Our favourite books for babies & toddlers
Benefits of reading to children - no matter what age
You may have heard the famous Dr Seuss quote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go”. It is never too early to instil a love of reading in your little one, and there are so many benefits:
· Reading aloud to your children is one of the best ways to encourage their language development right from the get go. Even when babies don’t understand what you are saying, they are taking everything in.
· It sets your children up for a lifelong love of reading. By starting at young age, reading will become second nature to your children as they grow. As children’s author Emilie Buchwald once said, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents”.
· It’s the perfect chance to unwind and snuggle after a busy day together. The routine of dinner, bath and bed can be a busy, stressful one for many households. Taking time out at the end to settle down with a book together sets the tone for the evening, helps their little minds unwind and prepares them for sleep.
· As they grow, sharing stories will spark your child’s imagination and curiosity. It can be a talking point between you and your child as they learn and grow through the power of stories.
· It’s the perfect bonding opportunity. Some days can be so busy we forget to take some time out to connect with our children. Reading is the perfect time to do this. You can enjoy a cuddle, talk about their day, and check in before bed.
· Reading is also a great way to introduce difficult concepts to kids. Whether it is death, dealing with emotions, toilet training, or more, there is a book for it, helping guide our kids through these experiences.
Below are a few of what we think are the best books for babies and toddlers grouped by suggested age.
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
If you’re after a good laugh and a bit of silliness, then young or old this fun-filled book is for you. The short, rhyming language is perfect for little minds, while the hilariously exaggerated animal noises (performed by you, of course), add that special, funny touch to this amusing tale.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
Honestly, is there anything cuter than chubby baby fingers and stubby baby toes? This gorgeous book is perfect for reading aloud to babies on your lap, with sweet, simple language that takes you through the cuteness that comes with babies and the joy they bring to everyone around them. The rhyming text just rolls off the tongue and will have you reading it over and over again.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
There is something simplistically delightful about a lift-the-flap book. They build anticipation and give little fingers the perfect way to get involved in story time. Dear Zoo is the story that will keep on giving, introducing new animals to kids and giving them a chuckle as they are all sent back to the zoo for various reasons, before we reach the perfect one at the end, of course! You can encourage your child’s learning by having them tell you what animal is behind each flap as they open it up – it will give them a real sense of accomplishment.
Ages 12 months +
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This is one of those books that will never get old and never get boring. 50 years on, and it’s still a favourite for children of all ages. The beautiful illustrations are so visually enticing for little eyes, with the clever cut out designs, adding texture to the tale. The author himself shares why he thinks the story is so popular, "For many years, my publisher and editor and I did not know the reason for The Very Hungry Caterpillar being so popular. But over time, I've come to feel that it is a book of hope. And it is this hopeful feeling that has made it a book readers of all ages enjoy and remember. For this I am very touched.”
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
The words of this book roll off the tongue, taking kids on a journey through muddy puddles, tall forests and long, wavy grass. The brilliance of this story is how interactive it is for little minds. The learning goes way beyond the pages of the book – kids can go on their own bear hunt in classrooms, at home or with friends! The repetition of words makes the book easy to follow, with big kids being able to join in. With the gorgeous watercolour illustrations, contrasting with colour and black and white throughout the book, there is so much to look at and enjoy in this lasting tale.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram
There is a whole series of these gorgeous books and they all share such a beautiful message about family and love and pull at those heart strings. Little Nutbrown Hare and his dad compare their love for each other, from as far as their arms can reach, extending all the way up to the moon (and back!) as Little Nutbrown Hare falls asleep in his daddy’s lap. A great opportunity to let your little one know just how loved they are.
Ages 36 months +
When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree by Jamie L. B. Deenihan
A gorgeous twist on the saying, “When life gives you lemons…” this feel-good picture book, shares one little girl’s journey of raising her own lemon tree – with a recipe included at the end! The girl is both surprised and a little disappointed at this birthday present from Grandma, but as she follows the narrators informative (and funny) instructions, she learns this is what she wanted all along. It’s a clever tale with an important message about hard work, perseverance, nature, community – and patience.
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Williams
The driver of the bus has to hop for a minute, and he leaves us with one very clear instruction: “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” But this isn’t just any pigeon, he is a tricky, cheeky, cunning little pigeon, who tries everything he possible can to get behind that wheel and drive the bus. So, will you let him drive? This hilariously, well-written book will have everyone in stitches.
When Sadness Is At Your Door by Eva Eland
This is one of those amazing books that shows us that magic is still being created. Published just this year, it helps introduce a challenging concept to little minds to help them deal with emotions they may not yet understand. Eva gives sadness a shape and face, encouraging children to give it a name so it becomes familiar to them – and not something to be afraid or scared of. With simple illustrations, Eva offers ways to cope with sadness and helps kids navigate a tricky feeling.
More baby related article like this and get 10% off our toy! Sign up now.
I was skeptical at first. Thought they were cute but over priced. Heard a few friends recommending them so I was convinced and I do not regret! I'm waiting for the fox one to come back in stock to order a second. I take it EVERYWHERE I take my now 10 week old. The lullaby I swear helps me sleep too 😅 helps my son drown out the noise of his siblings when he goes down for a nap which is perfect
I was a little sceptical when I bought this but it actually has helped my newborn sleep very well! I am very happy and will have to buy more!
This has been amazing! I wasn’t too sure if we needed one as our little man was a pretty good sleeper but I thought it might help come the sleep regression if he had a comforter. He was only 8 weeks. We slept with the toy like recommended and started to introduce it to him as he drifted off to sleep with the white noise. My hope is that it will become a connection for him so it will help his self settle when he hears it. We have been doing this for three weeks now and it’s been amazing! It’s helped him settle if he’s slightly awake at night we can turn it on and he’s right back to sleep. In the car seat and we use the music in the pram to set up a calm environment for him. I would recommend one to anyone on the fence about if they need it. Plus when we show him his Raffie he gets a huge smile on his face. It must be love!
So soft our bub isn’t here yet but it made my partner fall asleep ! And that has to say something
Very good product trying it with our little one who struggled with naps and sleep. Just wondering i know the sound stays on for 20-40 mins. Do you people leave other white noise in the background for when it finishes or not?
I bought Raffy the fawn for my granddaughter to be. It is very cute, very soft and I’m sure she will love it.
We love Raffy so much. I wish we had bought him earlier 💕
Omg this has been the biggest help for Bub to sleep
I ordered the deer one for my bub, and got it personalised with his name, “George David”. The white noise has been a saviour in our house, helping soothe him to sleep when things are a bit loud or dogs barking outside. The lullaby is magical… even puts me to sleep 😂🙌🏼 Highly recommend!
We purchased 2 of the clover bunny riff raffs and Not only is it absolutely adorable but my newborn loves the noise it makes. After being recommended by a friend I thought I would take a stab at it and I’m glad I did. My 2 year old used to love white noise during the ‘witching hour’ and my newborn is definitely the same. An absolute life saver during the colicky months and I know will be her favourite toy. Just glad it’s not that big either which will make carrying around everywhere a lot easier than the huge soft toy my older daughter chose. The one downside is that it doesn’t come in any other colour as this one is going to show dirt very quickly which is why I purchased two. But still love it. Thank you
4 years with Bandit and Bandi. (We have 2)
My daughter doesn’t go anywhere without at least one of them.
Would definitely be buying again if another bub joins the family.
Best toy I have ever brought my daughter loves her riff raff definitely a god sent
We have been able to easily transfer our son from our arms into his pram/cot with the assistance of his Riff Raff. Love that it’s super soft, cuddly, and portable. Don’t know where we would be without it to be honest. Very glad we made this purchase.
I have been using this with my newborn, he’s nearly 6 weeks and we have used it since 2 weeks. He falls to sleep as soon as we put the lullaby on at night and he settles as soon as we use the white noise for his naps in the day. We love it and I have now bought one as a gift for my friend as well!
Our bub absolutely loves her Riff Raff friend. The only thing that can get her settled in 2 mins or less!