One of the great benefits of working in the library is the access to so many books. I have read to my daughter from the day I brought her home. For a long time, her favorite go-to “toy” was her bucket of books. She’d pull a book or two (or more) out, and we’d sit and read together. Or she’d read all on her own! Some we read so many times, I could recite them to her in the car to calm her down. I’d ask if she wanted me to read a book, and sure enough, I’d “read” the book, and she’d be happy. She often can help me read the books, too, since we can read the same one dozens of times. Repetition at this age is great! Some of her early favorites:
How do dinosaurs say Happy Birthday? by Jane Yolen
Thank you, Bear by Greg Foley
Babies on the bus by Karen Katz
Some of my favorite author/illustrators for toddlers are:
Some tips on picking books for this age are to keep them simple. Big pictures. Few words or wordless (a great way to tell the story together! Your toddler can practice using new words.). Short. Rhyming or rhythmic language.
For more suggestions, check out Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook.