30 Books to read before you're 2!

The books on this list have been selected by the Better Beginnings team of children's literature specialists and are favourites of many babies, toddlers and their families.

Updated January 19, 2024
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I went walking
Machin, Sue
A child discovers a parade of animals in this picture book filled with playful humor and rhyme. This simple, funny read-aloud follows a boy's exciting stroll through the countryside. The boy sees a black cat, then a brown horse, then a red cow, and so on, and before he knows it, he's being...
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Oxenbury, Helen
Beloved for more than 30 years, this award-winning classic from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury celebrates the joys of an afternoon outdoors with family. We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. Will you come too? Join a father and his four...
A is for ant
Priddy, Sam
Take a first look at the amazing world of ants in this beautifully illustrated non-fiction picture book, a perfect first gift for babies and toddlers. The friendly, read-aloud text and exciting illustrations by Kate Slater will have young nature-lovers smiling in no time as they...
Baby animals black and white
Tildes, Phyllis Limbacher.
This charming, best-selling board book introduces eight adorable baby animals, featuring high-contrast black-and-white illustrations perfect for babies from birth to age two. Research has shown that infants respond more readily to contrasting black and white images, making this book an ideal...
Press here
Tullet, Herv©?
The longest-running picture book on the New York Times bestseller list! "Tullet's brilliant creation proves that books need not lose out to electronic wizardry; his colorful dots perform every bit as engagingly as any on the screen of an iPad.... The joy is...
That's not my parrot
Watt, Fiona
An exciting new title in the best-selling touchy-feely series Join five colourful parrots in this jungle-themed addition to the UK's favourite touch-and-feel baby book series, That's not my....Babies and toddlers will delight in the bold illustrations and touching the fuzzy, furry,...
Hello hello
Wenzel, Brendan
Named a Best Children's Book of the Year by The Washington Post, Amazon, Working Mother and more: A new picture book from Brendan Wenzel, the New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Honor-winning author of They All Saw a Cat! Hello, Hello!<...
Dear zoo
Campbell, Rod
Rod Campbell's classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo has been a firm favorite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982. Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent--a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But...
The very hungry caterpillar
Carle, Eric
THE all-time classic picture book, from generation to generation, sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds! Have you shared it with a child or grandchild in your life? Carle's classic tale of a voracious caterpillar who eats his way through the days of the week and...
Where is the green sheep?
Fox, Mem
Little ones are sure to be lulled off to a peaceful, sheep-filled sleep by this cozy book from acclaimed author Mem Fox. There are red sheep and blue sheep, wind sheep and wave sheep, scared sheep and brave sheep, but where is the green sheep? The search is on in this cozy, sheep...
Where's Spot?
Hill, Eric
For more than three decades, children have been looking everywhere for Spot in this classic, first-ever lift-the-flap book. Is he in the piano? Is he under the stairs? After finding other familiar animals, there he is in his basket!  
Hands can
Hudson, Cheryl Willis.
Hands can do all kinds of things! A rhyming text with eye-catching color photos offers just the encouragement young children need to explore their world -- hands on. Hands can hold things. Hands can mold things.  Hands can catch and hands can throw. ...
Noni the pony
Lester, Alison
Meet Noni, a pony who's as zippy and fun as she is thoughtful and kind. Introducing Noni, the friendliest, funniest, and friskiest pony you'll ever meet! When she's not racing and chasing with her best pals Dave Dog and Coco the Cat, she's busy making sure they feel cozy...

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