the best books for 1 year olds
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10 Fun & Educational Books Your 1-Year-Old Will Love

It’s never too soon to introduce your little one to the joys of reading, and the best books for 1-year-olds are the perfect place to start. For this age, opt for board books that feature thick, sturdy pages that won’t tear and are easy for little fingers to turn. Also, look for books with large, eye-catching illustrations that feature rhymes, rhythms, or repetition so they’re fun to read aloud. And you can never go wrong with books that have interactive elements, like flaps, finger puppets, or interesting textures for your young toddler to touch.

In terms of book topics, there are tons of options out there. From my personal experience as a mom, I’d recommend filling your child’s library with books that cover a range of topics so your tot can gain exposure to all sorts of things in the world. And, of course, you should also pick up books that feature topics that are of particular interest to your child, whether that be animals, cars, princesses, or cartoon characters. Some books even teach things like the alphabet, sign language, colors, and more. All books have a recommended age range that you can use as a general guide to choose options that are appropriate.

From classics to best-sellers to personal favorites, this list has 10 of the best books for 1-year-olds. Parents on Amazon indicated that even though they’ve read these picks so many times, the whole family still truly adores them. And best yet, they’re all low in cost (some are just $5!) so you can grow your little one’s collection on a budget.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


A Classic Bedtime Story

There’s nothing better than snuggling up with your little one before bed and enjoying a good story. And Goodnight Moon is the perfect book for bedtime cuddles. It features quiet poetry about all of the items in a great green room. Combine that with gentle, vibrant illustrations, and your 1-year-old will surely be lulled to sleep. With more than 11,500 reviews on Amazon and a standout 4.8-star rating overall, it's clear that this classic is still a favorite today.

The board book edition featured above is easy for little hands to hold, but this pick is also available in additional formats, including hardcover, audiobook, and for Kindle.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This was a childhood favorite of mine and I was really glad I found it again. I gave this as a gift to my one year old nephew and he loves it as a bed time story. the cardboard pages are durable, easy to turn and resistant to rips or drooling. thumbs up!"

  • Recommended ages: Baby to 4 years
  • Available formats: Board book, Hardcover, Paperback, Audio CD, Kindle, and Audible Audiobook


A Silly Animal Sounds Book

If you’re looking for a good laugh, Moo Baa La La La is seriously silly. The whimsical is all about the sounds animals make. And let me tell you — my 1-year-old daughter has the book, and she gets a total kick out of me making all of the sounds as we flip through the pages together. However, my daughter isn't the only one who loves this pick; the book boasts an impressive 4.8-star rating on Amazon, among 5,200 and growing reviews. In addition to the board book linked above, this one is also available in hardcover and for Kindle.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Another great book from Sandra Boynton. We own almost all of her books and this is one of the best. My daughter is 19-months-old has been obsessed with animals and the sounds they make for months now. This book was perfect for teaching her what different animals say. As always her books are short and sweet. Moo, Baa, La La La does a great job at keeping my daughter engaged in the story."

  • Recommended ages: Baby to 3 years
  • Available formats: Board book, Kindle, and Hardcover


A Fun Alphabet Book

Learning the ABCs doesn’t have to be boring; Chicka Chicka Boom Boom makes the alphabet fun, thanks to its ultra-catchy language and rhythm. The book centers around a race where all of the letters of the alphabet are trying to get up a coconut tree. Amazon reviewers indicated that this pick has been an absolute delight to read with their little ones; the book boasts a super-impressive 4.8-star rating on the site, among 9,600 and growing reviews. It's available in a durable board book format, as well as paperback, hardcover, Kindle, and even audio CD.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "If you have never read this book to a child, I would HIGHLY recommend it! It is an ABC book, but it is written so it rhymes from start to finish. The cadence you can easily achieve is fantastic! It's so much fun to read, and for ANYONE to enjoy. We bought this book for our grand children and these are for our great-grandchildren. The fun in these pages never diminishes. It is a classic!"

  • Recommended ages: 1 to 4
  • Available formats: Board book, Kindle, Paperback, Audio CD, and Hardcover


A Catchy New York Times Best-Seller

A New York Times best-seller (and without a doubt my daughter’s absolute favorite book), The Pout-Pout Fish is an ocean-themed story that follows the pout-pout fish’s journey as he discovers that being glum and spreading "dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. The book is extremely fun to read, full of playful rhymes and silly text that your little one will adore. But don’t just take my word for it; Amazon reviewers gave The Pout-Pout Fish a 4.8-star rating on the site, among 8,900 and growing reviews. It's available in any format you could possibly want, from board book, to Kindle, to audiobook.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Baby girl LOVES this book, but my husband and I may love it even more. We alternate pages while reading and all together we say the "Blub Blubb Blubbbb!" Our girl adores this. She repeats [words] with us and giggles at the smoochie ending."

  • Recommended ages: Baby to 4 years
  • Available format: Board book, Kindle, Audible Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audio CD


An Interactive Book For Learning About Body Parts

Where Is Baby’s Belly Button is a playful book that’ll help to teach your toddler all about their body. Your little one will love lifting the book's flaps, revealing the baby's feet, belly button, and more. Many Amazon reviewers indicated that this book has been both a helpful learning tool and a fun read overall; reviewers on the site gave it a solid 4.8-star rating, among more than 5,000 reviews.

Grab it in a board book or hardcover format so that your child can really enjoy the interactive elements that are only possible with a physical book.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "We bought this book for my daughter when she was 14 months old. At that time she enjoyed opening the flaps and looking underneath. We also played peek-a-boo with the book a little, which she also enjoyed. She is now 18 months old and still enjoys the book. She now understands much of the questions and points to the what you're supposed to look for on each page. Overall, very enjoyable."

  • Recommended ages: 1 to 4
  • Available formats: Board book and Hardcover


A Book That Teaches 100 First Words

With more than 15,000 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.7-star rating overall, it’s clear that this First 100 Words book is a favorite among parents on the site. And it makes sense that people are into it: The book features 100 full-color photographs and simple words that you can look at and talk about with your kiddo. The board book’s pages are slightly padded, so they’re extra comfortable for little hands to hold — though it's also available as a Kindle or hardcover book, too.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is necessary for every child. It helps him develop a visual vocabulary and helps recognize new products and things. I got it for my 1 year old, he loves it!! The quality on the pages are excellent. [There] is so much color and the pages are thick. Highly recommend for every child. [They'll] spend a lot of time on this. And worth every penny."

  • Recommended ages: 1 to 3
  • Available formats: Board book, Kindle, and Hardcover


A Sensory Book

As its name would suggest, See, Touch, Feel is packed with different sensory experiences to explore, like raised textures to feel, finger trails to follow, and a shiny mirror to look at. The imagery is bright and colorful, so it'll hold your 1-year-old's attention. And the board book format means that your little one can practice flipping through the pages totally on their own.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "We just ordered 3 books off Amazon for my 15 month old daughter and this is by far her favorite book! It keeps her attention and she “reads” it to herself and explores each page and maybe even prefers that to having us read it to her. If she is playing something else and you hand her the book she stops what she is doing to play with it. Definitely the best touch and feel book we have owned."

  • Recommended ages: Baby to 2 years
  • Available formats: Board book


A Cute Book To Help With Potty Training

With potty training on the horizon, it is never too early to introduce your 1-year-old to the concept. And Potty which, you guessed it, covers all things potty-related — is the best way to do it. The board book is perfectly paced and honestly, super funny, so your tot will actually enjoy learning about using the potty. Amazon reviewers were impressed with this pick, giving it a 4.7-star rating on the site, among 6,000-plus reviews. If your tot doesn't require a board book, nab this in Kindle or hardcover (if you prefer).

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "We were planning on starting my son potty training in the next few weeks, but once this book arrive and he got a hold of it, we had to start right away because he LOVED it and he wanted to mimic it! It's a great way to teach toddlers where their potty business is supposed to go, what they need to do to get on the potty, and how it might take some time. The pictures are adorable and my son mimics nearly every page. We read it about 3 times every time he goes to the potty. Would recommend this to those starting potty training!"

  • Recommended ages: Baby to 3 years
  • Available formats: Board book, Kindle, and Hardcover


A Finger Puppet Book

This Itsy Bitsy Spider book brings the classic nursery rhyme to life. The board book features an adorable spider finger puppet that you wiggle as you read — or sing — all about the creature that climbs up the water spout. The rhyming story is entertaining, and it also teaches your kiddo about language patterns.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My one year olds love it! They already like the itsy bitsy spider because Grandma does it with them all the time, so I knew they would like the book. They have fun seeing the cute spider pop in and out when I read it to them."

  • Recommended ages: 1 to 4
  • Available formats: Board book


A Book To Teach Your Baby Sign Language

Baby sign language can be an effective tool for communication with your tot. And so, if you’re interested in giving it a try, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of Baby Signs: A Baby-Sized Introduction to Speaking with Sign Language. The board book features watercolor images of babies doing 13 signs that are useful for everyday life, including milk, diaper, mommy, daddy, and water. Brief instructions on each page explain how to do each sign, so you can effectively teach them to your tot. The board book has a solid 4.5-star rating on Amazon, among 3,700 and growing reviews, so it’s safe to say that reviewers on the site have found this book to be a useful tool in their homes. In addition to the board book format, this one can also be purchased as a paperback or Kindle e-book.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is awesome! My son is one year old hasn't spoke a word (well just one) but he knows all the words of his book. He gets [excited] about every one and even waves at the baby in the cover. Also tells me when he needs to poop. Love it!"

  • Recommended ages: Baby to 3
  • Available formats: Board book, Kindle, and Paperback