Here are seven delightful stories to share with toddlers. All have simple plots and familiar subject matter. These are good choices for young children ready to move beyond simple concept books and entertaining rhymes.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Half storybook, half concept book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the story of a hungry caterpillar eating a lot of food and, ultimately, turning into a beautiful butterfly. Toddlers will enjoy playing with the holes the caterpillar chews through the book — especially if you can get your hands on the large board book edition of this book. Ages 1+
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Depicts a young boy Peter’s adventures in the snow with simple, graphic illustrations of Peter in his red snowsuit. The Snowy Day conveys the joy of playing in snow. Ages 1+
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. The child narrator explains the steps involved in planting a flower garden and watching it grow. Planting a Rainbow has beautiful, colorful illustrations of a variety of flowers. Ages 1+
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. A fun story about animals enjoying a party, complete with popcorn, black tea, and a campfire, in a bear’s den while the bear sleeps. Bear Snores On has an entertaining, rhyming text and great illustrations. Ages 2+
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. An amusing story of a mixup that occurs one late-summer day while Sal and her mother and little bear and his mother are picking blueberries on Blueberry Hill. Blueberries for Sal includes great descriptions of Sal engaging in some typical toddler behavior. Ages 2+
I would love to hear your ideas for great first stories to share with toddlers. To be a good pick, the book must have a plot and the plot must be simple.