Apart from the baby books (touch and feel types), most of the books shared here are appropriate for 3-6 years.
1. A dino book – Harry and the dinosaurs at the museum by Ian Whybrow
A lovely story of a boy taking his toy dinosaurs on a trip to the museum, and the antics they get up to. With the dinos coming to life, this book will appeal to every child and they will tend to enact the same with their dino toys! All the educational stuff as they explore the museum, is a bonus!
2. A book on good habits – Excuse me! by Karen Katz
This book is responsible for teaching my 2 yr old to say echumnee (Excuse Me) after burping! A lovely lift the flap book to teach (Or try to teach!) toddlers some basic everyday manners.
3. A Dr. Seuss book – Ten apples up on top by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss needs no introduction. This one is the simplest way to introduce numbers, counting as well as addition, all while having some great rhyming fun with the dog, lion and the tiger!
4. A Boynton board book – Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton
One of the only Boynton books that my child has liked since he was an infant till now (about 4 years). The book is the simplest and most coolest way to introduce feelings and emotions to infants and toddlers. The book offers great opportunities to modulate your voice, and as the child grows they can act out all the emotions while reading. An amazingly fun book, and a must have in every toddler library.
5. A book that teaches you a lesson – I don’t want to be quiet by Laura Ellen Anderson
An absolutely beautiful book that attempts to teach kids about the beauty of silence, but not before it takes them through a fun and hilarious journey of being loud. Kids will love the rhyming text and also the absolutely true toddler behaviour- stairs are for stomping, drinks are for slurping! It left mine in splits of laughter, but because he identified with it, he understood the essence of the book too.
6. A lift the flap book – Usborne Look inside Our World by Emily Bone and Marianna Oklejak
A sturdy board book from Usborne, with lift the flaps, this book allows the child to interact with the book at their own pace. It lets them explore the earth, what it is made of, different terrains like deserts and polar region, the flora and fauna in the rainforest, and much more. What my child finds attractive in this series is the fact that the pictures are detailed and the text is minimum and to the point. This is the book with which my child has spent the maximum amount of time, which is evidence that it is capable of holding a toddler’s attention for long periods of time.
7. A bedtime story – Peace at last by Jill Murphy
A wonderfully funny book with beautiful illustrations that will make your child grateful for having a peaceful and comfortable place to sleep! My toddler and I have spent many hours giggling over this book, and the humour is just the perfect level for bedtime – not uproariously funny to make sleep vanish and not just another boring bedtime story!
8. A book by your favourite illustrator – Miss Hazeltine’s home for shy and fearful cats by Alicia Potter (illustrated by Birgitta Sif)
This is probably one of my favourite picture books, with brilliant, heart warming illustrations by an award winning illustrator. There’s something about acknowledging fears and sharing your own, and that is what makes this book special. A beautiful book to help children deal with fear, and inspires everyone – including adults to be brave.
9. A book with quirky cover – I need to Pee by Neha Singh
One of the most empowering books I have read, that deals with the most common issue girls face – that of finding a clean washroom. An absolute must read for every child.
10. A fairytale – Peter Pan by First Stories (Campbell)
A classic fairytale (complete with fairies and pirates), but what makes this book particularly interesting is the push, pull slide aspect. It is extremely sturdy and my almost 4 year old has enjoyed playing with it more, probably more than he has enjoyed the story!
11. A touch and feel book – Fluffy Kitten by Rod Campbell
This was one of the first books we bought, and oh how much it has been loved. It introduces the child to different textures, through a small story. The book itself is extremely sturdy, and ours is in pristine condition even after 4 years.
12. A book that was gifted to you – The rabbit listened by Cori Doerrfeld
A recent gift but one of our most treasured books, that highlights the importance of listening and empathy. A beautiful story about a boy who is upset over his blocks falling, and how he doesn’t want to talk about it till a rabbit just comes and sits next to him. The book will help children realise that parents listen even when they are just sitting next to them, and that they can talk to them if they want. An absolute must read for all children.
13. A book on mythology– Kahaani Puraani by Pridhee (t4 tales)
This is a retelling of the Ramayana, in the most simplest way possible. It has text in Hindi as well as English script, which makes it perfect as the first Hindi books for infants. The fact that the book is interactive with push, pull and slide tabs makes the book even more attractive.
14. A rhyming book – Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
If you want to get just one book to make sure that your child falls in love with books, get this one. Rhyming text, a witch, a dog, a dragon, flying on a broom… The book will leave kids as well as adults equally mesmerized.
15. A book on shapes/ colours / numbers – The day the crayons quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
A brilliant book about the grievances of each crayon that will leave your child and you in splits of laughter. Every child will agree to overusing the poor red colour and constantly being confused whether to use yellow or orange for the sun. The illustrations and handwritten text make the book even more heartwarming.
16. A yellow coloured book – Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival
A wonderful picture book about dealing with anxiety and worries by sharing them with others instead of keeping them to yourself. A very powerful book for children (and anxious adults) that is capable of equipping them with crucial life skills, and make them more empathetic as well.
17. A funny book – Kozhukatta by Sumi Chandrasekharan
One of the most funny books we have read off late, about a man who keeps forgetting everything but tries his best to remember the name of a delicious food he tasted – Kozhukatta and keeps repeating it hilariously all the way home. Kids will love repeating the word and it makes for very fun read alouds.
18. A book by an Indian author – Thatha’s Pumpkin by Lalita Iyer
A wonderful book that quickly became my child’s favourite with all the different recipes that can be made with a pumpkin. The illustrations are heartwarming, and your child will almost surely ask you to make pumpkin halva. The book also teaches sharing and a sense of community in the most simple and beautiful way possible.
19. An informative book – The Honey Makers by by Gail Gibbons
All of Gail Gibbons’ books combine amazing illustrations with age appropriate scientific text explained in a way that is very appealing to kids. This particular book deals with bees and the process of honey making. Both, me and my child, have spent hours poring over the illustrations in this book.
20. A book on Transport / Vehicles – Cars and Trucks and things that go by Richard Scarry
Richard Scarry is one of our favourite authors, and this book is one of our favourites. Whether your child loves construction vehicles or fire trucks, this book has it all, and weaves it all together through story. An amazing amazing book.
21. A sound book – Roar at the Zoo by Discovery Kids
The only sound book we have, and oh how we love it (Even at almost 4 years of age). What I love about it is how the book has grown with us – we used it first as only a sound book, and now we read the amazing text from it. It has fantastic real photographs of animals that I feel is the main attraction of the book.
22. A one word title book – Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
A wonderful book about a boy’s shoe getting stuck on a tree and how he goes about getting it unstuck! Brilliant book to promote critical thinking and have a great laugh.
23. A book on any festival – Amma, tell me about Diwali by Bhakti Mathur
The simplest book to introduce the festival of Diwali to a child. It introduces the mythology, explains the festivities e.t.c. but all of it at the level of a child. The illustrations are amazing too.
24. A book that has siblings – Charlie and Lola – I’ve won, No I’ve won, No I’ve won by Lauren Child
Charlie and Lola books are one of our favourites, and this particular book is amazing to help kids understand the importance of playing, valuing fairness in a game and just enjoying playing. An absolute must read for every child.
25. A book about animals / birds – The Jungle Radio by Devangana Dash
A book with beautiful illustrations of birds, and it makes for a wonderful read aloud with the different bird calls. An extremely fun read, with the bird illustrations, names, behaviour and calls being the main attraction.
26. A book about space / solar system – Little Kids First Big Book of Space by National Geographic
There can be no better book for children who want to know more about space than those one. It has age appropriate text, amazing photographs, and facts that will help generate further curiosity in the little ones.
27. A picture book – Ravi’s Roar by Tom Percival
Kids can often turn into tigers with a roar, and this book has helped us tremendously in calming ourselves down. A beautiful picture book that illustrates a little boy getting frustrated and angry, and ultimately getting over it. Another, must read for all kids.
28. A Sea Creatures Book – Usborne Big Book of Sea Creatures by Minna Lacey and Fabiano Florin
If you have a sea creature obsessed kid, there can be nothing better than a book that has fold-outs of orcas and humpbacks whales. Kids can stare at this book for hours!
29. A Monster book – There’s a Monster in your book by Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott
One of the funnest books we have! We still enjoy reading and enacting this at almost 4 years of age, and I don’t think we will outgrow this soon. The book is all about a monster in the book, and you have to get him out through lots of rolling, shaking, giggling and laughing!
30. A book with magic – Mr. Nobody by Roger Hargreaves
A part of the Mr. Men series, Mr. Nobody is really sad that he is nobody but with the help of a wizard and some bubbling magic, he is able to get some colour! We love our Mr. Men!
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