Books for the One-Year-Old


As you know if you have a young toddler, there are A LOT of books out there!  And, some are great… and some, well, just aren’t.  It can be overwhelming to weed through it all and find books that are (1) fun to read for both parents and kids, and (2) age-appropriate enough to hold a one-year-old’s attention.  They really do want to listen to you read aloud… but they have a two-minute attention span and a need to move!  This is a list I created last year when my daughter, Olivia, was this age.

Some of Olivia’s favorite books included:

  • “Hooray For Fish” by Lucy Cousins
  • “Goodnight Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann (Wordless, which is great because these type of books help build the concept of how a story is put together, so really good for early literacy development.  Studies have also found that kids are introduced to more complex language when reading these types of books with parents… read about it here!)
  • “Hug” by Jez Alborough (also basically wordless)
  • “Freight Train” by Donald Crews
  • “Do You Have a Tail” by Simms Taback
  • “Big Red Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown (author of “Goodnight Moon”)
  • “Tails Chasing Tails” by Matthew Porter
  • “Caps for Sale” by Esphr Slobokina
  • “Each Peach Pear Plum” by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

(Note: The highlighted authors are some of my faves.  I recommend checking out their other books as well!)

Other favorite authors (aside from the ones listed above):
  • Sandra Boynton (some faves are “Moo, Baa, La La La” “and “Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs”)
  • Amy Krouse Rosenthal (“Little Pea” is the best)
  • Mo Willems (although some of his stuff is better suited for the 2 or 3-year-old)
  • Eric Carle (duh)
  • Jane Yolen (she has various nursery rhyme type books, and also a series about dinosaurs, e.g. “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight”)
  • Mem Fox (“Where is the Green Sheep” and others!)
  • Nina Laden (writes a lot of ‘prediction’ or guessing books like “Peek-A-Who” that are great for this age!  Interactivity from asking questions (“I wonder why he did that?” or “what’s going to happen next?”) – even if you don’t get a verbal response from a child – helps with development and makes reading time a shared experience.)
  • Leslie Patricelli
  • Sam Lloyd (“What Color is Your Underwear”)
  • Saxton Freymann (his illustrations are photos of fruit with faces… different and colorful to look at)
  • David Shannon (the “David” books)
If you are looking for more beyond the suggestions above, know that this age is interested in concept booksbooks that discuss or teach about a specific concept such as colors, numbers, shapes… even the alphabet!).  Books that name lots of different things (i.e. first word books… a favorite is “Maisy’s Amazing Big Book of Words” by Lucy Cousins) are also popular and useful.  They can be a little tedious to read, but one-year-olds are literally learning a language, so they drink these books up!  Young toddlers also love songs and rhymes, so finding books that incorporate these things can be very fun for them. (The Wheels on the Bus, anyone??)
Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive.  There are so many great books out there!  If you don’t find something on here that you love, or if you need more suggestions, check out your local library! The best part about borrowing books is that if you hate a book, you haven’t bought it and you can get rid of it soon.  Many libraries also have a good selection of board books (if you are still nervous about your little one ripping pages out).  Happy reading!

2 thoughts on “Books for the One-Year-Old

  1. Cutest video ever! I love hearing about book recommendations too! Pearl also loves many of the books you have mentioned and we definitely are interested in trying some new ones too!

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