Beyond the Classics: Best Board Books for Toddlers

board books

We read a lot of books at our house. As a result, we have accumulated quite the children’s library. In our collection are some incredible board books that are able to capture the attention of our toddler. And they are also sturdy enough for toddler hands and exploration. Of course, that includes the classic favorites: Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Chicka Chicka Boom BoomBut, our library of beloved board books goes beyond the classics.

Here are some of our family’s favorites that we read over and over again.

Favorite Board Books for Toddlers

Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal

This is one of our go-to bedtime books. Not only is it captivating, but it has a great message, too! This sweet book helps children understand the connection between the words we say and their power to affect the feelings of others. With its limited color palette and repetitive messaging, we found our kiddo picking up on the concepts really quickly. 

This Little Dreamer; An Inspirational Primer by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode

We love the This Little Collection of books. They provide bite-sized education on historical figures. The collection includes books on explorers, artists, scientists, presidents, and trailblazers. And each book covers a wide variety of notable figures in their field. The illustrations are bright and engaging for young minds. I particularly love how each page includes a quick rhyme about the individual and then a sentence with more detail. This Little Dreamer is our favorite of the series because it features a wide variety of people who positively changed the world in such different ways.

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

I am starting to think this book may reach classic status soon because it is so incredibly popular. Once you read it, you will understand why. It is such a great board book for toddlers because it stars a lovable truck, includes animal noises, and culminates in a nice life lesson, too. Several other Little Blue Truck books are available now (of course, we own them all!), each starring the same blue truck and fun animal friends. We still read the original regularly and recommend it to all the soon-to-be-parents we know. 

Potty by Leslie Patricelli

If you’re getting ready to potty train your little one, I highly recommend this book. It is simple, bright, and slightly silly, making it perfect to create excitement for leaving diapers behind. The built-in positivity and connection to concepts toddlers can understand (like the cat and dog going potty in certain places) make it our very favorite potty training book. Our kiddo can’t stop laughing anytime we read this one. 

Mindfulness by Alex Fabrizio

Emotions are hard for everyone. And they are especially hard for toddlers. This book has been an entertaining way to teach our kiddo some techniques for managing his thoughts and emotions. No, he hasn’t started meditating! But I do think reading this book helped him learn some useful techniques: things like deep breathing, centering oneself, and noticing one’s surroundings. And it is all presented in simple language with fun illustrations. This book is part of the Baby’s Big World series and has been a great addition to our library. 

Lift-the-Flap-Tab: Colors, Numbers, Shapes by Roger Priddy

This lift-the-flap book is a tactile way for toddlers to practice important learning concepts. We have several resources from Priddy Books, but we find ourselves enjoying this particular one time and time again. When we have a spare five minutes, I will reach for this book because it is so interactive and engaging. It makes learning fun!

Body (Play Tabs) by Stéphanie Babin

My son and I found this fun, educational book about the human body and taking care of it, at Zanbroz Variety in Downtown Fargo. It covers a wide variety of topics and includes amusing slides to cover and uncover, illustrations that go along with the lessons. Each slider goes a different direction, which only adds to the entertainment for our gadget-loving kiddo. If you’re looking for a book to help you teach a child about their health, this is a great introductory resource. 

I hope you enjoy these books as much as my family has! And check out this post for more ways to promote childhood literacy in your home.

What are your favorite board books? Comment below!

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After meeting here during college, Caitlin and her husband, Tanner, settled in North Fargo and live a pretty upper-midwestern life full of trying to appreciate the small adventures. As a mom to a son born in 2017 and a daughter born in 2021, Caitlin tries to balance all of the mommy things with taking time for what makes her a human outside of being a wife and mother. Along with spending her days working as a program manager, she enjoys finding unique family experiences in the Fargo-Moorhead area, volunteering, reading, and simply being honest about the realities of motherhood in all its vehement glory.


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