Katz
ISBN: 9780689835605


More Baby Books We Love


All of Baby Nose to Toes jacket cover of half a cartoon baby face peeking up over a tableAll of Baby, Nose to Toes
by Victoria Adler
ISBN: 9780803735316

Baby Cakes cartoon jacket coverBaby Cakes
by Karma Wilson
ISBN: 9781416902898

Baby's Day jacket coverBaby’s Day
by Michael Blake
ISBN: 9780763633684

Beep Beep jacket coverBeep Beep
by Petr Horacek
ISBN: 9780763634827

Charlie Chick jacket coverCharlie Chick
by Nick Denchfield
ISBN: 9780152060138

Clap Hands jacket coverClap Hands
by Helen Oxenbury
ISBN: 9780689819841

Counting KissesCounting Kisses
by Karen Katz
ISBN: 9780689856587

My First Book of Color jacket coverCurious Baby: My First Book of Color
by H. A. Rey
ISBN: 9780547472805

Go, children's book jacket coverGo
by Dwell Studios
ISBN: 9781609050009

Grandma Calls Me GigglepieGrandma Calls Me Gigglepie
by J.D. Lester
ISBN: 9780375859045

Head Shoulders Knees book jacketHead, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
by Annie Kubler
ISBN: 9780859537285

I Kissed the Baby jacket cover of a big white bird and a little yellow birdI Kissed the Baby!
by Mary Murphy
ISBN: 9780763624439

My Colors / Mis Colores jacket coverMy Colors/Mis Colores
by Rebecca Emberly
ISBN: 9780316233477

Who Do I See?Who Do I See?
by Salina Yoon
ISBN: 9780375873096

You Are My Baby: Farm jacket coverYou Are My Baby: Farm
by Lorena Siminovich
ISBN: 9781452106434

Yummy Yucky jacket coverYummy Yucky
by Leslie Patricelli
ISBN: 9780763619503