18 books you absolutely have to read with your 2 year old

We LOVE to read around here. We've been reading to Emma ever since she was born. When Emma was one, we read hundreds of books with her, and created this list of the top 100 books to read with your one year old.

But sometimes it's hard to guess
which books your little one will fall in love with as they grow older. So I thought it would be a great time to look back at the past year and create a list of Emma's favorite books while she was 2. Hopefully you'll be able to find some great new books to read with your 2 year old as well.

Scroll to the bottom for an easy-to read checklist of all these books that you can download or print and bring along on your next trip to the library or bookstore. Happy reading! 

Note: This list contains links that are sponsored by Amazon. Read my full disclosure statement here.

1. FROGGY books by Jonathan London


These are probably Emma's ultimate favorite books. We have read them over and over again. Good thing there are 30 of them to choose from! The books are goofy, and repetitive enough that a two year old starts to catch on and read along. Our favorites are Froggy's Baby Sister and Froggy Goes to the Doctor. 

2. LLAMA LLAMA books by Anna Dewdney


These books are well-written. The rhymes are fun to read, and the lessons are perfect. We love Llama Llama Red Pajama and Llama Llama Misses Mama. We've had great conversations with Emma about going to bed and saying goodbye at daycare after reading both of these. 

3. PETE THE CAT picture books by Eric Litwin and James Dean


These books are great, especially if you listen to the song and "sing" the story instead of just reading it! We're not huge fans of ALL of the Pete the Cat books, but these two are absolutely fantastic: Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons and Pete the Cat I Love my White Shoes.

4. CLIFFORD books by Norman Bridwell


Emma really started getting into the Clifford books when she was about 2 1/2. We learned that there are a LOT of Clifford books- including some newer ones that seem to be based off of a TV show that we've never watched.

My favorites are the ones that I can remember reading back when I was a kid, like Clifford the Firehouse Dog. I actually used to have Clifford the Small Red Puppy on a read-aloud cassette tape! It makes me so happy that my daughter also loves these books now. 

5. PIP AND POSY books by Axel Scheffler


Pip and Posy are friends who teach such sweet lessons. They are all good, but we LOVE Pip and Posy The Bedtime Frog. Also good: Pip and Posy The New Friend.

6. LITTLE CRITTER books by Mercer Mayer


My husband and I both think these books are hilarious. If you're a parent, you will enjoy the humor behind each picture as well. There are tons of these books, and they're all pretty good, but my personal favorites are Just go to Bed and I Was So Mad

7. IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE series by Laura Numeroff


These books are wonderful cause-and-effect tales, that seem to resonate especially well with slightly older toddlers. The pictures in these books are adorable, and they are so fun to read and talk about. We love the original If you Give a Mouse a Cookie as well as many of the others in the series, including If you Give a Pig a Pancake.

8. WEARABLE BOOKS by Donald Lemke


The idea here is that you can "wear" each page. Hold it up to your face, and you can give yourself a different beard (or hat, or mask, etc.) with each new page your turn. It's such a silly idea that toddlers LOVE IT! Our favorites are Book-O-Beards and Book-O-Hats

9. PEPPA PIG series by Candlewick Press


I'm not completely sure what it is that Emma likes so much about Peppa Pig, but she seriously loves anything that has to do with this pig family. Our favorites from this series are Peppa Pig and the Camping Trip and Peppa Pig and the Muddy Puddles.

10. SANDRA BOYNTON board books


Sandra Boynton has some great, short and silly board books that made fantastic bedtime stories. It doesn't take long before your toddler can "read" these all by themselves. If we had to pick 2 favorites, they would be Opposites and Horns to Toes and in Between.

11. HOW DO DINOSAURS. . . ? picture books by Jane Yolen


These books are wonderful, and the illustrations are funny and delightfully detailed. Emma and I both love to read these. Our favorites: How Do Dinosaurs Eat their Food? and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

12. MAISY books by Lucy Cousins


Emma loves these little stories all about a group of animal friends. Our favorites: Maisy Goes Camping (which we actually read while we were camping last summer!) and Maisy Learns to Swim.

13. THE PIGEON books by Mo Willems


You may have already heard of the popular book Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, but did you know that there is a whole series of pigeon books? We love Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late just as much as the original. (And Emma thinks the hot dog books are pretty funny too!)

14. BEAR AND FRIENDS books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman 


All of the Bear books are sweet and heartwarming, but our special favorites are Bear Snores On and Bear Feels Sick.

15. THE MONKEY books by C.P. Bloom


Is it still a series if there are only 2 books in it? Either way, my toddler adores both of these stories. They basically have one word on each page, and the pictures tell the rest of the silly tale. Emma loves "reading" the stories to us herself by describing whats happening on each page. The Monkey and the Bee is my personal favorite, but The Monkey Goes Bananas is good, too!

16. WHERE DO DIGGERS SLEEP AT NIGHT? series by Brianna Caplan Sayres


Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? is one of our absolute favorite books. Emma memorized this book and would "read" it to us every night for quite some time. Turns out there are two more books in the series so far, and we like them too! Our second favorite is probably Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night?

17. ELEPHANT & PIGGIE books by Mo Willems


These books tend to be a little bit longer, but each page has just a few words- usually in speech bubbles. They are delightfully silly, which we all know toddlers love! Our favorites: We are in a Book! and Waiting is not Easy!

18. JAN THOMAS board books


These books are short and funny. We like the dust bunny books (Rhyming Dust Bunnies and Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny!) but then we also found Is Everyone Ready For Fun?, which quickly became another favorite.


Hopefully I've given you some ideas for new series to check out with your 2 year old. If you want to read them all, click here to download my printable checklist of recommended books for 2 year olds. Save it or print it and take with you to the library so you can check them all out.

Printable checklist of recommended books to read with your 2 year old or toddler

Or pin it by clicking here so that you can come back and find this list again.
The best books to read with a 2 year old or toddler: 18 of our personal favorites. Click to download a free printable checklist of recommended books!
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What other books does your 2 year old love to read? List them in the comments- I'd love to check them out! And if you do decide to print this list and check out our selections, let me know that, too. I'd love to hear how you like them! :)