Engaging Children’s Books for Ages 0-5

Welcome to our list of favorite engaging, language-rich children’s books! Before we begin, here are some tips on how to read these books (or any book) with your child:

  • Read with emotion and inflection! Get excited, quiet, and loud!
  • Read face to face so your child can see your mouth, eyes, and facial expressions.
  • If your child has difficulty sitting for books, read when your child is in the high chair, car seat, or stroller.
  • Add your own words. Sometimes the text is too wordy and loses your child’s interest. Sometimes the text is too brief and can be expanded upon. Improvise!
  • Don’t drill vocabulary. Being able to name or point to pictures like “house, car, dog, and ball” is only one small piece of language. Reading engaging stories that have emotion, repetition, adjectives, problem solving, and rhyming will have a larger impact on your child’s language development than vocabulary alone.

1. Peek-a Who? By Nina Laden

Peek-a Who? Is a sweet beginner book that has a surprise behind each page, all while working on simple sounds like whoo, moo, & choo choo!

2. All Better By Henning Lohlein and Bernd Penners

This interactive book comes with durable reusable stickers that look like Band-Aids. When the animals get a boo-boo, your child comes to the rescue to clean it, kiss it, and put a Band-Aid on it. Through playful repetition, this book can be used to work on problem solving, sequencing, and prepositions.

3. Little Bear Needs Glasses By Bernd Penners

This book is just like All Better, except the animals have glasses instead of Band-Aids. Can you help Little Bear find a pair that fit him? This book can be used to work on problem solving, colors, and size.

4. That’s Not My Snowman… By Fiona Watt

These touchy-feely books are great first books that keep your infant or toddler’s attention and grow with them, introducing adjectives like sticky, bumpy, shiny, and more!

5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear By Eric Carle

This classic book should be on every shelf in every house! Practice colors, animals, and filling in the words to this repetitive sing-song book. We also love Carle’s Polar Bear, Polar Bear and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

6. Boynton’s Greatest Hits By Sandra Boynton

You’re sure to find a Boynton book you’ll love to read over and over again. Filled with animal sounds, repetition and a often a song, Boyton keep even the busiest toddler’s attention.

7. Dear Zoo​ By Rod Campbell

This classic lift-the-flap book uses repetition and surprise to keep children engaged.

8. Where is the Green Sheep By Mem Fox

This is a great book to work on opposites like near, far, thin, wide, and actions all while searching for the elusive green sheep!

9. The Cow Loves Cookies By Karma Wilson

The author of the Bear Wants More series bring you an endearing story full of rhyming and repetition.

10. If you give a Pig a Pancake By Laura Numeroff

One of many books in this series, this book is wonderful for making inferences (what will happen next?), talking about emotions, and action words.

Want more ideas? Ask your child’s therapist for suggestions to help target their specific speech or language goals.