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Top 17 Best Books for 2 Year Olds: A Fun and Educational List

Mother Sitting With Son Reading Story Indoors

All right, so you’re back. It’s time to talk about two-year-olds. Now, I don’t have a two year old of my own, but I have babysat a lot of two-year-olds, and reading has been a vital element of that babysitting.

I’ve already covered this topic for one-year-olds in a previous post, and you will actually find some overlap between this post and that one. That’s because it is absolutely acceptable to continue reading some of the books you read to your one-year-old when they turn two.

So with that in mind, let’s dive into the 17 best books for two-year-olds, along with my explanations for why each of them matters.

1. Baby University Board Book Set by Chris Ferrie

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I’ll bet when you searched for the best books for two-year-olds, a book on quantum physics wasn’t something you expected to find. But that’s just what this baby book set is all about.

These board books are written by Chris Ferrie and go into what I would consider some pretty deep educational topics, but in a way that is very simple and introductory for a two-year-old.

The set collected here has four board books, but there are actually many more written by this guy. Highly recommended.

2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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I’m pretty sure all of us are familiar with Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It’s a classic of children’s literature, and one that, I think, all parents should expose their children to.

Not only is it a great story, but it also helps the child cope with the imagined monsters that they deal with.

Definitely one I would look at.

3. One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root

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When I was a child, there was one day when I was climbing out of my crib and got stuck between the bars. I yelled out, “stuck!” and my mom likes to tell the story to this day.

Chances are your child gets into a number of precarious situations, and that’s why this book by Phyllis Root is a great addition to your toddler library.

Not only is it great for laughing at, but it’s also an endearing story about a duck who gets stuck.

4. You’re Two by Shelly Unwin

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And hey, what better way to celebrate your child becoming a two-year-old, then with the book You’re Two by Shelly Unwin.

This book is quite obviously extremely appropriate for two-year-olds. And it helps them learn more about the number two, and all of the things that they have two of, like two arms, two legs, two ears, etc.

All in all, a great book to advance your child’s learning and celebrate their birthday.

5. ABC Universe by the National Museum of Natural History

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I love books that provide an educational experience for young readers, which is why I lead with the Baby University books, but ABC Universe by the National Museum of Natural History is another great educational resource for two-year-olds.

This book takes your typical ABC approach and uses it to expose your child to the many wonders of the world and the universe. It was created by the American Museum of Natural History, so you know that exposure to science and the wonders of our world are at the top of their priority.

In general, if you want something educational for your child, I recommend this book.

6. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

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But sometimes you don’t want something educational, you want something endearing. You want to celebrate that special relationship that you have with your child.

If that’s the case, then Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is the perfect book for you. It tells the story of a rabbit and their little baby rabbit, and it’s just a fun tale of a baby with her daddy.

7. BabyLit Pride & Prejudice (and the whole series really)

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Another great thing to introduce your child to is great works of literature. And there’s a series called BabyLit that specializes in this.

And what better way to start (and I might be slightly biased), then with Jane Austen herself!

They actually have several versions of Pride and Prejudice for babies to explore, depending on what age they are. But the version I have linked here is the one I recommend for two-year-olds.

The moral of the story: it’s never too early to start that love/hate relationship with Mr. Darcy.

8. Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever

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Richard Scarry is known for being one of the biggest influences when it comes to bringing nursery rhymes and fairytales to young readers.

This collection of Mother Goose nursery rhymes is the definitive edition of his work. It collects all of the major stories with his unmistakable artwork, showing that this children’s author and artist deserves the 50+ years that his books have been in print.

9. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

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This is a repeat from the 1-year-old list because it is just that good. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin is a book about hope and dreams.

It’s a book that celebrates the future of your child, no matter what it holds. It talks about all of the wonderful things that they may become and how you can’t wait to see them grow up into these amazing people.

Definitely one I recommend for children of most young ages.

10. Sesame Street P is for Potty!

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Next on the list is a book for potty training, because you have to be prepared. Sesame Street P is for Potty! Is an ABC-book that helps your child learn all of their letters and words while also helping them get used to using the toilet.

Even though it might be a little bit early for potty training, it’s never too early to start getting them used to the idea. That’s why I thought this book was useful. Plus, it’s a lift the flap book, and to-year-olds love those.

11. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

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This is one of those classic children’s books that you can never go wrong with. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a book about colors and animals.

The best part about it is that the author and illustrator are both masters in their crafts, so you know that the quality of this book is great.

12. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

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The best part about The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton is that it’s funny for both kids and adults. It’s a book about animals getting ready for bed, but the birds are too loud while they’re trying to sleep! So if your child loves animals, this one will be perfect for them.

And I know I said best books for two-year-olds, but this one is best suited to kids of a much wider range, which is why it’s included here and on my 1-year-old post.

13. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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Speaking of classic children’s books, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is another one that you can’t go wrong with. It’s about a bunny rabbit who says goodnight to everything in his room before he goes to bed.

It’s a short and sweet book, perfect for bedtime reading. It’s also another one that works really well for both one-year-olds and two-year-olds.

14. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

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This next book is one of my favorites, The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It’s best described as Dr. Seuss meets Mr. Men in a really good way, because it tells an environmental tale about two unlikely friends who help each other out when they need it most.

It’s another brilliant book from the best children’s author and illustrator team out there, so you know it will be great quality.

15. Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

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I will never stop recommending this book, not just for kids, but for adults too. Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss is a book about life and all of its ups-and-downs, but it’s always best to be optimistic and remember that you’re going to do great things.

If your child likes reading books with rhymes then they will love this one too, because even though it has some difficult words, they are easier to understand in Dr. Seuss’s signature style of writing.

16. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

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Next up is another book by Mo Willems, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! It’s best described as an “I want” story for kids. The pigeon wants to drive the bus but no one will let him, so he wreaks havoc until they do.

It’s a really funny and relatable picture book that your child will love reading whenever you’re on public transport together. They’ll especially like it if they are always trying to get their own way too – which all children do at some point or other!

17. Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

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The last book on this list is Counting Kisses by Karen Katz. It’s a board book about a mom and her son counting kisses as they say goodbye to each other in the morning.

It’s really sweet and perfect for kids who are just starting to learn how to count. Plus, it has beautiful illustrations that will keep your child engaged from start to finish.

What to Look for in Books for a 2-Year-Old

So those are my top 17 best books for a two-year-old. But what should you look for when choosing books for this age group?

Well, first and foremost, the book should be enjoyable for your child to read. It should also be educational, teaching them new things about the world around them. And finally, it’s important that the book is well-written and has great illustrations – after all, they’ll be spending a lot of time looking at them!

The best books for two-year-olds will have all of these qualities, so be sure to keep them in mind when shopping for your child’s next read. Happy reading!

How to Get a 2-Year-Old Interested in Reading

One of the best things about giving your child books at a young age is that it helps to foster a love of reading, which will stay with them for life. But how can you get a two-year-old interested in reading in the first place?

Here are a few tips:

  • Start with board books. Board books are perfect for toddlers because they are sturdy and easy to hold, plus the illustrations are usually very colorful and engaging.
  • Make time for read alouds. One of the best ways to get your child interested in reading is by reading aloud to them every day. Not only will they learn new words and stories, but they’ll also start to develop an appreciation for literature.
  • Let them choose their own books. Once your child is a little older, let them choose their own books to read. This will help them feel more invested in the process and they’ll be more likely to enjoy it.
  • Get creative with reading time. Sometimes it’s fun to mix things up a bit and make reading time more interactive. Try making story time into a game or quiz, or even ask your child questions about the characters and plot after you finish reading.

With these tips in mind, you should have no trouble getting your two-year-old interested in reading! And who knows – maybe they’ll be one of the next generation’s best authors themselves.

Should You Read to a Toddler?

Parents often wonder if they should read to their toddler, and the answer is definitely yes! Reading to your child at a young age helps to foster a love of reading, which will stay with them for life. In addition, reading to your child provides many other benefits, such as:

  • Helping them learn new words and stories
  • Encouraging creativity and imagination
  • Strengthening the parent-child bond

So don’t hesitate – start reading to your toddler today! They’ll thank you for it in the future.

How Should You Read to a Toddler?

When you’re reading to a toddler, it’s best not to sit them in your lap and read directly from the book. Instead, try using these tips:

  • Sit with them on the floor or couch – they’ll be more comfortable that way.
  • Choose books that are short and colorful, like board books. These ones will catch their attention best.
  • Skip long paragraphs of text if necessary; instead summarize what is happening as you go along so they know what happened before this part of the story too (this can also help prevent boredom).
  • Ask questions about the characters or plot after you finish each page/chapter; this will keep them involved during the whole process! They may even learn some new things about the story.

By following these tips, you’ll make reading to your toddler a more enjoyable experience for both of you. Happy reading!

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