10 Best Books For 1 Year Olds (To Grab Their Attention)

As a parent – one of the best things you can do to your child (ren) is read to them throughout their developmental phase. It is never too late or too early to start reading to your little ward – you can even start reading to them while they are still in the womb!

image of best books for 1 year olds

However, it could be challenging finding the best books that are interesting enough to catch their attention. Also, as your baby grows older – there is a need to equip their library. Therefore, finding the best books for 1 year olds will be less difficult if you go through the ideas and tips shared in this article.

Benefits Of Reading Books For 1-Year-Olds

The following are some amazing benefits of early exposure to some of the best books for 1 year-olds;

  • The child will master the art of using words
  • It introduces your child to early exposure to phonics
  • Reading to them helps them learn literacy skills early
  • It helps your child to learn the alphabet early enough
  • Reading books for your 1-year-olds will help to increase the vocabulary base of your ward

What To Consider Before Buying Books For 1-Year Olds

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links from Amazon or other publishers I trust (at no extra cost to you). See disclosure for details.

Here are some things that you should consider when buying books for 1-year olds;

  1. Design

Choose books with baby pictures, animal pictures, and beautiful images.

  1. Sturdy

Due to the nature of children, you should buy thick books that are made of cloth or other tough materials so that they can withstand rough handling from children.

  1. Colorful And Large Illustration

The colorful prints and illustrations will help to retain your baby’s attention.

  1. Interactive

Get their attention by pointing out something written in the book

  1. Repetitive And Simple

The book should be easy to remember for the child

Tips For Getting The Best Out Of The Books For 1-Year-Olds

Photo of a man reading best books for 1 year olds to his daughter
  • Have A Special Place And Time To Read: this can be during bedtime at night, on a special chair, or around a designated reading area. These routines gradually become part of their life and they look forward to them daily. The fun begins here and it’s endless!
  • Go For Colorful Books: buying books with bright colors will help pique the attention of your ward. Also, books with enough illustrations will do some magic. These will help to hold their attention and keep the content in their brain for a long time.
  • Let Them Participate In The Reading Exercise: your baby will feel more comfortable holding the book too while you read it to them. Your baby might not know or understand what is going on in the story – but you can get them involved by talking to them about the story. Point out the colors, animals, and other objects – by this the fun has just begun.
  • Get Them Involved In Selecting The Book To Read: if they can, let them pick their favorites. This might be repetitive but by this, they can learn by repetition.
  • Be patient: I must say it’s not easy reading to your little ones especially when your baby is distracted or tired. But you must never give up on them. Continue to encourage them and sit with them while you read the book to them.

Best Books For 1-Year-Olds

Reading is important for the development of a child, so make sure to get some of the following best books for 1-year-olds. 

  1. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
Photo of First 100 words, one of the best books for 1 year olds

This book is a must for every toddler. It is a unique book that contains pictures of the first 100 most common words for toddlers.  You should start by pointing to the pictures while you are reading the words to your child but as he or she gets older, you should allow the child to point to the pictures when you mention the names. It’s a great way to start building your one-year-old’s speech and vocabulary.

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Martin
Photo of best books for 1 year olds - The wonderful things you will be is a great start.

This is one of the best books for 1-year-olds that talks about a parent’s love for their children. It celebrates the present and future expectations of parents over their kids and the acceptance that parents have for their kids.

It’s no doubt that “The Wonderful Things You Will Be” is an amazing book that is perfect for a goodnight storytime. 

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. Will You Be My Sunshine by Julia Lobo
Photo of 'Will you be my sunshine;' a great book for 1 year olds.

This is a call and response book that talks about loving a child emotionally. It is a great book filled with heartfelt words that penetrate through the heart. You and your kids will love it.

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Photo of Dear Zoo; One of the best books for 1 year olds

You can join us to lift the flaps of this cute book by Rod Campbell. It has bold and bright artwork with a whole host of favorite animals. Toddlers will love to lift the flaps to discover and love the different animals the zoo has sent.

Your kid’s bookcase is incomplete without a copy of “Dear Zoo”.

Buy It Here Amazon

  1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Photo of Goodnight Moon; One of the best books for 1 year olds

One of the books your child needs is the “Goodnight Moon”.

Goodnight Moon talks about a little bunny as he says goodnight to the objects around his house, like his mittens, his socks, the moon, and the clocks.  Toddlers usually love the flow of this book, and they find it easy to memorize and recite along with their parents.

What a perfect book for your little one to flip the pages.

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
Photo of Where is baby's belly button; one of the best books for 1 year olds

“Where is Baby’s Belly Button?” is an adorable book that starts by asking questions like” where are your eyes?” and goes on to ask about the other body parts. This means that you can use this book to help your child learn different body parts. The flaps are easy for kids to lift and thick, so they don’t rip easily.

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. Boo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
Photo of Boo, Baa, Lalala; 
one of the best books for 1 year olds

Are you ready to laugh? “Moo, Baa, La, La, La” is an adorable book that is full of silliness. You will get to mimic the different animal sounds which will cause your child to laugh throughout the book. 

From dogs to horses and different kinds of animals in between. It’s a great book that helps to introduce your child to the different animal sounds.

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
Photo of The Pout pout fish; one of the best books for 1 year olds

This is one of the best books for 1-year-olds that is also available as a paperback.

Pout-Pout Fish is a story about a glum fish, and how he finds out that being glum and sad isn’t a good way to live his life or fulfill his destiny. The book contains fun pictures and bright colors for kids to enjoy with their parents.

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Photo of Ilama Ilama red Pajama; one of the best books for 1 year olds

“Llama Llama Red Pajama” is an iconic book for kids. It’s a rhyming story that talks about the drama that a little llama caused before bedtime. This story makes little kids laugh hysterically while the rhyming helps with early reading skills.

Your little one will also identify with some of the feelings of that Baby Llama while you will appreciate the calmness and reassurance that comes from Mama Llama.

Buy It Here On Amazon

  1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Photo of Chicka chicka boom boom; one of the best books for 1 year olds

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom has been a unique book for decades which is proof that it is one of the best books for toddlers.

It is an alphabet chant that kids will love. In the alphabet rhyme, all the letters race up the coconut tree, but wait! will there be room enough for all of them? Oh no! You will discover that there isn’t enough room for them all.

Parents and kids will love to memorize their favorite parts in this story.

Buy It Here Amazon

Read What Some Parents Are Saying About The Best Books For 1-Year-Olds

Goodnight Moon

Photo of Goodnight Moon, one of the best books for 1 year olds

Maria A. McDowell, the founder at EasySearchPeople says: “I bought a couple of books for my daughter when she was one year old, but her best was “Goodnight Moon” by Margret Wise Brown. Every night I read it to her before bed, and it was amazing how quick she picked up the lines. Most nights, when I read to her, she reads along without even looking at the book”


Will You Be My Sunshine?

Photo of 'Will you be my sunshine'?; one of the best books for 1 year olds

Here is what Elizabeth Hicks, the mother of two and a blogger at parenting nerd has to say, “As a mother to a one year old toddler, my favorite book is ‘Will You Be My Sunshine?’ by Julia Lobo.

The story is a beautiful tale of love and reassurance between a little mouse and his mommy. It starts off with the baby mouse asking her if she would be his sunshine on a cold day. The mother reassures the tiny mouse and compares herself to a rainbow guiding her kid to the light. The book incorporates weather elements to promote themes like love, motherhood and value of relationships. 

It is a heart warming representation of hugs and tender beauty of the important people in life, especially parents. The recurring theme of comfort is much needed for little kids”.

First 100 Words

Photo of First 100 words; one of the best books for 1 year olds

Swarna Mathan – a proud mother of two and founder of an organic clothing brand for children Little Moy says, “As part of my day to day activities, I interact with a number of parents and have exposure to a variety of topics that interest mothers and young children.

Among several books that my son was exposed to, he really enjoyed “100 First Words” from Priddy books. Now to think of, it could be because he was able to relate to things that he saw in this book compared to books with imaginary characters. Every week, my husband and I were counting the number of words from the book he used casually during the day. Interestingly, my son picked harder words first. The book gave us good memories and a cool way to track my son’s language development. 


  1. Should I Read To My One-Year-Old?

Yes, it’s important to read to your 1-year-old. This will help in early language development. Therefore, the more books read to them – the easier it is for them to talk.

  1. Can You Teach A 1-Year-Old To Read?

Yes, you can teach a 1-year-old to read.

  1. When Can My Baby Start Story Time?

You can start from 6 months to 9 months. You can introduce them to board books – they can explore by looking, touching, and putting them in their mouth. So, as they grow older – they easily recognize certain images or stories which pique their attention.

  1. How Often Should I Read To My Child?

You can read to them for a few minutes daily. So, whether you read a short reading book or a long bedtime story – children are only interested in your story for a few minutes.

  1. Are Board Books Good For My 1-Year Olds?

Yes, board books are good for your little one and are infant-friendly. It promotes the baby’s development because babies can touch and grab the pages of the book without damaging the book.

  1. How To Get Your 1-Year-Old To Like Books
  • Give your toddler the option of three books and allow them to pick their favorite
  • Teach them how to turn the pages
  • Speak about the images and ask them to find things in the book

Final Thoughts 

It is never too early to start reading to your baby. As you begin this adventure with your little ones – it’s an exercise that will develop their learning and developmental abilities. It will help improve their love for reading and information gathering. 

So choose from the best books for 1-year-olds listed above and start reading to your toddlers.

You might also like:

Share for good karma ;)

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top