8 interactive books for babies and toddlers: lift-the-flaps, cool textures and more

baby reading book with caregiver
Keen to raise an avid reader in your household? Look no further than these fun interactive books to engage your baby or toddler at story time…

Here at HoneyKids Asia, we’re huge bookworms and love nothing more than reading to our kids. And while we love getting our older children interested in the classic faves, our favourite reads from amazing kids’ authors like Roald Dahl or books all about Singapore, when it comes to our bubs, we can’t go past interactive books for babies and toddlers. With fun flaps, tantalising textures and silly surprises galore, books that really engage readers are a great introduction to reading. Here are eight of our favourites…

1. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Originally published in 1982, this lift-the-flap favourite is a huge hit in our households, and for good reason. A child writes to the zoo to send them a pet, and the zoo keeps sending the wrong animal until, finally, they nail it. Little fingers love the surprises in wait under the flaps, and we also like to make the animal noises (although if anyone knows what noise a camel makes, please share!).

2. Hi-Five Animals! By Ross Burach

This one is a recent find, but when we brought it home from our favourite local library, it ended up top of the pile for weeks! The instructions on the book’s cover are simple: read, hi-five, repeat. Keep turning the pages and hi-fiving the illustrated animals as you go. We dare you not to laugh your socks off!

3. That’s Not My… by Fiona Watt

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t read one of these touchy-feely books to their baby or toddler. This multi-award-winning series has more than 50 books in its collection: everything from That’s Not My Otter to That’s Not My Tractor. As well as stroking, rubbing and scratching the textures on each page, we particularly enjoy asking our kiddo, “Where’s the mouse?” (it appears on each page) and then giving them a squeaky tickle once they point to it! 

4. My First Computer by Anne-Sophie Baumann

If you find your little one is showing an interest whenever you’re on your computer, then this is the perfect way to foster an interest in technology. This laptop-shaped book is filled with tabs, flaps and interactive surprises that will have littlies learning first concepts in a really cool and creative way. Thumbs up from us!

5. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet Ahlberg

Another classic we can’t get enough of! Gorgeous illustrations and fun rhymes encourage little readers to follow the storyline and spot different fairytale characters in the pictures. We also love to look for the little dog that appears throughout the book.

6. Press Here by Hervé Tullet

Hands down (pun intended!) one of our favourite interactive books for babies and toddlers! Little readers must follow instructions on each page, such as tapping coloured dots, blowing them or giving the book a good shake, and when they turn the page they’ll see what their hard work has resulted in. Join the legions of lovers worldwide and grab your tot a copy of this innovative book.  

7. I Can Roar! by Frank Asch

A fantastic choice for toddlers, this fun board book shows a different animal on each page and encourages the child (or adult, in our household!) to imitate it in a hilarious way, for instance, “I can snap like a turtle” or “I can stick out my tongue like a snake.” As well as being a giggle-fest of a read, it also helps kids learn about animals and has a lovely empowering message at the end (“I can be anything!”).

8. The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

This award-winning, bestselling book blew our minds when we were young (many, many years ago) and turns out our own kiddies love it too. However, this is one best saved for kids that have grown out of the grab-and-tear stage. Each page features mail the postman is delivering to famous fairytale characters in the form of envelope-shaped pockets. Inside each envelope are beautiful surprises that you can remove and read separately, including letters, cards, games and a tiny book. One to treasure forever.

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