Books That Capture the Attention of a Toddler

You know it’s important to read to your child, but sitting down to read to a fidgety two-year-old can be exhausting. It’s worth it, we promise!

When reading to a child, it’s important to strike a balance between captivated attention and allowing creative outlets. If you put too much pressure on your child to sit perfectly still or pay attention to every page, they may not enjoy reading because the situation is stressful.

The key is to keep nightly reading light-hearted and to find books that will keep them engaged.

“If we treat books like they’re magical, kids will grow up believing that too.” —Shanna Schwartz

Here is a list of books that 2- and 3-year-olds enjoy reading (over and over) and will help instill a love of reading in your child.


1. Barnyard Dance

This book helps to get all their wiggles out and encourages interactive play as you dosey-doe and make all sorts of animal sounds.    

2. Who Stole The Cookie from the Cookie Jar?

We love this book because it gives the opportunity to count the cookies on every page until the suspense of who the cookie thief is revealed!    

3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?

Children love the colorful images of Eric Carle and his rhythmic use of language. They will soon be naming every animal and recognizing new colors.    

4. Blue Hat, Green Hat

A humorous story of what happens when you put articles of clothing on the wrong way. Children love saying a big “oops” at every page turn.    

5. The Pout-Pout Fish

If your toddler is having a hard day, Pout-Pout Fish will help them feel happy! This book teaches kindness and empathy all with a kiss.    

6. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Toddlers begin to recognize letters and even have their cutest renditions of singing the alphabet song! All of the letters racing up the tree will give your child the opportunity to recognize letters and name each one individually.    

7. Peek a Who?

Every page asks your child to guess what is coming next! The bright illustrations keep your little one engaged and excited to discover what’s ahead, all the way to the surprise ending.    

8. Where is Baby's Belly Button?

A lift-the-flap book that teaches your children to name different parts of their body while playing peek-a-boo.    

9. Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You

As you make every imaginable noise, your child will love repeating the funny sounds. Their imagination will play out as they listen to the sounds of a hippo chewing gum (grum grum) or the pip goldfish kiss.

10. Personalized Books

Inserting your child’s name into the book is a sure way to capture their attention! Customizable children’s books insert your child’s picture, name, and words that rhyme with their names.

Children have shorter attention spans, but they will learn more as they read captivating books and teach your child a love of reading. What are some of your family’s favorite books to read together?

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