A Grandmother’s Guide To Toddler Books – Part Two

I love reading books to my young grandchildren. I especially like it when the toddler books are entertaining and do not make me want to poke a sharp stick in my eye.

Please let me share with you some of the books I recommend. You can find more in Part One.

(By the way, as in Part One, this post contains some affiliate links which means that if you buy something after clicking on the link, Amazon will send a few pennies my way. I will promptly send the pennies back to Amazon as I buy new books for the little ones. I thank you and they thank you.)

I will be spending lots of time reading these and other favorites to the little guys during my upcoming stint as granny nanny.


Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Goodnight, Goodnight COnstruction Site

Even the toughest equipment on the construction site needs to tuck in at night to be rested up and ready for the new day. This story helps rambunctious four-year-old twins realize that they do, too.


Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps written and illustrated by Sophie Henn

Pom Pom Panda Gets The Grumps

We’ve all had those times when we get out on the wrong side of the bed and everything that can go wrong throughout the day does. Pom Pom Panda’s friends help him to turn his day around.


Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups written and illustrated by Tadgh Bentley

Little Penguin Gets The Hiccups

This sweet and silly book illustrates the pitfalls of serving chili to a penguin. Little penguin needs help to vanquish his hiccups and he calls upon the reader and the audience to help.


Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Scott Magoon


There is something about this book that I absolutely adore. Captivating illustrations depict this creative tale about Spoon who thinks those around him (Fork, Knife, and Chopsticks) lead more interesting or, in the case of Chopsticks, more exotic lives than he does. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Spoon, help him to realize that there is something special about each of us.


Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

Giraffes Can't Dance

As someone who was kicked out of ballet class at age six because the teacher thought I was “too clumsy”, I feel vindicated by this book. With some encouragement and the right music in our hearts, we can ALL dance.


Finally, you can’t go wrong with ANYTHING by author Mo Willems. True, I might be drawn to him because of his awesome name but just look at these examples…

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! written and illustrated by Mo Willems

The Pigeon Needs A Bath

The Pigeon series (including other gems like “Don’t Let Pigeon Stay Up Late” and “Don’t Let Pigeon Drive The Bus” are silly tales about a cantankerous pigeon. He doesn’t think he needs a bath; he had one last month. Our little guys find the Pigeon books to be hilarious.


Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Even from the cover of the book, you can see the personality that comes out in the illustrations.

Wee, little Trixie and her beloved knuffle bunny go along on a trip to the laundromat with dad. Unfortunately, knuffle bunny gets left behind and Trixie can’t get her parents to understand baby-speak. Finally, determination wins out and Trixie speaks her first real words, “knuffle bunny”.


The Elephant and Piggie Series

Elaphant and Piggie boks

There are 25 books in the Elephant and Piggie series. The books tell of the adventures of best friends Gerald the Elephant and Piggie the pig. The books are entertaining for all ages – seriously, I could read these over and over and over again.

The Elephant and Piggie books are also written to be “easy readers”. No dumb “See Spot run.” nonsense for this generation. The brilliant and talented Mo Willems helps children learn to read and want to read.

We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book), in particular, engages young readers.

Here is how the New York Public Schools Library Journal describes the hilarity:

“…the best buddies star in a witty metafictional romp replete with visual gags, such as Piggie hanging from a speech bubble and Elephant blocking the author’s name on the title page. Willems revs up the fun when the friends realize that someone is watching. Who can it be? Cautious Gerald asks, “A monster?” while savvy Piggie answers, “No. It is…a reader! A reader is reading us!” Mirth ensues as the delightful creatures comprehend a newfound power: “If the reader reads out loud,” they can make the reader say words.”


All of these books would be great additions to any family’s library. And, without a doubt, instilling a love of books in children is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

Happy reading!

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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Fantastic recommendations! I also like the Pigeon series. -Jenn

  2. Ah, Mo, I’m doing Nana time right now with my 6 week old granddaughter – so two weeks while my daughter is here – then back to Virginia she goes – then back here again for a little longer stint. What a special time. What a time I really appreciate my yoga knowledge to get my back back in alignment. I’ve not read a few of these books and appreciate so much your recommendations here. Aren’t childrens PBs the best? Aren’t grandchildren the best?

  3. I recently came across a box of my kids’ favorite books that I had saved (The Napping House, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub). It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was reading them to my toddlers – and now my kids are old enough for me to be reading them to their toddlers (IF they had any, which they don’t). My son proposed to his longtime girlfriend last weekend, so maybe I will have a reason to purchase some of your recommended books one day in the not-too-distant future.

  4. I would add Tree Ring Circus by Adam Rex and Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen.

  5. I thought I had seen every children’s construction book under the sun! I guess having teens has made me miss a few recently. They all look adorable!
    Leslie Anne Tarabella recently posted…How’s your mamandaddy? Saturday morning . . .My Profile

  6. Big thumbs up from our family for the Mo Willems books! Everybody loves them. Just last night we had a “hot dog party” ala The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog.
    Katy recently posted…10 Ways Being a Blogger Makes Me a Better MomMy Profile

  7. Read, Mo, read. See Mo read. Please read more. Please read and tell. Kelly likes books. Kelly wants great-niece and great-nephew to like books. See them read. See them read books Ahwee bought them because of Mo.

    Ha! Such better options today than we had as littlies, eh?

    And by the way – how is it possible that Chip and Dale are now 4! Good heavens. Surely they were just 4 months last year?

    • They really are growing way too fast! Thank goodness for Face Time so I can see it happen before my very eyes! Yes, so many great books for the little ones. I’ll keep you supplied with suggestions – don’t you worry about that!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Boston Fun And Pi DayMy Profile

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