10 Best Books for 1 Year Olds

10 Best Books for 1 Year Olds

10 Best Books for 1 Year Olds

With my daughter turning 1 recently, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give you a list of 10 of the best books to read to a 1 year old.

Here is the overall list - if that is all you're looking for! :)

  1. "Baby, Let's Eat" (Indestructibles Books) by Stephan Lomp
  2. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See" by Bill Martin, Jr.
  3. "First 100 Words" by Priddy Daddy
  4. "First Words" by Bright Baby
  5. "Zoo Picnic" by Matt Mitter
  6. "Emergency: Rough & Tough" by Fiona Boon
  7. "The Biggest Kiss" by Joanna Walsh & Judi Abbott
  8. "If Animals Kissed Good Night" by Ann Whitford Paul
  9. "On the Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman
  10. "Peek A Who" by Nina Laden


Now let me discuss WHY I feel these books are some of the best out there.

I am a mom of a one year old and a physical therapist who focuses on pediatric care. I choose books that are fun, entertaining but also have something a little extra. Extra as in, educational, purposeful, and/or unique in some aspect compared to the thousands of other childhood books.

Let's get started!!

purple text saying "Start Here"


  1. "Baby, Let's Eat" (Indestructibles Books) by Stephan Lomp

    First off, this book is INDESTRUCTIBLE! Yes, I've tried myself to rip it and couldn't. I'm not saying nobody could rip it. I'm just saying it is going to take a lot for a one year old to do any damage to this book. 

    I love that fact. I throw this book in my to go bag, my purse, in the back seat of the car. It goes everywhere we go because it is so durable.

    Secondly, this book is great for the way I (and many speech therapists) recommend to "read" to your baby. That is to NOT READ THE WORDS!

    Say what?

    Yes. I DO. NOT. WANT. YOU. TO. READ. THE. WORDS. all the time! Instead, I recommend pointing to what is in the picture and saying that name repeatedly.

    For example, in this book you can say "Cherries. Look at the cherries. Yum. I like to eat cherries. Cherries are red." Seriously, this is how children learn about cherries. You reading "Foods that are Red" (or whatever the exact line is) is not as educational or helpful to them as you repeating and describing what you see in the book. 

    Trust me. It gets repetitive and slightly annoying on your part but knowing you are helping your son or daughter develop a full vocabulary and knowledge, numbs the sting. ;)


    2. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See" by Bill Martin, Jr.

      This is a classic book that will last you years. YEARS I tell you. I l literally just read this to my 3 year old. We also have a blast completing crafts and games based off of this book. (We did a bunch of them last month in our developmentally based play idea membership.)

      The repetition in this book also (just like a said for the last book) promotes understanding and learning words and topics.

      brown bear


      3. "First 100 Words" by Priddy Daddy

      I love this book because it is bright and full of common items. It is great for the next year because you can start to have your child find those items once they learn them and play a game. 

      You can also start counting with your child. No. They will NOT be fluent in numbers at this time but it is great to just start counting so they can learn throughout repetition. 

      It is also very sturdy and a great book to talk about things you may never have pointed out to them before.


      This book grows wonderfully with your child. It is a great book to start to talk about different items but it can grow with your child to "quiz" them on items, talk to them about daily routines such as "What do you need to get ready for bed?" and scavenger hunts!
      We've taken this book to the zoo and it was such a great learning tool to be able to associate a picture of animals to the real life animal. The pictures are cartoons but realistic enough to be able to truly tell what it is (I honestly hate books that are so cartoonish that my 3 year old think the giraffe is a purple horse).
      boy petting deer at a zoo
      A super fun way to teach your child about emergency trucks and protocols. It is a great book to start opening the idea of safety. It is shaped and textured and safe for your baby to play with independently without the worry of eating the pages. 
      ambulance toy
      A book I love to read to my child when I'm snuggling them goodnight. It is the perfect length for a bedtime read but can be snuck into the diaper bag for trips to the store or car trips. 
      Another great book for bed time kisses. It introduces some more atypical animals like a slow moving sloth. It always makes my daughters giggle as it introduces great imagery of the way each animal moves.
      9. "On the Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman
      If you haven't noticed I love books that are FUNctional like #s 1-6 but I also lean towards short and sweet books that introduce new vocabulary in a story format that create a sentimental feeling in me as I read and cuddle my child. Reading to your children can sometimes feel tedious but with books like this you will feel closer to your child and reminiscent at each and every age. 

      My last pick for this list is Peek A Who. I saw a lot of the books that the speech language pathologists that worked in our early childhood intervention program would pick and this is one of them. It reiterates common sounds needed for speech and introduces the idea of "self". It also makes reading extra FUN!



      Motivational Quote

      Now, I recommend you go get some of these books and tell me what you and your child thought! Your local library should have most of them and if you wish to buy one click on the links here and we would be happy to introduce the book of your choice to it's new home!  


      Thanks for staying tuned!!


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