The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle
A newly-hatched caterpillar eats his way through the pages of the book – literally – and all the different foods he finds along the way before finally becoming a beautiful butterfly. Children will love the funny story and beautiful pictures, while learning about how butterflies are made.
Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak
The classic of children's books which has stood the test of time, first published in 1963. Max – a young boy who likes to dress up in his wolf costume – sails away to a distant land after being sent to bed early without any dinner for misbehaving. There he meets the Wild Things, fearsome monsters who he conquers and befriends.
Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox, Judy Horacek
The search for the green sheep is on in this beautifully illustrated book for children aged three and above. There are blue sheep, red sheep, wind sheep and wave sheep – but can your child find the green sheep?
Why I Love My Mummy By Daniel Howarth
A collection of quotes of what children said when asked why they loved their mums, illustrated with cute pictures of baby animals and their mums which incorporate soft, touchable materials which children love to touch. A great gift for Mother's Day!
Koala Lou By Mem Fox, Pamela Lofts
Koala Lou's mum is so busy with her other children that she forgets to tell her how much she loves her, so Koala Lou decides to join the bush Olympics – determined to win an event and her mother's love. The illustrations by Lofts beautifully capture Australia's native flora and fauna.
James and the Giant Peach By Roald Dahl
A story about a young boy – James – who has been orphaned and forced to stay with his horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge, after a rhinoceros killed his parents. James accidentally drops crystals underneath a peach tree in the backyard, which causes one peach to grow to be as big as a house – with a secret passageway to boot.
Green Eggs and Ham By Dr Seuss
Sam-I-Am wants his grumpy friend to try the oddly coloured dish, but he will not try the green eggs and ham and the book follows Sam-I-Am as his follows his green-eggs-and-ham averse friend on trains, cars, up trees, into boxes and onto a boat to get him to try the dish. Despite declaring "I do not like green eggs and ham", the character does eventually eat them and actually likes them. Great to read to fussy eaters!
The Giving Tree By Shel Silverstein
A book with a message about love following the relationship between a boy and a "giving" tree – which gives him everything he wants from shade, to a fun place to play and much more. Even after the tree has been cut down, it gives the now-old man a place to sit.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit By Beatrix Potter
Your children will love the beautiful illustrations and funny story centred around Peter Rabbit and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, and his mum – all who wear human clothing, generally walk on their hind legs, and live under a fir tree. Peter is a naughty little rabbit who is always getting caught in Mr McGregor's garden, which is where his father met his untimely end.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day By Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz
Alexander is not having a good day. He wakes up with gum in his hair, then trips on his skateboard getting out of bed, gets his jumper wet, and misses out on the prize in the cereal box. He resolves several times through-out his horrible day to move to Australia. Guaranteed to put a smile on the face of even the crabbiest of kids, for ages five to eight.
The Poky Little Puppy By Janette Sebring Lowrey
One of the 12 original Little Golden Books, The Poky Little Puppy has sold nearly 15 million copies since 1942 and is one of the most popular children's books of all time. The Poky Little Puppy's an adventurous cutie who finds out the hard way – missing out on strawberry shortcake – what happens when you disobey your mum.
Possum Magic By Mem Fox
The gorgeous illustrations by Julia Vivas bring Fox's much-loved tale of Hush and Grandma Poss to life in a magical story that has been popular in Australia for over 20-years. Hush's magical gran has made her invisible to protect her from danger in the harsh Australian bush, and the two have wonderful adventures which children will love to hear about and read about as they get older.
Clifford the Big Red Dog By Norman Bridwell
Clifford was the runt of the litter, but Emily Elizabeth still chooses him as her birthday present. To everyone's surprise, the little red dog grows to be over seven metres tall and the family need to move to the country to accommodate the big red dog. First published in 1963 and still a favourite among children today.
Charlotte's Web By EB White
Children (and adults) of all ages love this bittersweet tale of friendship, growing up and sacrifice. Wilbur the tender-hearted sometimes shy pig makes friends with a friendly and creative spider, named Charlotte. Charlotte is determined to save Wilbur from the chopping block, so puts her web-spinning skills to good use.
The Saggy Baggy Elephant By Kathryn and Byron Jackson
Another popular Little Golden Book that has been a favourite among kids for over 50 years. A parrot makes fun of baby elephant Sooki for his big ears, long nose and wrinkled skin. When Sooki meets other gorgeous creatures who look just like him, he celebrates with a "one-two-three kick"! Illustrations by Gustaf Tenggren.
The Cat in the Hat By Dr Seuss
Possibly the most popular of the Dr Seuss books, The Cat in the Hat features a human-like cat – in a tall striped hat and bow tie – who turns an ordinary, dreary rainy day into a magical afternoon for two children. A great book for children to learn to read with, as the simple single-vowel language is easy to memorise and recognise.
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy By Lynley Todd
In total there are 12 picture books featuring Hairy the little black dog and his host of canine and feline friends. Hairy Maclary first emerged in 1983, alongside his friends including "Hercules Morse, as big as a horse", and "Bottomley Potts, covered in spots". Read this story to your children while they enjoy the funny pictures, which tell the story.
Where's Spot? By Eric Hill
This hasn't left the children's book chart more than 20 years, and Spot is now one of the best-loved pre-school characters of all time. It's the very first Spot lift-the-flaps book, and your tot will love the simple text and colourful pictures as he explores each page, in search of the world's favourite puppy.
The Gruffalo By Julia Donaldson
This beautiful rhyming story starts with a little mouse taking a walk in the deep dark wood. He comes across some forest creatures who would like nothing better than a little mouse to eat, so he makes up a story about the scary Gruffalo to frighten away his enemies. But he soon discovers that the creature isn't imaginary after all. A little bit scary for the very young.
The Gruffalo's Child By Julia Donaldson
Following the storyline and rhyming pattern similar to its predecessor, The Gruffalo, the Gruffalo's daughter who has grown up hearing terrible stories of the big bad mouse from her father, decides to set off into the woods to find him. There she encounters the characters from the first book, the snake, the owl and the fox and eventually she catches up with the mouse that is not as big as she was lead to believe.
Guess How Much I Love You
If we count the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's Child as one then we could squeeze in this one By Sam McBratney
Big and Little Nutbrown Hare love each other very much, but finding a way to share how they feel is proving to be difficult. This book is a lovely way to show your tot how much you love him.
Do you have a favourite toddler book to add the list?
Surely the New Zealand hit 'The Wonkey Donkey' by Craig Smith should rate a mention?
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