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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children who are read to during infancy and preschool years have better language skills when they start school (AAP, 2014). And the benefits don't end there-- shared book reading also fosters literacy development and parent-child relationships.

In my last blog post, I shared the Top 25 Toys for Toddlers from my SLP colleague, Wendy Avolio. For today's post, I am sharing the Top 10 Books for Toddlers, which is a compilation of some of Ms. Wendy's favorite books, in addition to my two all-time favorites, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? As a parent of a young child, I prefer to use board books over hardcover or paperback. These are great for shared reading because the thick pages make it easier for tiny fingers to turn the pages. I also favor the rounded edges of board books for your child's safety. The downside to board books, however, is that they tend to be smaller than their hardcover and paperback alternatives.

Shared Reading Tips

Many parents voice frustrations during shared book reading when their child does not sit still long enough to read an entire book. I've been there-- I get it. Oftentimes, the child may want to take the book, thus taking control over the activity. Do not get discouraged if your child wants to speed past the pages or doesn't answer every single question about the pictures in the book. Ms. Wendy advises parents to read a page from the beginning, one from the middle, and one from the end of the book. The storytelling and vocabulary are going to be your focus until your child is able to tolerate sitting for longer periods of time. Keep in mind that you also do not need to read every single word on the page. Some additional recommendations for parents during shared reading from the AAP include pointing to and naming pictures in books for infants. For toddlers and preschoolers, parents should ask questions or have their child complete rhymes from short books (AAP, 2014).

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Top 10 Books for Toddlers

*Please note that this list is in no particular order.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle

Do you have favorite books that your child enjoys? Feel free to share in the comments below. Also, don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list for more resources and updates.

If you are a professional interested in learning more about how to Use Themes to Promote Early Language Development (using these toys and more), please REGISTER HERE for a recorded two-hour webinar sponsored by Online Speech Services.



American Academy of Pediatrics. (2014). Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice.

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Joyce is very knowledgeable. Not only as a speech therapist but also on how the school system works. Which is very helpful going through the IEP process. She was able to engage with my daughter and was never hesitant to help in any way. I would definitely recommend Joyce to anyone that is looking for a trustworthy, caring and informed speech therapist.

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