13 Best Books for One Year Olds to Make Bed Time a Little More Fun!

If you are here, you have probably already heard that reading to your baby is super important! However, picking out exactly what to read to them can be a little more difficult. Lucky for you, I rounded up the 13 best books for one year olds below!

Oh, and don’t worry, these all come in a board book option making them drool and chew-proof.

Best Books for One Year Olds

“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

This classic bedtime story has been a favorite of parents and children for generations. I had it on my own bookshelf as a kid! With its soothing rhymes and gentle illustrations, “Goodnight Moon” is the perfect way to wind down before bed.

The book is about a bunny saying goodnight to all of the different objects in its room as they fall asleep and it has adorable illustrations.

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“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

With its colorful illustrations and simple storyline, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a fun and engaging read for little ones. Plus, it’s a great way to introduce your child to the concept of healthy eating.

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“Where’s Spot?” by Eric Hill

In “Where’s Spot?”, your child will help Spot’s mother find him by lifting the flaps on each page. This interactive book is a great way to help your little one develop their fine motor skills and attention span.

At one year old, your little one might still need a little help with this one, but they will LOVE lifting the flaps. It’s like playing peek-a-boo.

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“Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell

In “Dear Zoo”, a child writes to the zoo to ask for a pet, and the zoo sends a series of animals for them to choose from. With its simple text and fun flaps, this book is a great way to introduce your child to different types of animals.

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“Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae

In “Giraffes Can’t Dance”, a giraffe named Gerald learns that everyone has their own unique talents and abilities. This heartwarming story is a great way to teach your child about self-esteem and the importance of embracing their individuality.

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“Peek-a-Who?” by Nina Laden

In “Peek-a-Who?”, your child will guess who or what is hiding behind each page’s colorful cutouts. This fun and interactive book is a great way to help your little one develop their cognitive and language skills.

I love that the cutouts and flaps in this book are sturdy because your little one will definitely open and close them hundreds of times!

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“Moo, Baa, La La La!” by Sandra Boynton

With its silly animal sounds and catchy rhymes, “Moo, Baa, La La La!” is a fun read for both parents and children. This book is a great way to introduce your child to the concept of animal sounds and get them giggling at the same time.

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“Press Here” by Hervé Tullet

In “Press Here”, your child will follow instructions on each page to create a series of interactive effects. This book is a great way to help your little one develop their cognitive and problem-solving skills, all while having fun.

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“Big Red Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown

In “Big Red Barn”, your child will follow the animals on the farm as they go about their day. With its gentle illustrations and simple text, this is one of the best books for one year olds if you’re looking to introduce them to new sights and sounds.

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“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney

This classic tale of unconditional love and affection is an absolute must-have for your baby’s library. It tells the story of Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, a father and son duo, as they try to express their love for each other. As Little Nutbrown Hare tries to explain how much he loves his father, Big Nutbrown Hare responds with even greater expressions of love.

If you are an “I love you more” household, you will adore this book. And, it doesn’t hurt that the illustrations are pretty darn cute!

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“The Going to Bed Book” by Sandra Boynton

This book full of delightful rhymes and colorful illustrations follows along as a group of animals gets ready for bed. It goes through each of their bedtime routines, including taking a bath, brushing their teeth, and putting on pajamas, before settling in for the night.

This is a great way to start introducing the idea of a bedtime routine to your toddler.

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“Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Padded Board Book” by Mem Fox

This book features adorable illustrations of babies from different ethnicities, with different skin tones and eye colors, and highlights the one thing they all have in common: ten little fingers and ten little toes. With simple and repetitive language, the book introduces young readers to the concept of diversity and promotes acceptance and inclusivity.

The padded board book format is perfect for little hands to hold and explore, making it a great addition to any child’s bookshelf.

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“See, Touch, Feel : A First Sensory Book” by Roger Priddy

As you probably could guess by the title, this book is filled with colorful photographs and textured materials that encourage children to explore and interact with the world around them. Each page features a different sensory experience, such as feeling a fluffy chick, touching a bumpy turtle, or looking at a shiny star.

With its focus on sensory exploration, the book helps children develop their fine motor skills and encourages curiosity and creativity. This is a perfect book for parents looking to introduce their young children to the joys of reading and sensory play.

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A Few Things You Should Know About Reading to Your One Year Old

Why Should I Read to My 1 Year Old?

Everyone is probably telling you to read to your baby, but you might be left wondering exactly why. First of all, books introduce so many new concepts to your baby and expand their world. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a few of the tangible benefits are:

  • Improved language skills: When you read to your baby, they hear all sorts of new words which expands their vocabulary.
  • Increased bonding: If you make reading part of your daily routine, that’s guaranteed one on one time for you and your baby.
  • Emotional learning: Your baby will be exposed to different situations and emotions through the characters they get to know in the books you read together.
  • An introduction to routines: I am a big fan of loose routines that provide a framework for your day. Not only do they keep our house running smoothly, but I think it’s really important for little ones to know what they can expect day to day.

Long story short, language skills and emotional learning are so important to your baby’s development. Reading with them will give them a headstart on both.

How Do I Read to My 1 Year Old?

If you are like me, you probably have visions of curling up on your nursery glider with your baby and reading them a sweet book. While this might be the case sometimes, this isn’t what reading with your little one has to look like all the time!

It is okay to let your child flip the pages, chew on the book, or even play with a toy while you read to them. Just try to get in a few minutes each day, your little one’s attention span isn’t very long as a 1-year-old anyways.

From classic bedtime stories to interactive and silly reads, these books will keep your little one engaged and entertained while also helping them develop important skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What books should I read to 1 year old?


Can 1 year olds understand books?

One-year-olds can understand books. Books expose them to different vocabulary, situations, and emotions through the characters. Sensory books with vibrant colors and feelings are also great for toddlers.

Is it too late to start reading to my 1 year old?

The earlier you start reading with your child the better, but it is never too late to start!

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