Bright Beginnings Booklist: Toddlers (2-3 years)

Recommended reading for toddlers (2-3 years)

Compiled by:
Christina Jones
All in a Day

Cynthia Rylant
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ry)

Illustrations and rhyming text pay homage to a new day, with promises for the future.

Alphabeep: a Zipping, Zooming ABC

Debora Pearson
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction -- Ej 411 Pe)

Describes a vehicle for every letter of the alphabet.

And the Train Goes--

William Bee
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Be)

As passengers board, they add to the sound of the train, which goes "Clickerty click."

Bark George

Jules Feiffer
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Fe)

When When George's mother asks him to bark, some surprising sounds come out.

Bear Snores On

Karma Wilson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wi)

On a cold winter night many animals gather in the cave of a sleeping bear.


Kevin Henkes
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej He)

Fascinating colors, shapes, sounds, and movements of many different birds.


Kristine O'Connell George
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Oc)

A small child discovers the magic of books for the first time.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Bill Martin, Jr.
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ma)

In an alphabet chant, all the letters race one another up the coconut tree.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Mo Willems
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wi)

A wild and wacky pigeon begs the reader to let him drive the bus.

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed

Margaret Chodos-Irvine
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ch)

Despite advice from her family, Ella Sarah insists on her own outfit.

From Head to Toe

Eric Carle
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ca)

Bold illustrations encourage the reader to follow the movements of various animals.

George, the Dragon and the Princess

Christopher Wormell
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wo)

Find out how a timid mouse defeats a loathsome dragon.

Go Away Big Green Monster!

Ed Emberley
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Em)

Cut-out pages reveal a monster piece by piece, until the reader tells him to go away!

Good Night Gorilla

Peggy Rathmann
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ra)

A sleepy zookeeper is followed home by all the animals he thinks he has left behind in the zoo.

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!

Karen Beaumont
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Be)

Set to a familiar folk song, a child adds paint in surprising places.

I Can Do It Too!

Karen Baicker
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ba)

A little girl displays confidence as she helps a younger family member.

Is Everyone Ready for Fun?

Jan Thomas
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Th)

Chicken's visitors jump, dance and wiggle on his couch -- which is too tiny for them!

Is Your Mama a Llama?

Deborah Guarino
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Gu)

Rhyming text in which a young llama asks his friends if their mamas are llamas.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Mo Willems
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wi)

After Trixie and her daddy leave the Laundromat, something important turns up missing.

Love Waves

Rosemary Wells
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej We)

Sweet, reassuring text describes feelings of love while the parent is away at work.

Maisy Takes a Bath

Lucy Cousins
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Co)

When Tallulah comes to visit at bathtime she decides to join Maisy in the bath to play.

Mama Cat has Three Kittens

Denise Fleming
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Fl)

While two kittens copy everything their mother does, their brother naps.

Mother Goose Picture Puzzles

Will Hillenbrand
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 398.8 Hi)

Delightful illustrations encourage your toddler to predict words in these traditional rhymes.

Mr. Gumpy's Outing

John Burningham
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Bu)

Mr. Gumpy accepts more and more riders on his boat until the inevitable occurs.

My Car

Byron Barton
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ba)

Sam describes in loving detail his car and how he drives it.

Over in the Meadow

Olive Wadsworth
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 398.8 Wa)

A tender song that describes the activities of various animals from one through ten.

Please, Puppy, Please

Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Le)

Two toddlers have fun with their puppy.


Lois Ehlert
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Eh)

Meet Ralph the dog and his amazing vocabulary! Bright, bold illustrations.

She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain

Jonathan Emmett
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 782.42162 Emm)

A silly new version of the traditional American folk song.

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear

Audrey Wood
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wo)

Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.

The Three Bears

Jim Ayelsworth
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Three Bears Ayl)

While three bears are away, Goldilocks sneaks into their house and makes mischief.

There are Cats in This Book

Viviane Schwarz
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Sc)

The reader lifts the flaps and follows the cats as they play with yarn, boxes, and fish.

Time for Ballet

Adele Geras
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ge)

Tilly, who loves ballet, plays the part of a cat in her dance recital.

Twenty-Six Letters and Ninety-Nine Cents

Tana Hoban
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 411 Ho)

Color photos clearly and simply introduce the alphabet, money, and the counting system.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Jerry Pinkney
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 821.7 Pin)

Glorious illustrations follow a dream-like story set to this familiar tune.

Waiting for Wings

Lois Ehlert
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 595.78 Ehl)

Bold illustrations depict the life of butterflies.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Michael Rosen
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 We're Going Ros)

A family embarks on a bear hunt in this traditional chant.

Who Hops?

Katie Davis
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Da)

A funny book that lists creatures that hop, fly, slither, swim, and crawl, as well as some others that don't.

Whose Mouse Are You?

Robert Kraus
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Kr)

A lonely little mouse uses his wits in order to bring his family back together.