Best books to read to kids: The HoneyKids mums share their favourite childrens’ books for babies and toddlers

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Looking for a great new read for your little one? We love a good book recommendation to keep story time fun, so here are some of our favourite tales and picture books for toddlers and babies…

Book loving mums – like us! – are always on the hunt for great picture books and new stories to read to our kids, and there’s nothing better than a personal recommendation. And because we feel as if we’re all one big mothers group with you, the HoneyKids mums have shared their all-time favourite kids books for babies and toddlers for you to add to story time…

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr., Eric Carle (Illustrator)
My kids put me on repeat mode for weeks when we first got hold of this book – it’s a real fun read! A magical picture book to read aloud to a young child (we were reading it when my boys were three and four), there’s something so poetic about it. Perfect for young children who are just starting to learn letters, their sounds, and words, we had pretty much memorised the book, so we would recite it in the car (and at times, the shower!). Eric Carle’s illustrations are a visual treat – bright colours with examples of tissue paper collages used to represent the animals in the story.
Pavin, Writer, mum of Taj and Avi

No Matter What, by Debi Gliori
The story is charming and well written (with rhyming verse!) and shares a message about unconditional love that I never tire of. The illustrations are beautiful and help to keep my wild little one’s attention. It’s the perfect final book before bed! I also have to give a special shoutout to Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton, which is just stinking fun to read.
– Kate, Account Manager, mum of Harrison

Great Day for Up! by Dr Seuss
An easy Dr Seuss book to read (no tongue twisters!) with great Quentin Blake illustrations, I just love this book because not only does it remind me of my favourite childhood read, Roald Dahl’s The BFG (which is also illustrated by Blake), but this book has lovely repetition and a really great message at the end: that sleep-ins are a good thing! It’s something I am trying to foster and encourage in my household, particularly on weekends!
Chris, Managing Director, mum of Evie, Louis and Darcy

I Want my Hat Back, by Jon Klassen
I’m a big fan of Jon Klassen’s illustrated books, which star mischievous animals with a penchant for stealing hats (of course). This time, it’s a bear whose hat has gone missing: he approaches all the animals in the forest, very politely asking if they’ve seen his hat, and feeling increasingly sorry for himself along the way. Nobody’s seen it, of course… especially not the rabbit wearing a pointy red hat. My three-year-old loves announcing the animals the bear encounters on his search (where else do you get the opportunity to teach kids the word ‘armadillo’?) and everybody has a good cackle over the book’s twist, which never gets old. It’s an absurd little tale that’s loads of fun – and contains two very good lessons: always exercise good manners; and never, ever steal another animal’s hat!
– Selina, Editor, mum of Maxton and Grayson

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
My little girl Emily loves how the little caterpillar transforms  and how when the caterpillar eats all the junk food, we pretend we are getting stuffed too. With all of its lovely bright colours, it’s also a great book to try and copy during art time.
– Suzanne, Sales and Marketing Manager, mum of Emily and Olivia

Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney
My favourite is Guess How Much I Love You it’s such a lovely book to snuggle up with your kids and read together pre-bed time. It’s heartwarming, tender and gets them feeling sleepy and secure so they are ready to pop into bed. The prose is catchy: we often say to each other “I love you to the moon and back”.

There are plenty of others like Paper Dolls and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, the Olivia books by Ian Falconer and Eloise by Kay Thompson. It’s hard to limit to just one!
Georgina, Writer, mum of Minnie and Willa (and Ginger the bump)