This has absolutely been my favorite age (so far) for reading. Now that my child and I can walk together to the bookstore or library and pick out books together, it’s really fun to talk about what we like best about each book (the illustrations, a funny character, a new word, funny noises...). Kids at this age definitely have favorites—must I read “Olivia” all the time?—but it’s always great to have a nice collection of books to choose from.


The Lost House

This book is maddening because it’s so hard to find the hidden object on each page, but it’s so beautifully illustrated that it doesn’t even matter. There’s a new sequel about a picnic that we also bought.

Hello Door

A clever rhyming book about a kleptomaniac fox with striking illustrations.

The Hat Trilogy

The simply drawn “Hat” trilogy is great and we probably read all three several times per week. I can’t wait for a next book in the series.

Peck Peck

The woodpecker “holes” in the book are a lot of fun to look through, and the story of the bird and his dad is so sweet.

Hooray for Birds

This book pairs cheerful illustrations of a wide variety of birds with rhyming text, and it’s fantastic.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

The imagery of animals dressed in Victorian-era clothes is hysterical, plus it’s always fun to see Mr. Tiger cut loose.

Wolfie the Bunny

This is the story of a family of bunnies raising a giant wolf baby dressed in a bunny suit. It’s so sweet, and it’s also set in Brooklyn.

Olivia

This is the original, though my kid loves the follow up books: Olivia and the Fairy Princess, Olivia and the Missing Toy, Olivia the Spy etc. I don’t like them as much, but I still bought them, naturally.

A B See

A B See is a beautifully illustrated alphabet book with wacky groupings of objects that start with each letter of the alphabet, making up the shape of that letter. Pretty to look at, and educational too!

Where The Wild Things Are

Classic.

The Merry Chase (from the illustrator behind Goodnight Moon)

This is a deeper cut from the illustrator of Goodnight Moon.

Oh No George

I love the illustrations, and kids seem to like stories about naughty dogs.

Noisy Night

The visual set-up of seeing each floor of an apartment building, plus a tiny peek at the neighbors above and the noises they make, means each turn of the page is an exciting revelation.

The Abrams Block Book Series

I love this series and like to give them as a birthday presents for babies. The illustrations are just amazing, and the pages are sturdy so small hands can turn them.

Cookie Count

When I was on maternity leave, one of my pro bono artist clients sent me this book, which is maybe the most stunning pop-up I’ve ever seen. I know that my nearly-three-year-old is a bit young to take proper care of pop-up books, so I make sure to read it together and help her with the folding the pieces back in.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs : The Definitive Pop-Up

We gifted this book to a dinosaur-crazy toddler, and his parents said he won’t put it down.

Green Eggs and Ham

This is quite possibly the G.O.A.T. children’s book. We still read it every day, even though my child calls it the “Sam I am, he doesn’t like it” book.