20 best children's picture books for babies and toddler

The best easy-to-read children's picture books for young ones

By Rebecca jones
20 best children's picture books for babies and toddler

Kids are smart and inquisitive beings, they observe and learn from action and illustration. Kids learn to talk just by listening to their parents, teachers, siblings or even their favorite cartoon characters. They enjoy looking at pictures and illustrations to decode the meaning of words that is being phrased on television or storybooks. When reading a bedtime story to your child, it is possible that he or she may not fully comprehend the words or message the story is delivering, but the colorful pictures give them the opportunity to scan the images and make better sense as to what the message is about.

Illustration has long contributed in highlighting and reinforcing stories as a child listen to his parents read to them. At a young age, a child's vocabulary isn't much, and a picture book helps in connecting a child with thoughts and emotions. An illustration gives a child an idea of what a particular word mean, and connecting what they observe with how they reason. A children picture book is a piece of writing that contains images, demonstration and illustration for conveying information for the purpose of educating and entertaining a child.

Best children's picture books without words

Freeda the cheetah

Believe it or not, a picture speaks a thousand words, especially in kids. Picture books for young children is like a building block and tool that encourages the development of vocabularies, sounds and even making a full sentence. Before kids learn how to read or join vowels and consonants to pronounce words, they actually get to understand information through pictures and illustrations, and it is also one of many steps towards teaching a child how to effectively read. With that said, let's take a look at some of our favorites wordless children picture books that are great for educating and also spending quality time with your child.

1. Katherine's Bike Was Wonderfully Strange

Katherine's Bike Was Wonderfully Strange

The Katherine bike picture book shows and illustrates how much kids love their bikes.  And what child hasn't imagined her bike could fly? Whenever Katherine rides her magical new bike, high adventure awaits. Katherine's bike was wonderfully strange. When she shifted the gears, the weather would change, with each shift of the gears comes a change in the weather, as Katherine goes exploring - from the streets of her neighborhood to the starry skies above. Lifting the seat would hoist up the moon, and the tires would fill up like hot air balloons. This book is beautifully-illustrated, with a whimsical, rhyming text, Katherine's Bike Was Wonderfully Strange is a perfect read-aloud for the end of the day. Recommended for ages 2-5.

2. Snowman's Story

Snowman's Story

This is a story about a snowman, a hat, a book and a mischievous rabbit which stole away the snowman's book. The snowman and his friends gave chase and found a surprise at the end.

Mixed-media illustrations have a charmingly innocent quality that artfully conveys both the gentle friendship and adventuresome spirit of these characters. A spacious wintry backdrop of sketchily drawn snow-dusted trees is overlaid with dots of falling snowflakes and warmed by the rosy roundness of Snowman. The wordless narrative is dynamic yet easily followed, perfect to share with kids.

3. A Ball for Daisy

A ball for daisy

This book tells a story about love and loss. Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break or get destroyed will relate to daisy’s anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. The writer of this book, Chris Raschka uses art to explore in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. The swirling, impressionistic illustrations and affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers, parents and teachers who have children dealing with the loss of something incredibly special to them.

4. Chalk


This stunningly illustrated wordless picture book tells the story of three children who find a bag of magical chalk at the playground on a rainy day. Their drawings come to life, which seems great when a drawing of the sun stops the rain, but is scary when a dinosaur stalks them. A drawing of a rain cloud inside a play tube brings the rain back and dissolves the frightening creature.

This imaginative story is the perfect showcase for Thomson's extraordinary pictures. Though they look like photos or computer-generated images, each one is actually composed using traditional techniques with acrylics and colored pencils. The artist's clever use of light, perspective, and expression, along with the protagonists neat solution to their dilemma, creates a completely satisfying experience. So be prepared, cause your kid is definitely going on an adventure with this book.

5. Journey


Journeyis a beautiful homage to the classic Aaron Becker’s balance of color and the immaculately detailed illustrations capture the eye and effortlessly tell the story of a lonely girl who uses a red crayon to draw her way into a magical adventure. As the journey comes full circle, a purple bird, the work of another imagination leads the way to the best adventure of all which is friendship. Journey is an incredible work of storytelling through art that will appeal to toddlers and for all ages.

Best black and white children's picture books

Baby animals black and white

Have you ever noticed how babies are attracted to books with black and white color? Although they’re not always appealing to adults, these books have a special way of capturing the attention of babies. After all, babies can tell the difference between light and dark due to their residency in their mommy’s belly for a period of 9 month. Even though a black and white book can seem boring due to its lack of colors and fascinating backgrounds, but this category of books are often found among some of the best sellers in the market. The black and white images help stimulate the new brains of infants and entertain the minds of older babies.

Let’s take a look at a collection of some of the black and white children picture book in the market:

6. Merry Christmas: A Black and White Baby Book

Merry Christmas: A Black and White Baby Book

This charming black and white book have 24 illustrations that are perfect for newborns. Research has shown that children respond to contrasting black and white images and this Christmas themed book will surely stimulate their developing eyes. It has a high contrast shapes and patterns provide the baby with something simple and engaging to focus on so they can allow their minds to rest.

7. Hello, Animals (Black and White Sparklers)

Hello, Animals! (Black and White Sparklers)

This black and white book charmingly introduces ten of baby’s best-loved animals. It features high contrast black and white pattern. A glittering burst of colored foil that brings a splash of color to every page. These stunning book will captivate sparkly little babies everywhere.

8. Mommies and Their Babies

Mommies and Their Babies

This book should be read to kids by parents before they start kindergarten. It has a striking illustration and great information about animals and their offsprings. It teaches that animals also have babies and mommies, the black and white book presents ten different animals and their little ones. The book focuses on child language development and is suitable for children of 12 months and above.

9. Black And White (Dahlov Ipcar Collection)

Black And White (Dahlov Ipcar Collection)

This black and white book tells the story of two dogs, one black and one white, who spend the day together before returning home to continue their adventures in their dreams. The black dog dreams of a jungle with "big black elephants" and "fierce black panthers." The white dog dreams of an "arctic storm," "white arctic foxes," and "polar bears." But neither of the canines' dreams are stuck in black or white alone. Rather, black dog dreams of "black-and-white butterflies" and "black-and-white zebras" in his imaginary jungle and white dog dreams that "a great black whale meets a great white whale" in his "dream-sea" filled with "black-and-white fishes." The next morning, each dog shares his dream with the other before playing together again. Fun and exciting storyline to read to your little one.

These books depicts the importance of friendship and adventure.

10. Look, Look

Look, Look

This book has few words in them with lots of crafty shapes of star shining, fish swimming and much more craft to captivate and entertain the young minds. The book is created with so much age appeal so as to be interesting for a lot of kids between the ages of 12 months to 4 years.

Best colorful children's picture books

Be Brave Little One

Colors play a significant role in how much a person perceived and reacts to things and his or her surroundings. Colors naturally keep things interesting and fun. Children are wildly attracted to colors, especially the loud ones like red, yellow, blue, pink. All this rainbow color can help a lot in teaching and encouraging your child towards learning and exploring. So when it comes to colors, the more the merrier.

Let’s take a look at some of the best colorful picture books available in the market:

11. The Pout-Pout Fish

The Pout-Pout Fish

This colorful picture book carries kids along on an adventure by swimming along with a pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading isn’t really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in this fun fish story that’s sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down. 

12. Tommy O'Tom in a Tub O'Trouble

Tommy O'Tom in a Tub O'Trouble

Tommy O'Tom in a Tub O'Trouble is a delightful picture book for both parents and children, bringing an element of wonder into the familiar setting of bath time. Children are bound to relate to this imaginative story, in which Tommy seems about to be reprimanded for something he didn't do. The story is enhanced by colorful, humorous illustrations that include animated expressions of Tommy and his newfound friends. The illustrator also provides fun details, such as the flowered wallpaper, and dirty footprints and puddles on the bathroom floor. A delightful story-one that adds a whimsical touch to the otherwise routine ritual of bath time.

13. Bendon 33693 Piggy Toes Press Ten Wishing Stars Counting Storybook

Piggy Toes Press Ten Wishing Stars Counting Storybook

This picture book is great for teaching kids numbers, kids and parents can count down from ten with a tactile star on each spread. The stars glow in the dark, perfect for bedtime. Cute, the rhyming story your child will want to hear again and again. The book is beautiful with original artwork. It is also ideal for ages 3 and up.

14. The Wonky Donkey

The Wonky Donkey

The wonky donkey colorful picture book is fun and age appropriate for kids starting kindergarten. It is a perfect read-aloud tale of an endearing donkey. At the end of the books final page, readers end up with hanky-panky, cranky, stinky, dinky, lanky donkey. Finding more about life on the farm all the wonderful fun you can have with a donkey.

15. My First Day at Day Care

My First Day at Day Care

The first day of daycare can be a tough one for both the parent and child. Reading colorful picture books like this can prepare and get a child excited and ready for his or her first day at daycare. It talks about the possible fun activities that will be experienced, and that it’s okay to say goodbye cause you will come back.

Funny children's picture books

Apart from spending quality time with your little one by reading books or coloring, having fun and catching loud laughter is pretty memorable. It’s important to make reading educative, memorable and fun, but also making faces, mimicking voices and knowing you are interacting with your little one feels awesome. The following are some amazing funny picture book for kids.

16. Don’t feed the monster

Dont Feed the Monster

A really cute book for a child ready for school, it helps kids who are scared of the dark, ghost and monsters by conquering the fear and knowing that not all monsters are bad and scary. This books helps kids with rhyming, grabs their attention positively. 

17. I need a new butt

I need a new butt

A young boy suddenly notices a big problem—his butt has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one. Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? A robot butt? this quirky tale of a tail features hilarious rhymes and delightful illustrations. Children and parents will love this book.

18. The Hiccupotamus

The Hiccupotamus

This picture book is about a hippopotamus who hiccuped quite-a-lotamus. And every time he gets a hiccup, he would fall upon his bottoms. Calamity ensues when an elephant, a centipede, and a rhinoceros try finding a cure for hippos colossal case of hiccups.

19. Giraffes Can't Dance

Giraffes Can't Dance

Gerald the giraffe would love to join in with the other animals at the jungle dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can't dance, or can they? A funny touching and triumphant story for kids to learn how to have fun by dancing and making friends.

20. Have You Ever Seen?

Have You Ever Seen

This book does not disappoint with clever rhymes and beautiful illustrations. The new series of bedtime books for preschoolers and primary grade children features a character named Auntie Lily who has a penchant for telling silly stories in rhyme. Each page features an animal who is doing something in a silly way. The first line begins with have you ever seen? Children are immediately interactive partners as they see familiar animals in hilarious situations like a stork riding on the subway or a fly working for the FBI.


Children at a younger age are more open to adventure and learning. It’s a time where inquisitiveness meets curiosity. It’s important to always read age appropriate books that are engaging and educational. Create memories with your little one by reading out loud and mimicking voices and sounds.