When it comes to new books, it can be tough to know what are the best toddler books for your young reader. There were a lot of fabulous books that came out in 2017, but only 20 made this list!
You can find these best toddler books perfect for kids ages 3, 4 and 5 at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Best Toddler Books of the Year!
We’re All Wonders:The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, now a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way. We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.
Good Day, Good Night: A never-before-published picture book from Margaret Wise Brown, the bestselling author of Goodnight Moon! When the sun comes up and the day begins, the little bunny says good day to all the familiar things outside. To the birds in the skies and the bees in their hives, to everything one by one. And as the sun starts to set, it’s time for the little bunny to say goodnight. Goodnight, kitty. Goodnight, bear. Goodnight, people everywhere.
Professional Crocodile: Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what exactly is his job? The answer may surprise you! Readers will want to pore over this witty, wordless book again and again, finding new details and fresh stories with every reading.
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site:
At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there’s nothing they can’t do!
Creepy Pair of Underwear!: From the celebrated team behind Creepy Carrots!, Aaron Reynolds and Caldecott Honor winner Peter Brown, comes a hilarious (and just a little creepy) story of a brave rabbit and a very weird pair of underwear. Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!
Olivia the Spy: Olivia’s birthday is days away. Plans must be made. Who makes plans? Moms! Who simply must know the plans? Olivia, who is NOT above eavesdropping. But when she not-so-accidentally-but-kinda overhears her mom talking about her not-so-squeaky-clean-and-possibly-very-bad-behavior, Olivia’s imagination runs wild…because it sounds like not only will there be no birthday, but Mom might just be sending her to military school instead. What a BAD birthday that would be!
Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel: The award-winning creators of Robo-Sauce and Secret Pizza Party return with a gut-bustingly hilarious companion to the bestselling phenomenon Dragons Love Tacos. News alert! It has just been discovered that there are NO MORE TACOS left anywhere in the world. This is a huge problem because, as you know, dragons love tacos. If only there was a way for the dragons to travel back in time, to before tacos went extinct. Then they could grab lots of tacos and bring them back! It’s the perfect plan, as long as there’s no spicy salsa. You remember what happened last time…
Not Quite Narwhal: Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.
Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth: #1 New York Times bestseller. A TIME Magazine Best Book of the Year. An NPR Best Book of 2017. A Boston Globe Best Book of 2017. Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.
Bunny’s Book Club: Bunny loves to sit outside the library with the kids and listen to summer story time. But when the weather gets cold and everyone moves inside, his daily dose of joy is gone. Desperate, Bunny refuses to miss out on any more reading time and devises a plan to sneak into the library at night . . . through the library’s book drop! What follows is an adorable caper that brings an inquisitive, fuzzy bunny and his woodland pals up close and personal with the books they have grown to love.
Little Excavator: There’s Loader and Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane. They’re ready to transform a vacant lot into a neighborhood park. And who wants to help most of all? Little Excavator! But are there any jobs for someone so small? Anna Dewdney’s signature rhyming text and inviting illustrations make this a perfect read aloud for for fans of things that go!
The Bad Seed: ★ An Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Year selection. From the New York Times bestselling author of the Goodnight Already! series. This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! With Jory John’s charming and endearing text and bold expressive illustrations by Pete Oswald, here is The Bad Seed: a funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for young readers, as well as anyone navigating their current world, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.
Egg: Egg is a graphic novel for preschoolers about four eggs, one big surprise, and an unlikely friendship, by Caldecott Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author Kevin Henkes. This masterful and stylistically original picture book introduces young children to four eggs. One is blue, one is pink, one is yellow, and one is green. Three of the eggs hatch, revealing three baby birds who fly away. But the green egg does not hatch. Why not? When the three birds return to investigate, they’re in for a big surprise! What will happen next? With a compelling mix of comic-like panels, wordless pages and spreads, and a short text featuring word repetition, surprise, and suspense, Egg is an ideal book for emergent readers, as well as for sharing in a group. Egg is sure to inspire creativity and storytelling in preschoolers, as they anticipate the page turns and determine their own endings!
Love Is: Perfect for any fond gift or tender moment, this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned.
The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling: Captain Alfred is sailing home with new ducks for his farm when his little boat is caught in an unexpected and mighty storm. Everything aboard the ship is flung to the far reaches of the sea, including the very special and beautiful duck egg he had nestled safely inside his fiddle case. But perhaps all is not lost: the little duckling stumbles out of his shell and discovers Captain Alfred’s fiddle, floating not too far away in the waves. And when the duckling embraces the instrument with all his heart, what happens next is pure magic. Through an enchanting read-aloud text and beautiful artwork, award-winning author-illustrator Timothy Basil Ering shares a thrilling and fantastical story of a farmer, a gentle old lady, a dancing dog, and one brave, tiny duckling that will warm the heart.
Green Pants: Jameson only ever wears green pants. When he wears green pants, he can do anything. But if he wants to be in his cousin’s wedding, he’s going to have to wear a tuxedo, and that means black pants. It’s an impossible decision: Jameson would love nothing more than to be in his cousin’s wedding, but how can he not wear green pants? Will Jameson turn down this big honor, or will he find a way to make everyone happy, including himself? In this pitch-perfect ode to individualism, acclaimed author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel creates a character readers of all ages can root for — whatever color pants they wear.
Escargot: Bonjour! Escargot is a beautiful French snail who wants only two things: 1. To be your favorite animal. 2. To get to the delicious salad at the end of the book. But when he gets to the salad, he discovers that there’s a carrot in it. And Escargot hates carrots. But when he finally tries one―with a little help from you!―he discovers that it’s not so bad after all.
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse: When a woeful mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs, and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it’s pretty nice in there, with delicious food and elegant table settings, courtesy of the wolf’s unchecked gluttony. And there’s something even better: no more fear of being eaten by a wolf! In fact, life is pretty good, until a hunter shows up. . . . With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars: Did you know that the earth is covered in three trillion trees? And that seven billion people weigh about the same as ten quadrillion ants? Our world is full of constantly changing numbers, from a hundred billion trillion stars in space to thirty-seven billion rabbits on Earth. Can you imagine that many of anything? The playful illustrations from New York Times–bestselling artist Isabel Greenberg and the friendly, straightforward voice of author Seth Fishman illuminate some of the biggest numbers in the universe—a hundred billion trillion stars—and the smallest—one unique and special YOU. Here is a book for story time, for science time, for math time, for bedtime, and all the times in between. Perfect for curious children, classrooms eager for STEM content, and readers who have devoured Ada Twist, Scientist and How Much Is a Million?
Stack the Cats: Cats of all shapes and sizes scamper, stretch and yawn across the pages of this adorable counting book. And every now and then, they find themselves in the purrfect fluffy stack!
Love these Best Toddler Books of the Year? Don’t miss out on other Best New Children’s Books for Kids, all broken down by age group through high school!