1. Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
A classic children’s book. Its soothing poetry and lulling illustrations act as the perfect literature for those newborn babies.
2. The Going to Bed Book – Sandra Boynton
Getting ready for bed couldn’t be more fun with this sweet book! Starting a bedtime routine is so important at a young age, and Sandra Boynton makes routine exciting with her very own rendition of the usual bedtime routine!
3. Everything is Mama – Jimmy Fallon
We all know Jimmy Fallon is a funny guy, so we know his literature is even funnier. His lighthearted look at the world from your baby’s POV is none other than a hilarious read and will be sure to get those first giggles out!
4. Your Child’s First Word Will be Dada – Jimmy Fallon
Another rendition of Jimmy’s Everything is Mama book, the short writing and board book texture, is the perfect bedtime read for your young baby!
5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin/Eric Carle
Rhyming always tends to sit well with the younger crowd, and this book rhymes with a sing-songy vibe to it as well. The animal images in brightly colored collages are sure to keep your little ones engaged!
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
Another sing-songy title with bright and bold images, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, follows a very short story about a caterpillar’s journey to a full stomach. Short but sweet, it’s the perfect first story to incorporate into your baby’s nighttime routine.
7. On the Night You Were Born – Nancy Tillman
A beautiful story highlighting the night our little ones were born and about how magical it was. This book talks about their names and what else was going on in the world on the same night. Nancy Tillman brings you on an adventure like no other and has you reminiscing from the start until the end.
8. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes – Mem Fox
The rhythmic, rhyming text in this one allows you to read it over and over again without getting tired of it. This book celebrates everything baby; baby fingers, baby toes, and the joy they bring to us parents!
9. I Love You Through and Through – Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
A story of unconditional love through the eyes of a toddler – I Love You Through and Through is a short, rhyming story about the love a little boy shares with his teddy bear. Your baby will feel loved all over when you read this book all about affection and love!
10. Woke Baby – Mahogany L Browne
An amazing story talking about activism and empowering all of our babies – because it is never too early to instill this in them! As taken from the description, Woke Baby is an anthem of hope in a world where the only limit to a skyscraper is more blue!
1. The Very Cranky Bear – Nick Bland
Having a rough toddler day? Feeling a bit cranky? This is a great read for that! The Very Cranky Bear includes a bear and his friends hanging out in a cave. The bear is cranky, so the friends try their hardest to make him feel better. Giggle and laugh along to this fun, rhyming bedtime story.
2. The Little Blue Truck – Alice Schertle
Since most toddlers are into everything trucks and cars, The Little Blue Truck is a must for your bedtime library. Follow him as he drives through the city, worried about what he’s contributing to society. It’s a great story that talks a lot about inclusivity and about how everybody belongs!
3. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site – Sherri Duskey Rinker
Another book about vehicles! The vibrant illustrations and gentle, poetic text will be sure to get your children excited for this bedtime story. It’s so fun to see what really goes on at a construction site at night when all the bulldozers and trucks get tucked in and go to sleep!
4. How to Babysit a Grandma – Jean Reagan
This one is a favorite to read with Grandma, Granny, or whatever you may call them. A book all about what to do when you get to spend a night with Grandma. Bring her to the park? Play dress up? The possibilities are endless, and this book gives you all the ideas you might need!
5. A is for Awesome – Eva Chen
A really fun take on the alphabet! A is for Awesome features 23 iconic women who changed the world and pairs them with really amazing illustrations so we know a bit more about exactly who these women were. It’s never too early to introduce your children to some of the game-changers that once roamed the earth.
6. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Mo Willems
This hilarious picture book features a not-so-traditional bus driver trying to get his way through a bus route! That not-so-traditional bus driver? A pigeon! The author writes it in a way that perfectly depicts the temper tantrum of a preschooler, perfect for your toddler.
7. There’s a Bear on My Chair – Ross Collins
This classic by Ross Collins offers serious Goldilocks and the Three Bears vibes. A bear (who is way too big) has settled in a mouse’s chair and doesn’t want to budge! Read along with Mr. Mouse trying to get his rightful chair back — no matter what!
8. Wonky Donkey – Craig Smith
The Wonky Donkey was not only a viral sensation, but it is also nothing but a whimsical masterpiece. If you love rhyming, this is the book for you. Mom, dad, and the children will be laughing AND crying at this one — and it just gets funnier as you continue reading!
9. Oh! The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
You can’t go wrong with anything Dr. Seuss, but this is one of our favorites. Not only is it a perfect bedtime story, but also a great piece of literature that celebrates all of our special milestones.
10. The Bad Seed – Jory John
This New York Times bestseller is a funny yet charming read that will engage the minds of all toddlers! It’s a touching tale about a bad, bad seed. He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude! There will be bedtime giggles had with this hilarious read.
1. The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
This classic book by Shel Silverstein is full of a beautifully written story that talks a lot about the gift of giving and acceptance. It’s also another book that can be given as a meaningful gift as it strikes a chord with so many ages/audiences.
2. I Promise – LeBron James
NBA champion LeBron James does an excellent job inspiring our young children and helps them to understand how important it is to do their best, excel in school and be the best they can be. It’s another nighttime story that includes rhyming text and lively illustrations.
3. TThe Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt
If you love bright illustrations, hilarious text, and just an amazing story – this book is for you! In a 5-year-old’s life, coloring is an everyday task for most. So this story about missing crayons is so relatable! The Crayons written about get sick of coloring the same things – so they quit! Follow along as the main character does everything he can to get those crayons back in their case.
4. Puff the Magic Dragon – Peter Yarrow
Are you singing the song in your head? Based on a song that is more than 40 years old, Puff the Magic Dragon is a book that will keep all ages intrigued. You can read it or sing it! Fun for all preschoolers, especially once they’ve memorized it as well, and can join you in reading it (or singing)!
5. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson
What 5-year-old doesn’t love magical lands and characters? The Gruffalo comes off as a big, scary villain when a little mouse first sets eyes on him – but the mouse changes his feelings as the story goes on. Julia Donaldson’s usual rhyming text accompanied with the beautiful illustrations is a match made in heaven.
6. Giraffe’s Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae
Gerald is a giraffe who CAN’T dance – can you imagine? His big, lanky legs just keep buckling anytime the music comes on! Will he find his moves? This giggle-inducing, laughable book will have your 5-year-old asking to read it night after night!
7. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Laura Numeroff
One of many in a series, this book is so much fun for any young child. Your child will be taught lifelong lessons throughout – including never give a mouse a cookie! Snuggle up and enjoy this one before a night of sweet dreams.
8. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
This iconic story has inspired so many different renditions – both on film and in literature. Max (the main character) sets sail in his dreams to a land far, far away, and lands where the Wild Things are. Cuddle up and enjoy this beautiful interpretation of this magical art piece.
9. It’s Hard to Be Five – Jamie Lee Curtis
I’m sure most 5-year-old’s can agree – it’s hard to be their age! Follow along while Jamie Lee Curtis talks about the struggles of being a 5 year old and how to make it much easier and a lot more fun. Your kids will laugh along the whole time, especially when they hear how many things they relate to.
10. Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister
Once known as a children’s TV show, the Rainbow Fish is a tale about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends in different ways. Not only is the read excellent, but the glitter and foil stamping on every page is eye-catching as well!
These (and so many more) fun and kid-friendly books need to be on your summer must-read list! Make sure you choose a topic that will keep your child engaged and listening. Also, try to choose a book close to or around your child’s age range to ensure a proper understanding of what’s going on in the book. From fairytales and friends to animals and trucks — your kids will love going on a literary adventure with you this summer!
This article contains affiliate links. These opinions are our own. However, if you buy something, we may earn a small commission, which helps us keep our content free to our readers. To see more of our recommended products, check out our Chick Picks Shop here. It’s our carefully curated shop of products we love and recommend! ❤️