The benefits of reading to children from a young age are well known, from helping parents and babies to bond, to contributing to improving language skills and preparing children to start reading alone. But what to look for in a baby book?
Firstly, babies and toddlers won’t just look through a book, they’ll chew it, drop it and cover it with sticky fingerprints, so the best baby books come in a durable format! For very young children, board and cloth books are perfect to explore independently without fear of ripped pages.
Secondly, the best books for toddlers have bright, simple illustrations that little ones will recognise, and interactive elements such as lift-the-flaps and different textures to touch to keep young children engaged. Here, we’ve put together a selection of books that children from newborns to toddlers are sure to love.
Discover all our baby and toddler books here.
Soft baby books
Dear Zoo Snuggle Book
This super-soft cloth book comes in a beautiful gift box, and is based on Rod Campbell's bestselling Dear Zoo. All the animals from the zoo are here, from the elephant who is too big to the elephant who is too tall. Can little readers find the perfect pet?
My First London Bus Cloth Book
A very soft, very cuddly washable cloth book for babies all about London. My First London Bus has bright, simple illustrations and features a red London bus with tactile crinkly wheels on the cover. This book is makes a great gift for developing and growing babies.
Baby touch and feel books
This highly tactile, chunky board book has wobbly eyes to rattle and two furry ears with a crinkly fabric to touch. Babies will love spotting the familiar bedtime objects as bear gets ready to go to sleep.
Take a trip to the park in this fantastic new touch and feel book for babies aged six months or older. Feel the texture through the hole, then lift the flap to discover the animal or object behind. With something to spot or count on every page, this first colourful book helps to develop your baby’s sensory awareness.
This farm animal story book from Dear Zoo creator Rod Campbell is full of different touch and feel textures on every page. Follow the chick around the farm and meet all the animals, stroke the wooly lamb, feel the cow's smooth horns and lift the flap to find ou who is hiding under mother hen's wing!
Interactive baby and toddler books
Say Hello to the Gruffalo
The perfect introduction to the Gruffalo, Say Hello to the Gruffalo has chunky board pages and interactive peepholes through which you can meet the much-loved characters from the deep dark wood. Bright colours and Axel Scheffler’s instantly recognisable illustrations provide hours of entertainment for babies.
Explore a forest, a pond and the steamy jungle in the latest book in our popular First Explorers series for children aged one to four. Each scene has chunky push, pull and slide mechanisms for little hands, creatures to spot and fun facts to learn. Beautifully illustrated, this book encourages gentle early learning.
The London Noisy Bus
Young children aged one to four will love to press the ‘beep-beep’ sound button as they journey through the fabulous sights of London on an iconic red bus. With funny recurring characters and Sherlock Holmes to spot on every page, there is plenty to discover and talk about.
Tiger, Tiger, Time to Take a Bath!
What do you do if your ears are dirty and how do you achieve a snappy bright-white smile? Wiggle the sliding tabs and giggle as the animals show your child how to make bath time easier and more enjoyable. With bold, bright pictures and a sweet funny rhyme, this book is sure to put a smile on your toddler's face.
Busy Baby Animals
Young children can meet lots of cute new arrivals – including lambs, ducklings, piglets and kittens – in Busy Baby Animals, bringing them to life by pushing and pulling the tabs and spinning the wheel. A delightful book to celebrate spring.
Out just in time for the summer holidays, Busy Holiday is the latest addition to the Busy Books series. Pack the car, splash in the sea, whoosh down a water slide and pitch a tent in time for bed in this interactive book. Perfect for developing your toddler’s hand-eye co-ordination.
A delightful introduction for young children to this classic fairy tale. Push, pull and turn mechanisms will bring the rhyming story to life and make children feel they’re sharing in the storytelling. Collect all the fairy tales from our First Stories series.
Axel Scheffler In the Jungle
Young children will love playing and counting all the jungle animals as they read this colourful board book from the award-winning illustrator of The Gruffalo, Axel Scheffler.
Baby and toddler books for bedtime
I'm Not Sleepy
In I’m Not Sleepy, Ned and his mummy clear away his toys, have a bath and read a story even though Ned is "not a bit sleepy". There are tips on each page for parents and carers about bedtime routines and dealing with reluctant sleepers, endorsed by leading Early Years Consultant, Dr Amanda Gummer.
Looking for your next adventure?
Discover the next great story to spark the imagination of your little reader with our dedicated children's books newsletter.