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Article: 15 Best Books for Babies and Toddlers: Top Montessori Picks

best baby books, best books for 1 year olds, best books for 2 year olds

15 Best Books for Babies and Toddlers: Top Montessori Picks

Discover Books to Give as Gifts or Enjoy with Your Baby this Summer

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Some of my fondest memories of my children as babies and toddlers are reading with them. The best books for babies and toddlers offer laughter and wonder.

As a mother of three and former Montessori teacher, I've read a lot of great books. Yet, some stand out as favorite books for young children. Here are some of the best baby books I highly recommend for your infant, 1-year-old, 2-year-old, and 3-year-old. Plus, I'll share some tips on how to pick books from a Montessori perspective.

How to Choose the Best Baby Books

The best book for your baby or toddler depends on their age and interests. Infants may enjoy mostly looking at pictures as you read aloud. Yet, as children grow older, they enjoy longer, more complex stories.

The Best Books for Infants

Did you know that infants can't see well? During the first year of life, a baby's vision changes a lot. This means that during the first few months of life, your baby is likely to be more interested in faces and high-contrast images. What does this mean for books?

For your infant, try choosing books with bright, colorful images. Another great choice is books with black and white images. As your child grows, and their eyesight improves, they may enjoy books with a wide range of images and features, including interactive books.

Choosing Montessori Books

Montessori believed that literature for young children should focus on real life. She believed that young children can't distinguish between real life and fantasy. This means that stories, such as fairy tales, may be confusing for young children. As children grow, they can think critically and understand the line between reality and fantasy.

Montessori toddler and baby books generally focus on realistic topics and include either photos or realistic illustrations. Fortunately, there are many, many options to choose from.

Best Baby Books

Discover the wonderful world of the best baby books. Featuring bright, engaging photos and realistic images, these are the perfect books for infants.

1. Global Babies

best baby books, best books for 1 year olds, best books for 2 year olds

Meet babies from around the world in this beautiful book. Global Babies is a series of books featuring babies and toddlers from a diverse range of countries. Showcasing many cultures and traditions, the Global Babies series will introduce your baby to our beautiful world. The many bright photos of smiling faces are ideal images for babies.

2. Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions

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Introduce your baby to emotions with this adorable baby book. Each page shows the faces of babies expressing a range of feelings. Because infants love looking at faces, this is another excellent board book to add to your collection.

3. Baby Animals: Black and White

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Explore animals with this high-contrast black and white book. The realistic illustrations include a panda bear, dog, zebra, bunny, and more. This adorable book is sure to capture the attention of your infant.

Best Books for 1 Year Olds

As your baby gets older, they grow more curious. Keep your baby engaged with these engaging books that invite your baby to participate in storytime.

4. Baby Touch and Feel: Animals

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All three of my kids loved this baby touch and feel book. This interactive children's book includes a variety of textures to touch. Your baby will love discovering soft fur, bumpy scales, and so much more! This book also features eye-catching shiny and glittery features.

5. First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

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Build your baby's vocabulary with this book full of photos. This book covers a wide range of topics from animals to toys, vehicles, and more.

As your baby learns words, you can ask them to point to different items on each page. Or, invite your baby to repeat after you as you say each word. The bright, attractive photos make this an excellent choice.

6. Playtown: A Lift-The-Flap Book

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One-year-olds love interactive books that give their busy hands something to do. This lift-the-flap book will capture your baby's attention as they lift the flaps to reveal pictures. As babies, I entertained my kids for hours with lift-the-flap books. This is a great pick for long car rides or waiting at the doctor's office. 

7. Hands Can

best baby books, best books for 1 year olds, best books for 2 year olds

This adorable story incorporates rhyming and beautiful photos of children using their hands to do many things. Ideal for a bedtime story, this book can also inspire your child to try many new activities.

Best Books for 2 Year Olds

Many two-year-olds begin to enjoy stories, especially silly ones. These books for 2 year olds feature fun storylines and repetition that encourage your little one to read along.

8. Good Night Gorilla

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This delightful story is the perfect silly bedtime story about a zookeeper. My youngest child loved reading this book between peals of laughter as he imitated each animal saying "goodnight." There's nothing like putting your toddler to bed on a high note after having a satisfying giggle together.

9. We're Going on a Bear Hunt

best books for 2 year olds, best books for 3 year olds, best baby books

This book for toddlers will get your little one to speak and try new words. My daughter learned the word "beautiful" from this book, which she proudly pronounced "booful." Featuring rhythmic text and adorable, realistic drawings, this book follows a family on a bear hunt. You won't regret introducing this classic toddler book to your little one.

10. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

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Whimsical, yet realistic illustrations and an enchanting storyline make this book a favorite. I read this book to my oldest on a flight at least twenty times because it was his absolute favorite. With just a touch of mystery, this story ends with an invitation to share a ripe strawberry with a mouse.

11. Somewhere in the Ocean

best books for 2 year olds, best books for 3 year olds, best baby books

This song storybook features gorgeous illustrations of sea animals. Once you learn the song, your little one is sure to sing along with you. As your child grows, you can also read the fun facts about sea animals a the end of the book.

Best Books for 3 Year Olds

Good books for three year olds include stories, songs, and also help shape your child's worldview.

12. The Runaway Bunny

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This adorable book shows a mother bunny's love for her baby. Snuggle a little closer for this bedtime story as you enjoy the immersive illustrations and touching storyline.

13. Inch by Inch: The Garden Song

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Inspire your child to help you in the garden with this book that shows where food comes from. Your child can learn to appreciate that good things come from hard work. This book also offers an opportunity for your child to easily pick up new vocabulary through singing.

14. Last Stop on Market Street

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If your child has already started asking "why?", this is a great book. Celebrating the relationship between a grandmother and her grandson, this book also teaches empathy and kindness.

15. All Are Welcome

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As your child starts attending a school or daycare, books like this one can prepare them to make friends. This award-winning book is a favorite for celebrating everyone's special place in our world.

 Which book will you add to your bookshelf? Let us know your favorites in the comments below. 

Sources:

  1. American Academy of Ophthamology

Posted in: 0 - 3 Months, 12 - 18 months, 18 Months - 3 Years, 3 - 6 months, 6 - 9 months, 9 - 12 months, Our Favorites



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