15 of the Best Books for Two-Year-Olds: Parent-Approved Picks for Your Home Library

Help your child learn and have fun with these stories for two-year-olds! Toddlers will love these books that are as entertaining as they are educational.

Published January 10, 2024
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mother and toddler reading

When it comes to finding the best books for two-year-olds, I have found that there are two key qualities that parents should look for to ensure that everyone gets the most out of storytime. First and foremost, you will want a book with short sections of text on each page. Toddlers have limited attention spans and will want to flip through the pages pretty quickly, which makes reading long paragraphs difficult.

Second, I love to find books with a meaningful message. Storytime can be a great time for kids to learn so quality storylines are key to making this an educational moment. If you are searching for some awesome stories for two-year-olds, we have a list of some of the best books for toddlers aged two and up to add to your home library.

This is one of my favorite stories to read to my kids. Love You Forever is about a mother who sings her baby to sleep every night throughout every stage of his life until he takes over that same role in her old age. It's a wonderful message about life and love and it reminds all of us to take a moment to just be with the ones we love, making it a perfect choice for an evening storytime.


Another classic story for two-year-olds, and really kids of any age, The Rainbow Fish is a tale about a beautiful fish who learns the importance of sharing and the joy that it can bring to others. 

My oldest son was gifted this book after we announced that he was going to become a big brother. It's an adorable story about a fox who is about to become the biggest of the babies in his family and how he will now have the important job of teaching his sibling everything! You're The Biggest can be a great way to highlight the excitement of your child's new role as a big brother or sister.

The Little Engine That Could is an oldie, but a goodie! For those who haven't read this 1930 classic, it's a story about the power of perseverance and believing in oneself. It also has a lesson about helping others and touches on the importance of supporting those around you.


I absolutely adore the Slumberkins book series. For parents who haven't heard of this company, "Slumberkins is an emotional learning brand on a mission to empower children to be caring, confident, and resilient." Alpaca is their book that talks about stressful feelings and anxiety over big and small life events and how to handle these important feelings.

This is one of the best books for two-year-olds who get overwhelmed easily. They also have books on self-esteem, stress relief, handling change, and conflict resolution, to name a few, to further help them with hard moments in daily life.

Need to Know

I also love that the books contain meaningful mantras for kids to better overcome big feelings. In this book, part of the mantra reads "I am strong and supported. I am never alone." These are important things for every human being to remember and with our kids learning about emotions, this can be a wonderful time to introduce these concepts.

Our children can be anything in this world, and The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a story about just that. Most importantly, it highlights that no matter what a child chooses to be in the future, their parents will always love them. 

I LOVE this book, maybe even more than my sons! Not only does it feature some spectacular rhymes, but it can be a great conversation starter about feelings. We all want to be happy, but sometimes we are not, and that is okay.

Knowing how they feel and how to label their emotions can help our kids better communicate their needs. The Pout-Pout Fish is an amusing tale that brings a smile to everyone's faces while teaching this fun lesson.

Need to Know

If you find that you like this whimsical tale, The Pout-Pout Fish has an entire series of books to check out! He celebrates holidays, goes to school and the dentist, and even learns how to deal with bullies.


It's the story of how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly! The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a simple science lesson as well as a book that highlights the importance of healthy eating. Two-year-old toddlers will love this classic as much as we do. 

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", "Hickory, Dickory Dock," and "Humpty Dumpty" as just a few of the familiar rhymes that can be found in this fun board book. Best of all, it's tailor-made for littles because all of the rhymes are truncated to keep up with their quick attention span. And if you have a little one with quick hands, you likely already know the rhymes so you don't need to look long at the page to know what to say.

Fast Fact

If you are hoping to facilitate speech, rhymes are a fantastic tool! Educators have found that "when children hear nursery rhymes, they hear the sounds vowels and consonants make. They learn how to put these sounds together to make words. They also practice pitch, volume, and voice inflection, as well as the rhythm of language."

This Sesame Street book features Elmo, who takes young kids through the process of going potty. If you are introducing your littles to the concept of potty training, P Is for Potty can be a great addition to your home library.


Five Back Cats is a Halloween-themed board book that teaches toddlers counting skills and uses rhyming to describe these felines' holiday adventure! My mom bought my oldest this book and he loves reading it all year long.

Did you know that touch-and-feel books can build vocabulary, develop sensory and motor skills, and even calm your child? Never Touch the Porcupines also rhymes and introduces the concept of counting with the help of, you guessed it, five prickly porcupines!

This makes it one of the best books for two-year-olds! Did I also mention that there is a whole series of Don't Touch the ... books? You can read about and feel bugs, dinosaurs, chicks, wild animals, and more.

For toddlers who are speech-delayed like my eldest son was, I highly recommend this book! Instead of a story, Dr. Seuss's 100 First Words is simply a picture book with lots of things to label. This can help to facilitate object recognition and vocabulary growth. 


As a lover of puns, I cannot resist a children's book that features witty wordplay. This book is a story of love and it features clever phrasing about different animals and their love for their offspring. 

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is an old-school book that has remained popular for a reason! It is the perfect compilation of cause-and-effect scenarios. For every action, there is a simple reaction, and that can be seen throughout the storyline.

This is another lesser-known Dr. Seuss book that highlights the many careers that your child could hold someday. Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should Be a Vet! is a quick read, but it has 48 pages for your toddler to enjoy. This can be a great option for the kids who love to ask questions


The Best Books Will Depend On Your Child

All kids are different, so when shopping for stories for two-year-olds, make sure to consider your child, their interests, and particular skills that they need to work on. If pronunciation is an issue, then rhymes are what you need! If vocabulary is a concern, look for picture books with lots of things to label. And if you have an exceptionally energetic kid, consider a touch-and-feel book to calm them and help them focus. 

When you consider these details, you can find the best book for your two-year-old and make the most out of your child's reading time!

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15 of the Best Books for Two-Year-Olds: Parent-Approved Picks for Your Home Library