Category / Toddler

toddler bookworm: a 12-24 months reading list

Toddlers Reading List |

Crew is ALL about the books, and has been for some time. Fortunately for us, he’s moving from some of the touch and feel books with no words, to some with a BIT more plot. Of course we have the classics in rotation — Goodnight Moon, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and others — but I’ve discovered so many new favorites in recent months and always love to share hit titles with other parents and caregivers. It’s fun to think ahead to reading some of the more elaborate, classic stories I remember reading as a child, but for now I’m enjoying a toddler in my lap, asking to read these simple but sweet titles over and over…(and over).

Toddlers Reading List |

Noisy Trucks A title we discovered at our library, I admittedly am a fan of this one because, while there is some verbiage to read on each page, it can also be self-guided. Crew seems to like real-life photos of things he recognizes, as opposed to illustrations, so this book delivers. Each page includes textures like the bumpy tire or the rough ridgy grill. And of course, there is a button on each page with realistic sound bytes of the various vehicles’ noises, along with a re-cap at the end.

Alphabet Crew received this for his first birthday and it takes interactive to a new level! There are things to scratch, sniff, push, pull, and all while learning the ABCs (and tons of animals that Page and I had never heard of — so I guess we’re learning, too?!)

Goodnight Gorilla I have fond memories of reading this to the kids I used to nanny, so it was an immediate add to our baby registry. This story combines simple text with illustration-only pages that allow you to ad-lib what is happening as the pages turn. We read this any time of day, but it’s a particular hit at bedtime.


Little Blue Truck We were gifted this book at a shower, and thank goodness! I’ve since learned this title is basically an institution with little boys (and girls!). I like the underlying message of helping out friends, and there is lots of repetition around animal noises. We have since accumulated Little Blue Truck Leads the Way and Little Blue Truck’s Christmas (the lights at the end are a big hit!), with plans to pick up the newest release, Little Blue Truck’s Halloween. (PS, if you have a die-hard Blue Truck fan on your hands, you have to check out these pajamas – they are on Crew’s Christmas list!)

All Aboard New York We’ve had a couple of these books, but the New York is both my favorite and Crew’s. The colorful, bright illustrations are delightful and even at only a few months old, Crew would study them in detail. As the adult it’s fun to see the whimsical portrayals of famous landmarks in a favorite city.

Dear Zoo This sweet lift-a-flap book is small and easy to travel with, and great for learning animal sounds.


Maggie’s Ball I had never heard of this book until the librarian read it at Book Babies one morning. Obsessed with both balls and dogs at the time, Crew was instantly entranced. I bought a copy for our house, and got out a sleeve of tennis balls to play with while reading (Maggie’s ball is a tennis ball). This book continues to be a favorite nearly a year later.

Red Truck A perfect length book for this age group’s attention span. Red Truck comes to the (very dramatic!) rescue of a stuck school bus. Loved this for learning the color red (and yellow for the bus!). We point out red trucks all around town as a result of this title.


Machines At Work This book was one of my brother’s favorites as a little boy, and my mom lent his copy to Crew. I love the simple three or four-word phrases on each spread, accompanied by colorful, bold illustrations. Great for learning action verbs like “dig”, “build”, and “knock down”!

Down By the Station We are on our second copy of this book, after the first one was gifted to us at a baby shower, and well-loved by a certain someone who’s still learning to not rip paper pages (I do wish this came in a board book!). Crew loves the different scenes (airport, train station, etc) and pointing out each page’s vehicles “all in a row”. (Bonus points if you SING the story!)


The Watermelon Seed At a time when it is ALL about the truck books (I think we have nearly a dozen in rotation!) I was anxious for a book about ANYTHING else. It seemed appropriate for summer to add this read to our collection and it has not disappointed. Super bright colors, a dramatic crocodile, and a good dose of burping make this a much-requested read in our house.

Hi! A great title for short attention spans, this book is a fast page-turner, with simple one-word, rhyming, animal sounds on each page. The animals all look to the little boy at the end to hear what HE says, and it was these final two pages I credit heavily with teaching Crew “hi” and “bye”. He enjoyed this book early on before he could repeat back animal sounds, but now that he can, he seems to love it all over again.

What’s on your little one’s reading list???

Toddlers Reading List |

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Crew: 18 Months

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Holy cow, you’re one-and-a-half! I don’t know if it’s the half-year milestone, but this month has been an explosion of vocabulary and you’ve completely morphed into this car-noise-making, rough-housing, class-clowning little BOY! You keep us on our toes as always, and you never fail to keep us laughing at your antics and amazed at your growth.

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You began your new daycare/school three weeks ago (still alternating two and three days a week) and I can’t believe how well you handled the transition. To me, it speaks loudly to the amount of consistency this new environment provides and how nurtured you feel. There were no tears the first day, but a few the second and third as you figured it out. From there on, it’s been smooth sailing — you’re napping well, eating well, and making lots of projects and friends.

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You’ve been down to one mid-day nap for a few weeks now, usually lasting around two to three hours over lunchtime. I’d guess you’re pretty typical for a toddler eater — you will try just about anything once, but rarely let it sit in your mouth for more than a split second to find out if you really like it. I’ll serve you things I know you like but haven’t had in a while, and have to basically force feed it to you through your meltdown until you realize, “oh yeah, I DO like that…put more here on this tray.” What a drama queen!

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You did a week of swim lessons this month, four days in a row. Your dad took you the first day and then I got to take a turn at lessons with you the following three. It was so fun to see you improve when you had back-to-back exposure for several sessions in a row. You had mastered jumping on your own to us from the side, and flipping from your back to your belly, by the last day.

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The most noticeable change this month by far is your language. Your vocabulary is exploding and the first piece of feedback we got on day one at your new school was that they couldn’t believe how many words you already knew. For better or worse – you’re a chatty Kathy like your parents. 😉 It’s to the point where I have to think hard to list them all, but in recent weeks you’ve expanded your vocab of maybe a couple dozen words from before and have now mastered mine, truck, car, tractor, bus, boat, golf ball, mow, Elmo, apple (for apple OR applesauce), door, pop, stop, pretzel, Cheerios, juice, waffle, peanut butter, again, baby, walk, stroller, along with lots of animal names and learning to repeat family and friends’ names. (Our favorite is when you say “Owen” – it sounds like “Amen!”). I know I’m forgetting several, but you get the idea!

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You’re mastering the fist bump, you LOVE to dance to music and sing Twinkle Twinkle (“up above the world” is the line you always start with!) and you crave being pop quizzed to tell us what the elephant, monkey, dog, fish, and pig say (and hop like the bunny). You’re obsessed with all trucks and the four or five truck books we’ve amassed are in heavy rotation lately. And while you got nervous up close, your month was MADE when our garbage truck driver let you get up close and sit in the cab.

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You are getting pretty good at navigating our phones and the ipad, love to watch videos of yourself, and you’re learning that hitting is not acceptable and that you have to “STOP” before going into the street. You do little things all the time that make me do a double-take at just how fast you’re growing. Whether it’s getting yourself onto and off of the furniture that I not so long ago watched you like a hawk on, or answering the door when the doorbell rings (yes, you can open it yourself if it’s unlocked!), I can literally see you growing before my eyes. It makes me sad and nostalgic and so grateful and proud all at once.

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I know all moms think this, but you really are a smart little cookie, too smart for your own good at times, but in light of the world’s recent events, I find myself holding you a little longer each night and reaching for extra hugs and kisses each day. We are so crazy blessed by your presence this last year and a half. Looking forward to all the adventures yet to come that we know you will lead us on…

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Happy one and a half, curly Q!