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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Tips for Choosing Books for Babies and Toddlers

For Babies 0-6 Months

  • Books with simple, large pictures or designs with bright colors.

  • Stiff cardboard, "chunky" books, or fold out books that can be propped up in the crib.

  • Cloth and soft vinyl books with simple pictures of people or familiar objects that can go in the bath or get washed.


For Babies 6-12 Months

  • Board books with photos of other babies.

  • Brightly colored "chunky" board books to touch and taste!

  • Books with photos of familiar objects like balls and bottles.

  • Books with sturdy pages that can be propped up or spread out in the crib or on a blanket.

  • Plastic/vinyl books for bath time.

  • Washable cloth books to cuddle and mouth.

  • Small plastic photo albums of family and friends.


For Young Toddlers 12-24 Months

  • Sturdy board books that they can carry.

  • Books with photos of children doing familiar things like sleeping or playing.

  • Goodnight books for bed time.

  • Books about saying good-bye and hello.

  • Books with only a few words on each page.

  • Books with brightly colored, engaging illustrations.

  • Books with simple rhymes or predictable text.

  • Touch-and-feel books.

  • Animal books of all sizes and shapes.


For Older Toddlers 24-36 Months

  • Books that tell simple stories.

  • Simple rhyming books that they can memorize.

  • Bed time books.

  • Books about counting, the alphabet, shapes or sizes.

  • Animal books, vehicle books, books about playtime.

  • Pop-up books, pull-the-tab books, touch-and-feel books.

  • Books with humorous pictures and words.


For Preschoolers 3-5 Years

  • Books about children that look and live like them, as well as about children living very different lives.

  • Counting books or other "concept" books about things like size or time.

  • Simple "science" books about things and how they work—like garbage trucks, flowers or tools.

  • Books about things in which they have a special interest in such as trains, animals or cooking.

  • Books about making friends.  (Also books about dealing with the challenges of friendships—making up after an argument, dealing with a bossy friend, etc.)

  • Books about going to school or to the doctor.

  • Books about having brothers or sisters.

  • Books with simple text that they can memorize or read!

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