8 Books You Should Be Reading With Your 1 Year Old

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Ok, I’ll confess. I didn’t read books to my son while I was pregnant with him 🙁  Yes, slap my hand- bad mom!

I also did not have an infant library ready to go either. I was extremely lucky to have a SIL who had a son 2 years prior and gave me TONS of hand-me-down clothes and books. 

As most of us know, infant books are much different than books 1-2 year old’s read. I had so many black and white, animal, and sound books it was nuts.  But, as my son grew so did his love of reading. His favorite books are still animal books- no matter how they come. And, you’ve got to love the animal sound ones… hearing a cow moo after the 40th time is beyond the cut off for me…. but hey, maybe the 41st time will do the trick.



After packing up all the black and whites I opted for “teachable” classics. Some were ones I read as a child while others were newer to the store shelves. Either way, this list of books did wonders for Hunter. Within the last year his vocabulary and word association/understanding has sky-rocketed! He stopped me before going to bed one evening last month and said,” Look Mommy, this says C O S C O. That says Cosco.” I was in disbelief. The year+ of reading nightly at bedtime and repetition of his favorite books worked! He currently knows his ABC’s and can pick and point them out correctly, can count to 29 (30 gets a little hairy as we go back to 20), can identify most household items, knows his body parts, and can form full sentences, among other things, at the age of 2 1/2 years. And, this has been happening for the last 6+ months.

I’m so amazed at his growth. I still look at him at times and can’t believe he’s having a logical conversation- in 2 year old style. 

If you’re looking for growth, here’s a list of 8 books that were truly helpful and played a large part.


Chika Chika Boom Boom



Ok Moms. This is a classic from when we (well some of us) were kids. If you know the book, you know how much fun it is to read. If you’re not familiar with it, get a copy and try it out. It’s a fun story about the alphabet letters playing together- caps and lowercase.








The Peas Say Please

What a sweet little book of rhymes for table manners. It’s very basic but has great tools for little ones to associate table manners and when to use them.







Color Zoo

A board book that contains animals, shapes, and colors. Very simple and straight to the point. This is a great starter book that helps little ones begin to use their imagination and shapes.






First Words

Another awesome starter book that my son loved. He learned so many different words from picture association, and the simplicity and bright colors helped engage him.








I think I loved reading this one just as much as Hunter loved listening to it. Cute pictures with texture and colors, plus a lovely little rhyme that connects each letter and page to the next. And, the letters and photos are BIG.






My First Numbers Book


Ok, it doesn’t look like much and sure it may be older than dirt (a little exaggeration on my part), but we loved reading it. Not only does it have counting from 1 through 10, but it also starts teaching the basics of math. Hunter made it through counting super fast, but then began to understand putting groups of animals together to form the numbers.  It was a great intro to basic counting.







Goodnight Moon

We all know this classic. We read this book in cycles: every night for about 3 weeks then switched to another for a new cycle and back to Goodnight MoonIts the perfect “wind down” book to read right before bedtime. 





Related: Best Bedtime Routine



I Love You Through and Through

Another great bedtime book. I chose to read this book every night to Hunter since he was born. I believe the message is extremely important. As parents we need to remind our children, every. single. day. that we love them- through everything they throw at us, through every hardship they face through their lives- we love them no matter what.




Reading with my son is so rewarding. I love squishing together and snuggling while he listens to me, and jumps in when he knows the answer. Its amazing to watch your child grow and have cohesive thoughts, and it’s just mind blowing to listen to what he has to say. 

What books do you read with your kids? What did they love? And, what did you love sharing with them? Share your stories!




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