Elle really wasn’t fussed about looking at books until well after she turned one, but these are the five that she absolutely loves. Despite having bookshelves brimming with them, these are the books that she’ll pull out time and time again. Granted sometimes they still get used for chewing material but more often than not she’ll actually sit with me and really enjoy looking at them.

I think these five are so well loved because they all have the perfect combination of things – bright colours, simple rhymes, thick board pages that little hands can turn and hold, and lots of interactive features.

Baby’s Day

We received Baby’s Day for free when registering Elle’s birth, through the Book Start Scheme, but it’s a really sweet story about the daily routine of a baby. It’s lovely because there are images of real life babies combined with the bright cartoon-like graphics which they seem to like looking at. Elle has particular babies she loves and really likes kissing the little baby at the end of the book who has been tucked into bed.

First Words

First Words is a firm favourite, partly because it has a little handle, so can be carried around like a handbag, but also because it’s a lift-the-flap book, filled with lots of pictures of things Elle can recognise – cup, blocks, chair, etc. And amazingly, Elle actually does want to lift the flaps – rather than rip them off! Although we’ve yet to have any proper words, she certainly recognises things and will go and get her teddy when we reach the teddy page, which is really cute. I think the photos of real babies and children really help to engage her. This is probably the one book that she looks at on her own the most.

If I Were A Rabbit

This is definitely the most well loved book of the five – so much so that it’s got chunks missing and is looking very shabby already. Again, it’s a really simple book, just five or so pages, with lots of different textures to feel and Elle LOVES it. And so do I quite frankly, how can you not find a book about Jellycat bunnies adorable?!

Rabbits Nap

Cartoon bunnies seem to be a firm favourite, as Rabbit’s Nap is another popular one in this household. Julia Donaldson books are just great stories with lovely rhymes and this one tells the tale of a poor tired rabbit who just wants to nap (sound like a familiar scenario?? ;)) This one is from the ‘Tales from Acorn Wood’ series, so I think I might have to buy some more for Elle as she loves them so much.

The Gruffalo Touch & Feel Book

My sister, who is a Primary School teacher, bought Elle her first Gruffalo book and I’m SO pleased she did. (In fact she bought us the original Gruffalo book too, so that I understood who the Gruffalo was before we started our Gruffalo journey…)

And we love it! It’s a really fun one to read together. Elle has some Gruffalo pajamas and when she wears them, I’ll say the words from the book to her and she’ll do the actions using her pajama top instead of the book – it’s very cute. I really like the sentiment behind the original Gruffalo story, so I’m looking forward to reading that to her one day. But for now, the touch and feel book is ace.

That’s Not My…

I’ve included this series as SO many little ones seem to love them. We have the Puppy and Kitten version that came together as a pair in a box, and I must admit that Elle prefers pulling them out of the box and putting them back in, more than she likes reading them. But in principle – she should love them, as they are very similar to the ‘If I Were A Rabbit’ book, which is why I’ve included them. Perhaps because we have a dog she just looks at me as if to say ‘Mum, none of those are my puppy…’ Anyway, fickle children aside, this series is fun and has SO many different versions which is great if they start to get bored of the ones you have.

What are your toddlers favourite books? Do any of them have to be involved to actually sit down and be read to?

Anyone else have shelves full of books yet reads the same five on repeat? 😉

And does anyone have any recommendations for more short and sweet board books Elle would like? x