The 7 Best Books for Toddlers

Bedtime can be lovely; curling up together and reading books. But it can also be downright boring if you’re reading the same ones over and over again. So we asked The Early Hour readers what their favourite books for toddlers are…

Our readers are a wise bunch, so when we thought about putting together a roundup of the best books for toddlers, we decided to ask what they’d recommend. They came back with a whole load of great ideas so if you’re struggling with what to read before bed, this should help you out…

Books for toddlers, recommended by readers of The Early Hour

1. Oi Frog

oi frog - books for toddlers -

From the award-winning Kes Gray and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Jim Field, comes an hilarious rhyming tale about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit.

‘Hilarious illustrations and rhymes which are easy to recite and join in. Everyone will love it.’ – The Guardian

£5.99 from Waterstones

2. Each Peach Pear Plum

Books for toddlers - Each Peach Pear Plum -

A timeless picture book classic, passed from one generation to the next, Each Peach Pear Plum is one of hundreds of magnificent creations from bestselling illustrator/author team Janet and Allan Ahlberg.

‘A charming, pictorial fantasia…a warm, sunny, delectable picture book’ Brian Alderson – The Times

£5.99 from Waterstones

3. Otis Lemon and the Magic Scooter

Otis Lemon = books for toddlers -


Otis Lemon and his Amazing Adventures are magical tales about a young boy from Bristol. Each week his inventor uncle, Professor Poopy, invites Otis to his workshop to try out and experience a new fantastic invention. From the spectacular submarine, to the magic flying scooter, Otis and the Professor experience these amazing adventures together.

We interviewed the author, Mark Lemon, for The Early Hour… you can read it here.

£6.99 from Waterstones

4. Princess Smartypants

princess smartypants - books for toddlers -

Princess Smartypants doesn’t want to get married; she’d rather live with her pets. Commanded by her parents to find herself a husband, the Princess sets tasks for her horde of suitors. All of the potential husbands fail miserably as the gleeful Princess looks on – until Prince Swashbuckle appears…

Babette Cole is … funny, unrestricted and totally unforgettable’ – Independent on Sunday.

£6.99 from Waterstones

5. Dogger

Dogger by Shirley Hughes - books for toddlers -

By the brilliant children’s book writer Shirley Hughes, this classic will take you back to your own childhood, even if you didn’t read it as a kid. It has nostalgic illustrations and the sweet tale of losing a comfort toy is one we’re all familiar with.

‘One of the greatest picture books ever’ – Claire Barker, The Guardian

£5.24 from Waterstones

6. The Dark

The Dark by Lemony Snickett - books for toddlers -

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo but mostly it spends its time in the basement. It doesn’t visit Laszlo in his room. Until one night it does. With emotional insight and poetic economy, Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen bring to light a universal and empowering story about conquering fear.

‘The originality of The Dark is breathtaking’ – The Times

£6.99 from Waterstones

7. Toddle Waddle

toddle waddle - books for toddlers -

Julia Donaldson’s rhyming books are fun to read (for the grownups) and fun to listen to (for the toddlers, and any spouse in earshot). This particular book, illustrated by Nick Sharratt, is set at the seaside, with a toddler taking a stroll to the end of the peer. Expect buzzing bees, bicycle bells and other fun beach noises…

£6.99 from Waterstones 

What are your favourite books for toddlers? Let us know in the comment section below…