The Children’s Bookshelf: A 2 Year Old’s Top 10 “Reads”

Time is flying!! I can’t believe my little man is 2 years old already(and we’re expecting a new baby in October so there’s even more excitement here!)  He’s reached a stage where his love of words and books is really starting to show, and I find it quite exciting. He loves to be read to, and he’s also rediscovering old favorites and pulling them out for rereads.  We’ve been having a lot of bookish fun here at my house.

So, what does my son love to read these days?  Well, it’s a combination of new discoveries and books read to him as an infant that he has rediscovered and pulled from the book basket for constant rereads.  Here are the top ten:

goodnightmoonGoodnight Moon is the first book I ever read aloud to my little guy. I remember that I started reading it to him a day or two after we got home from the hospital. At that age, reading aloud is less for content and more just to show little ones that reading and love and comfort all go together. This book is a great intro to the world of words and it’s one of those enduring small children’s classics that many of us know and love. I’ve seen a number of bedtime books and this is still one of the sweetest and dearest. I routinely give this one as a baby shower gift!


Just as Goodnight Moon was a bit beyond a newborn’s comprehension, so too is Charlotte Zolotow’s The Storm Book a little beyond the average 2 year old. However, the illustrations are beautiful and the pages of text help grow a toddler attention span beyond the few words one normally encounters on each page of a board book. My son loves the pictures in this one, even if he doesn’t always want an unabridged reading of the story.


The Biscuit series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli are big favorites with my son in general. We recently picked up Biscuit and the New Baby to help with the ongoing task of introducing the idea of being a big brother to him. This is a gentle little story about a girl and her puppy excitedly welcoming a new baby into the house.


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is another one of those books that seems to be becoming something of a modern classic. Given the easy rhythm of the story, I can see why. For little ones just starting to be interested in sounds and letters, this sing-songy tale of letters is a very fun read indeed!


Given my son’s reading preferences, I can’t go through a Top Ten without coming back to Margaret Wise Brown at least once more. I have several of her books, and he adores them all. A new discovery for him is Bunny’s Noisy Book. This little tale, which leads children through the sounds of a rabbit’s day with plenty of chances for interaction, is a great way to encourage young children to observe nature and also to reinforce what they’ve been learning about animal noises and the like.


Continuing the animal theme, Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino is another popular book in our house. Lloyd’s quest for his mama takes him through all different kinds of animals and the rhyming text never fails to make my little one smile.


The Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham may use limited vocabulary, but the the author put everything together in memorable fashion. I first read this book aloud to my son about a year ago, but lately he has rediscovered it and I think he pays more attention to the words now and I will often hear him reciting bits and pieces of it. This is a great book to read just to enjoy the whimsy and wonder of words.

hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic. I’ll admit my son wasn’t initally impressed with it, so I put it away for about 6 months. However, I recently rotated it out again, and he can’t get enough of it. When this book is out, he now wants it read to him 3-4 times in a sitting. It’s fast becoming a much-loved favorite.


In contrast to some of the classics I’ve mentioned here, this next book loved in our house is a tad more obscure. Originally published in the 1960s, Sam the Firehouse Cat by Virginia Parsons is an endearing story about a cat who lives at the local firehouse. One day while the firemen are out on a call, Sam spies his chance to make a rescue of his own. This book is out of print, but used copies can be found(I found ours at a rummage sale), and it’s worth hunting down. This little story is just adorable.


This year we started reading Bible stories to my son from The Beginner’s Bible. I was concerned that too much would go over his head and he would be frustrated. However, so far he seems to enjoy Bible story time and I hope that this lays a good foundation for later Bible study.


5 thoughts on “The Children’s Bookshelf: A 2 Year Old’s Top 10 “Reads”

  1. Great list. The only “problem” with a 2 year old’s favorite books is that they quickly become an earworm for mom and dad. Two secretaries at my workplace were trying to reorganize the filing cabinets and I heard one say, “Will there be enough room?” and I reflexively said, “Chicka chicka boom boom!” and they looked at me like I was a nut.


  2. Many of those books were read to my children, too! I love Margaret Wise Brown and Dr. Seuss, among others. I also read to mine as small babies even if they didn’t understand the words. But somehow I knew it would be good for them. Thanks for linking up at #LMMLinkup!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are a lot of our favorites on this list too! I like what you said about reading at this stage being more about associating warmth and love and books. I don’t think it even matters if you actually read the words, or just skip around. They just like the snuggle time!
    Also, congratulations on #2! How exciting!


  4. Thank you for sharing your list with us this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! Reading together is still our favorite pastime and this is 12 years later! 🙂


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