Books My 1 Year Old Loves: 12-18 months

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My toddler and I love books.

I love reading to him during the day after we’ve had a busy morning, it’s a good way to wind down. I read to him in the bath while he plays with his boats and of course, before bed. Sometimes I don’t even read the book but instead talk about the illustrations, colours and shapes we can see.

I also love to see him pick up one of his books and look through it himself. He’ll sit for a few minutes while I make a cup of tea and open a book to ‘lift-the-flap’ or practice trying to press the sound buttons.


I thought I’d share some of the books that X reaches for most throughout the week. I started writing this post AGES ago, when X was around 14 months to be exact. So, the books in this post are the ones he particularly enjoyed from around 12 – 18 months. He still enjoys all of these books now at 22 months but is starting to reach for others too. I also like to rotate between our books depending on my toddlers interests and the time of the year.

When I began writing this post (back in May 2020) we were reading most of these books daily. We had a lot of time to fill due to the first lockdown which had been put in place to suppress COVID-19 (it’s 17/01/21 and we’re in our third lockdown). All of our usual baby groups had been put on pause and we still miss going to them.

Right, enough of my chit chat. Let’s get into the list.

Listen to the Dance Music by Marion Billet

This book has been a winner with my toddler since the day it arrived. I think I got this when he was around 8 months old and now at 20 months he still picks it up and enjoys listening to the music.

One of the things I like about this book is that the ‘buttons’ are very easy for tiny hands to press. They simply have to place their finger over the indentation in the book and the music begins. To stop the music before it ends you simply press the same button again and move onto another page. It’s also a very sturdy book with lots of brightly coloured pages.

Baby books

This series of books offers a very generous sound clip which is always fun. X’s friend, F gave him the Christmas Songs book and it’s gone down very well. Fun songs, lots of sound play and it has the lyrics in too.

You’ll notice quite quickly that we’re big fans of Nosy Crow books.

Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Book– Usborne

My friend got this for X and he loves it. He particularly likes the squashy yellow boots which have recently become even more exciting because he now has his own real life pair of yellow boots.


The touchy-feely books are a firm toddler favourite and this is a brilliant example of a book that X will pick up and look through himself. He obviously doesn’t look through it in order or even the right way up but he loves to touch and feel all the fun and colourful pages in the book.

Never Touch A Hedgehog! By Rosie Greening

We got this book while we were away in Southwold last October. He spotted it on the shelf and kept pointing to it and as soon as he had it in his hands he was obsessed.

Baby books

It’s a very tactile book with rather unusual shapes and patterns made from silicone. The story rhymes well and there are lots of unusual animals (compared to other books) throughout the book.

It’s more of a rhyming book than a particular story.

Listen to the Pets by Marion Billet

This is another chunky, sturdy and colourful book. It has those easy-to-press buttons which are perfect for tiny hands.

X really enjoys the cat and dog in this book the most and often tries to copy the noises. I thought the rabbit sound was a bit odd. It’s a rabbit munching on a carrot which makes sense but isn’t a concept that X can grasp just yet.

Fun at the Fair by Ingela P. Arrhenius

This is one of those books that I picked up because of the cute illustrations. Luckily X has been a big fan of it too.

Baby books

It’s a chunky book with thick pages. I thought it would be quite hardy but it’s actually very delicate and the spine can get damaged easily. However, that hasn’t put me off, I just keep this series on a higher shelf.

The book is made up of interesting shapes which both X and I like. It has cute scandi-style illustrations throughout and we also love A Forest’s Seasons too.

Fox’s Socks By Julia Donaldson

Here we have a modern-day classic. My auntie introduced us to Julia Donaldson books when X was born.

The Acorn Wood books always engage X from start to finish and it’s currently his favourite night-time read. Throughout the book Mr Fox is looking for an elusive sock. X loves lifting the flaps to try and find it. This has been really good in more recent months as he can now join in and say ‘hat’ or ‘sock’ throughout the book.

Where’s Mrs Zebra – Ingela P Arrhenius

The whole series of these books are brilliant. This particular one is Where’s Mrs Zebra? It’s a bright and cheerful board book with felt flaps which are perfect for those little hands that can be tempted to pull out the paper flaps.

I think this series of books is perfect from about 6 months. Little ones LOVE the surprise mirror at the back from when they’re very tiny and it hasn’t lost any excitement now that X is 22 months.

Farm Animals by Xavier Deneux

This was one of the first books I picked out for my newly born baby. Time moves really fast, I can’t believe we’re coming up to his second birthday. It’s a black and white book with pops of orange. The illustrations are bold, simple and eye-catching for very small babies and my 22 month old continues to enjoy this.

Night-Night Wooly – Florence Wetterwald

A book that comes with a matching teddy! What’s not to love?

Baby books

I can’t remember where I came across this book but as soon as I saw that it was a photographic board book I grabbed it. I love photographic books. They reminded me of my childhood favourite, Teddy Edward.

The story is simple, Wooly is very tired and ready to go to bed but in the process of doing so he manages to get himself into a few silly situations. X finds this very funny.

Noisy Farm

A combination of a touchy-feely book and sounds? A dream for any toddler.

The book is quite big and chunky with sturdy pages. It has lots of real-life photos throughout the book which I always think is important when talking about animals.

The buttons in this book are quite firm and a little harder to press for smaller hands. After a few months of working hard X can now press them confidently and with success but it has taken a lot of practice.

This was a real favourite over the summer. We spent a lot of time talking about animals in books, with magnets and we were also visiting Heeley City Farm in Sheffield. I always think it’s fun to do relatable activities to the books we’re reading about. It’s a lot harder to do that at the moment though.

Where’s Mr Astronaut? – Ingela P Arrhenius

I’ve mentioned this series before and the same points stand for this fun space themed edition.

Baby books

It’s a sturdy and colourful board book with large felt flaps on each page.

This one continues to be in our rotation of books most weeks. Like all of the other books in the series it has a hidden mirror on the last page which is a source of much joy.


Bobo & Co – Shapes – Nicola Killen

This is a cute and cheerful board book with lots of large full page flaps to lift and discover the shapes within the story. The flaps are sturdy, not the usual type which can be pulled off easily.

This is a colourful book with very cute illustrations. It’s all about Bobo’s birthday and the book is filled with lots of shapes to find. His presents are all square and his play tent is a triangle. It’s a good way to start talking about colours, shapes and friendships.

My Big Animal Book – Roger Priddy

This has been a long-term favourite for X. Actually, he loves all of the Roger Priddy books that we have and I should have included the First 100 Words book too.

X has been playing with this big book for ages, long before he was 1 and now that he’s nearly 2 he’s still enjoying it. At first he’d listen and watch me point at all of the pictures and now he points and listens and will join in saying the animals and sounds he knows.

I also like that this book is full of real pictures of animals.

100 First Words – Edward Underwood

As you can see, I love a word book and this one does not disappoint.

Baby books

This is a big board book filled with bold and cheerful illustrations, lots of lift-the-flap opportunities and the corresponding word for each image. There are lots of themes throughout the book such as animals, the home, vehicles and the one we look at most evenings, bedtime.