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Best Toddler and Baby Books to Read

There are so many beautiful toddler and baby books on the shelves, how do you choose? We have listed some much loved classic books and also some new and gorgeous ones that your family will be sure to love too. We love to encourage our children to learn te reo as well as English, so have included some Maori language books – you can see more books and learning tools for teaching te reo here.

Create a love for books and a passion for reading with your little one from as young as a few months old. They will thrive from exploring colours and help your baby’s imagination run wild and learn about the world around them.


Our favourite Toddler & Baby Books to read

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

Filled with beautiful, quirky illustrations and clever read-aloud rhyme, you will love reading this book to your children at any age. In this timeless poem about growing up, Emily Windfield Martin explores all the things you can choose to be, from brave and bold to creative and wise.

“This is the first time there’s ever been you, So I wonder what wonderful things you will do.”


Little People, Big Dreams (Series of Children’s Books)

These books are very popular – and for good reason.

Maria Isabel likes to think the success of the series relies on the fact that children love to read real stories about other children achieving great things. It gives them the strength and the courage to believe in themselves and dream BIG.

As The Independent once said: “What a cool way to drift off to sleep.”

Little People Big Dreams

Guess How Much I Love You: One More Tickle

Small children love interaction as part of reading, what better than a book for babies with hand puppets – making story time extra fun.

Little ones will love joining in as they try to find out just how ticklish Big Nutbrown Hare actually is – and in turn they might find that they have one or two tickles too!

Guess How Much I Love You: One More Tickle!

Our favourite Aotearoa / New Zealand book for Babies & Children

Maui: Tales of Aotearoa

We love to read our Pēpi books about the history and culture of New Zealand and enjoy hearing about the tales of Aotearoa

The traditional tale of how Maui fished up North Island of New Zealand! But with a unique twist and humour. The pictures are bright and bring their own level of humour to the book.

Darryn Joseph ensures that the story is accurate and culturally appropriate.


Tahi-Rua-Toru MANU!

Your child will love spotting familiar birds in Tahi-Rua-Toru MANU!

From ‘One noisy seagull, asking to be fed’ to ‘Thirteen sleepy moreporks, slowly waking in the trees’, the birds are just asking to be counted.


Our Favourite Classic Book for Babies & Toddler

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This is a classic that the whole family will adore. It’s a go-to baby shower or birthday gift and has been around for generations.

Featuring interactive die-cut pages, this board book edition is the perfect size for little hands and great for teaching counting and days of the week.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar


Who doesn’t adore Winnie The Pooh?

Enter the enchanting world of the Hundred Acre Wood and enjoy all sorts of adventures: from hunting Woozles and catching a Heffalump, to going on an expotition to the North Pole and saving Piglet from a flood.


Best Book for Toddlers & Young Children about Feelings

How Do I Feel?

With 60+ definitions to help improve emotional literacy. This HUGE hardcover book with over 140 pages, is all about our children learning to recognise and label emotions and feelings.

Join Aroha and her friends as they share how different emotions might feel in the body and how each emotion might be helpful. This emotions dictionary is all about helping children find the words for how they truly feel. Learning to recognise and label our emotions correctly is such an important skill for life. 


Hair Maclary How Do I Feel

Lift the flaps and learn about feelings with the help of rascally Hairy Maclary and all his rollicking friends! Happy or sad? Mischievous or mad? This very special first concepts board book is designed to help babies and toddlers learn the words to express how they are feeling, with Lynley Dodd’s delightful and funny animal characters leading the way

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy first published in 1983, is the first and most well-known of a series of books by New Zealand author Lynley Dodd featuring Hairy Maclary

You can also complete your children’s bookshelf with our Baby Record Book Your First Years, a beautifully watercolour illustrated baby book from birth to five years, guaranteed to inspire you to record every memory and milestone of your child’s early life.

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