Best Toddler Read a Louds for Library Storytime

Last week I did a post on the best preschool read a louds.   Below is a companion post on what I consider to be the best books for toddler storytime.  I have always found storytime for the 2 year old crowd to be a bit more challenging.  At our library, toddler time is 10 minutes shorter than preschool, but it can feel much more challenging.  A toddler has a shorter attention span and what thrills a preschooler is completely lost on a younger child.  When doing a storytime for the 2’s, I typically keep it high energy and KEEP IT MOVING.  I incorporate puppets, music, my guitar, bubbles, and anything else that I think may capture their attention.  As such, I choose books that are shorter, have far less text, and big bold pictures.  Also, many of these books are in the question-and-answer format; toddlers seems to enjoy the surprise of turning a page and discovering the answer.


1)  Where’s Spot? by Hill.  This may be my favorite toddler read a loud of all time.  The simple search for Spot introduces us to lots of colorful friends.




2)  I Kissed the Baby by Murphy.  I love the ebullient mood of this book!  The animals seems so manic in their excitement over the baby.  I can’t help but smile when I read it.





3)  Where is the Green Sheep? by Fox.  A few months ago, I inquired of Mem Fox  as to where exactly the green sheep is.  She still hasn’t gotten back to me.






4)  I Went Walking by Sue Williams.  A great book for learning colors and the basic farm animals.





5) Flappy, Waggy, Wiggly by Leslie.  A whimsical question and answer book that shows part of the





6) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Carle and Martin.  This and it’s Polar Bear, Polar Bear companion book are children’s classics.





7)  I Dream of An Elephant by Rubinger.  Rubinger’s toddler books feature basic rhymes, simple text, and promotes color, letter, and number learning.



8)  Seals on the Bus by Hort.  This bus gets a little crazy and crowded as geese, vipers, and even skunks get on board.  It’s a great book if you’re feeling like making some animal sounds.





9)  It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Shaw.  A black/blue and white book that incorporates repetition and in which children can guess the shape.  You may have to shorten for toddlers.




10)  Under My Hood I Have A Hat by Kushkin.  A great, fun book for winter.  A little girl overdresses for the snow and finds that she can’t move.



  1. How do I purchase these books? Also do you have any of these titles: Bear Zoo by Rod Campbell; That’s Not My…; by Fiona Watt; The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr; Postman Bear by Julia Donaldson; You Choose by Nick Sharrott; Gingerbread Man (Lady Bird version, touch and feel fairy tales.
    My Grandson who is 41/2 seems to have some attention concerns. I’m looking for books that may engage him.


    1. Thanks for your comment. Some of these books are out of print, so you may have luck with an online used bookseller such as Alibris (, Powell’s Books (, or that inescapable juggernaut Amazon.

      Yes, Dear Zoo by Campbell is an all time toddler classic. Books by Nick Sharatt and Julia Donaldson sometimes skew a little older, but I am a big fan of both of these authors. Sharratt’s “Shark In The Park” is a great one for 3-5 year olds. Great choice also on introducing the touch and feel books to give your grandson a tactile reading experience.

      For little boys that like to move, you might try some interactive books like “Play This Book” by Jessica Young, “Pete’s A Pizza” by Steig, “Tap The Magic Tree” by Christie Mathieson, “Tickle Monster” by Edouard Manceau (this one may be harder to find), “Shhh This Book Is Sleeping” by Cedric Ramadier, “It’s A Tiger!” by David LaRochelle. “Go Away Big Green Monster” by Ed Emberley is also a good choice.

      Good luck!


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