We have searched the nursery bookshelves and found the absolute best books for 1 year olds!
After you’ve appreciated these wonderful books for little ones, take a peek at some more books for your growing kiddos in our best preschool books post!
Best Books for 1 Year Olds
It’s never too early to start reading the best children’s books to our littlest ones. Reading to your one-year-old begins to develop an incredible foundation for language and literacy. Plus, reading together creates a wonderful parent-child bond. Toddlers love vibrant illustrations and interactive stories where they can lift the flaps, feel the sensory pages, or press sound/music buttons.
However, not every book has to have a fancy interactive component to keep your one-year-old interested. Many toddler favorites include classic books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Goodnight Moon because the simple storylines and inviting illustrations make these books the most reached for books on the shelf.
We hope you love these great one-year-old book picks below! Which one is your toddler favorite?
Classic Baby Books
These classic baby books are full of vibrant illustrations and have been enjoyed by toddlers and their families for years.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This classic tale has been around for over 50 years and still remains one of the most beloved stories for young children and toddlers. The hungry journey of a tiny caterpillar from egg to butterfly and his amazing transformation continues to mesmerize the tiniest of readers. Your one-year-old will be sure to love and adore this favorite book!
Where is Baby’s Belly Button? By Karen Katz
This book is a great way to introduce parts of the body in a fun and interactive way. Toddlers will lift the flaps to find the baby’s eyes, nose, hands, and of course belly button! The perfect book for a one-year-old learning different body parts and playing peek-a-boo!
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This book has been a family favorite for generations as we say goodnight to all the items in the room. Toddlers love the gentle illustrations and the simple rhyming storyline as the little bunny says goodnight to another day. It really is a must for your one-year-olds bookshelf!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Slide and Find Book By Bill Martin Jr.
It’s time to learn all the colors with this timeless book for one-year-olds! Follow the yellow duck, blue horse, white dog, and more as they see lots of colored animals on their journey. This version has a special slide and find feature that encourages toddlers to slide the “door” open to see the next animal! Toddlers love playing peek-a-boo with the colored animals in this book!
Pat the Bunny: First Books for Baby by Dorothy Kunhardt
This playful book invites one-year-olds to join in on the fun as they pat the bunny, play peek-a-boo, smell the flowers and more. One of the best-selling toddler books, it’s easy to see why this book has been so loved for so many years. Simple, silly, and fun, toddlers love to read it time and time again.
Interactive Books for One Year Olds
One-year-olds love any chance they get to play, touch, and interact with books! These books are perfect for keeping little hands busy and building their love of literacy at the same time.
Poke-A-Dot: Old MacDonald’s Farm by Melissa & Doug
This book is full of hands-on play and sensory exploration! Sing along to the classic song, “Old MacDonald” as you count the many farm animals on each page, popping each button along the way! Your one-year-old will be fascinated with the pop, pop, pop, on each page!
See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book by Roger Priddy
This book is perfect for inviting sensory and tactile exploration and will certainly keep the interest of your one-year-old! Explore things like a snail’s smooth shell, bumpy rain drops, a mirror for babies to see their own reflection, and so much more. This book is a must-have for young toddlers and they adore reading it over and over!
The Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet Book by Cottage Street Press
This board book includes a finger spider puppet to tell the story of the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Toddlers love fun puppet play and to sing along to the classic rhyme. Pretty soon, your one-year-old will be putting on their own spider puppet show for you!
This soft and inviting busy book is a great book for travel or in the car. With fun first activities like buttoning, counting, matching, and even peek-a-boo, this durable book is such fun! Plus, it’s machine washable so things like drool and dirt are easily washed away.
Non Fiction Book Sets
These book sets for one-year-olds are full of real-life photos/engaging illustrations and are sized perfectly for toddler hands. These books cover basic concepts like animals, numbers, letters, food, weather, and so much more!
My First 1000 Words by Roger Priddy
This gorgeous photographic book is a great tool for teaching toddlers new vocabulary for the world around them. With pages separated by themes such as farm life, party fun, my body, things that grow, birds and so much more, this book will be loved and enjoyed well past the toddler stage!
Global Babies by Global Fund for Children
This book is filled with photographs of babies from around the world. Since babies love to look at other babies, this book is a must-have to develop culture and explore various clothing types and daily living. This book shares the message – no matter where we live, babies are loved and cherished.
My First Library by Wonder House Books
This 10 book set includes the alphabet, animals, transportation, pets, fruits and vegetables and much more. Each page shows a single photograph along with the matching word. This little library set is designed to teach your one-year-old new vocabulary and use real world photos to help make connections.
First 100 Trucks and Things that Go by Roger Priddy
With colorful pictures and flaps, this book is great for a one-year-old learning about all things transportation. From emergency vehicles to construction to everyday travel, this book will have your toddler pointing out all the vehicles they see on the road, and then some!
Hello World! Solar System by Jill McDonald
This fun and easy board book prompts your toddler to find various things on each page and help engage and make reading exciting. In this book, your one-year-old will learn about the moon, stars, planets, and sun. With simple text and bright and playful illustrations, the Hello World! series is full of great non fiction books.
Sound Books for One Year Olds
Sound books are a toddler favorite and it’s easy to see why… inviting music and sounds make reading such fun! Plus, sound books provide an aspect of independence to toddlers as they freely explore and enjoy the sights and sounds of the pages.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr.
This book is full of animal fun, perfect for toddlers and adults alike! With sound buttons of each animal, this rambunctious crew of animals makes all sorts of wild sounds. Your one-year-old will love mimicking and acting like a zany zoo animal as they read along. Goes great as a sequel to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Sounds Around the Farm by Eric Carle
This amazing sound book is full of discovery and fun! Learn and listen to the typical farm animals and then some! This book even includes some unusual farm animals like a turtle, woodpecker, and cricket. One-year-olds will be mesmerized by all the animal sounds and want to play and read independently.
This book includes 6 traditional nursery rhymes with push buttons to listen to the song as your toddler enjoys the picture. This book is a toddler favorite and is just one of the over 25 musical songbooks in the Ditty Bird collection. One-year-olds love the independence of playing the music all on their own and parents love that their child is learning classic nursery rhymes.
Noisy Baby Animals by Patricia Hegarty
This sound and sensory book is perfect for the animal loving toddler in your life! It includes touchy-feely pages along with adorable baby animal sounds and large photographs and a few facts about each animal.
Rumble! Vroom! Zoom!: Let’s Listen to Things that Go! by Parragon Books
Check out awesome vehicles in this entertaining sound book for toddlers. With ten vehicle sounds and big illustrations and photos, this book is mesmerizing! Toddlers love the loud rumbles from the noisy transportation and will be searching for these loud machines on the road!
Color & Shape Books
It’s never too early to introduce early learning skills to young children. Although one-year-olds may not be ready to tell you the color names or shapes just yet, you would be surprised how quickly they learn to identify their colors and more! These books are the perfect introduction to these simple concepts and are so engaging to toddlers and babies alike.
Simple First Words: Let’s Say Our Colors by Roger Priddy
This color book includes bright photographs for each color in the rainbow and then some! With an audio button for each color, toddlers will see and hear the color words as they read. Perfect for teaching one-year-olds to say and find their colors!
Baby, See the Colors! by Ekaterina Trukhan
This indestructible book is great for teething toddlers who like to chew and put things in their mouths. This rip-proof and waterproof book sends toddlers on a scavenger hunt searching for the colors on each page. Bright and fun, this is a book that will literally last forever!
My First Book of Colors and Shapes by Rockridge Press
This simple book is perfect for teaching colors and shapes! Your one-year-old will love the eye-catching photographs and simple shapes throughout the book. A useful learning tool for introducing those basic concepts.
Black and White by Tana Hoban
This accordion style book is great to enjoy for tummy time or to lay on the floor and identify all the pictures. The author used only black and white to create high contrast images that one-year-olds find so captivating.
Animal Books for One Year Olds
Nothing captures a toddler’s interest like animals, whether wild or domestic. These books are loaded with animals from all over the world and include all sorts of engaging illustrations. Encourage your one-year-old to make some animal sounds with you for even more fun!
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
This book captures the interest of toddlers with its funny and catchy storyline. One-year-olds love lifting the flap to see what animal has been sent from the zoo next.
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
In this book, we set out looking for Spot! Is he behind the door? Is he inside the clock? This book teaches positional words in such a fun and exciting way, plus those lift the flap pages make it such a fun game to find Spot! Your one-year-old will love reading this book over and over again.
Who Do You See? by Bebe Mondo
This sea life book is made for on the go! Toddlers love to crinkle and play with the noisy fabric, find the octopus legs, and find themselves in the baby safe mirror! Books like these are great for engaging the sensory side and encouraging free play with toddler-safe books.
If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul
This sweet rhyming story is a perfect bedtime book for a toddler! Every animal expresses their love in a most adorable way and this book warms your heart and invites toddlers to learn about new animals and their loving connection to each other.
Night Night Farm by Roger Priddy
This book is all about bedtime at the farm. With fun cutouts and flaps, plus glow in the dark stars, this book is really engaging for toddlers and a great read to end the day. Enjoy a peaceful rhyming story as you turn out the lights and be awed by the glow in the dark stars with your toddler.
Dive into an underwater adventure with one of the best pop-up books for one-year-olds! With sturdy pages, these exciting flaps and sea animals will have your toddler squealing with delight. This book helps build vocabulary and encourages little hands to participate in turning the pages and lifting the flap to reveal the pop-up surprise! A fun read for your littlest one!