Two Years Old

This page lists books to read to children or for them to read to themselves. For books about children and childraising, see Education.

In addition to the books listed here, an excellent source of both book lists and information about children's evolving need for books is Babies Need Books.

Many books listed on the pages for earlier ages continue to be suitable for this age, and may be appreciated with a growing sophistication.


  • A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry, author; Marc Simont, illustrator. Clear and charming pictures of the many ways trees are useful.
  • Alfie's Feet by Shirley Hughes. Alfie gets new boots, but they feel a little funny until he discovers which boot goes on which foot. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter. Intriguing rhymes and tender illustrations.
  • Bears in Pairs by Niki Yektai, author; Diane de Groat, illustrator. A bouncy rhyme contrasts many bears in different dress and circumstance.
  • Because a Little Bug went Ka-Choo! by Rosetta Stone, author; Michael Frith, illustrator. A tiny bug sneezes, and the consequences of this get wildly larger and larger.
  • Billy's Beetle by Mick Inkpen. A beetle is lost. Who will find it? Will it be the Girl, the sniffy dog, the hedgehog, the polar bear, the ooompah band, the elephant ... or perhaps the observant reader?
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton. Animals who cannot quite dress properly help a child laugh at proper versus unproper.
  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. Toddler Sal and a baby bear accidentally switch places while berrying, but the right children are restored to the right mothers.
  • Cars by Anne Rockwell. Cheerful pictures of many sorts of cars. One of a series of similar books, all good.
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. The narrator requests many animals from the zoo, and though all are funny, noisy and colorful, only the final animal makes a good pet.
  • Good Night! by Claire Masurel and Marie H. Henry. A little girl, evidently quite an independent one, brings all of her wayward animals to bed.
  • Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman. The zookeeper does not notice that the little gorilla has stolen his keys, unlocked cages and in now leading a parade of animals into the zookeeper's beedroom.
  • Harry and the Lady Next Door by Gene Zion, author; Margaret Bloy Graham, illustrations. Harry loves everybody. That is, except the opera-singing lady next door. He tries everything to make her stop.
  • Harry By the Sea. Harry is separated from his family and mistaken for a giant sea-slug.
  • Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, author; Margaret Bloy Graham, illustrations. Harry is a white dog with black spots, until he runs away from home, becomes a black dog with white spots, and quite unrecognizable, even to his family.
  • It's my Birthday by Helen Oxenbury.
  • John Burningham's ABC by John Burningham. All the letters, with illustrations.
  • Kipper by Mike Inkpen. Kipper is a friendly puppy. In this, his first adventure, he seeks a new bed, but finally concludes that his own bed is best.
  • Kipper's Snowy Day by Mick Inkpen. Kipper is a cheerful and whimsical dog. On a snowy day, he and his more dour friend, Tiger, have adventures.
  • No Roses for Harry by Gene Zion, author; Margaret Bloy Graham, illustrations. Harry receives a gift sweater that he does not like. It takes him a while and some effort to lose it.
  • Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel. A child discovers what the potty is for. A helpful introduction to potty training.
  • Peek-A-Book by Lee Wardlaw, author; Melissa Sweet, illustrator. Jaunty rhymes and clear pictures carry a young listner happily through a toddler's day, discovering surprises under flaps, with a double surprise at the end, which happens to be bedtime, making this book a good review and conclusion of the day. Small children will like memorizing the flaps and confirming that their world is reliable. As a bonus, because the words in the rhyme are phonetic, early readers will have an easy time with this book, providing a second round of enjoyment.
  • Poems to Read to the Very Young by Josette Frank, editor; Dagmar Wilson, illustrator. Rhyming, rhythmic, happy poems for children.
  • Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban. Everyday objects contain interesting geometric shapes.
  • The Adventures of Jeanne-Marie by Francoise. Delightful, gentle stories of Jeanne-Marie and her pet sheep Patapon and duck Madalon. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont. A jaunty but bad baby sets off with an elepant to raid treats, accumulating a growing list of pursuers, until all is made right in the end. (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Who's in the Sea? by Charles Reasoner. Puzzle questions about sea creatures are answed by pulling out a peek-a-boo sliding panel.
  • Whose House is This?, A Sliding Surprise Book by Charles Reasoner. Which animal lives where? Slide open the page and find out. One of a series of similar books.

Audio Recordings

  • Mother Goose's Basket Full of Rhymes by Carly Simon, composition and singer; Steven Haskamp, illustrations. Fifteen classic rhymes, set to tune.
  • Rhinoceros Tap by Sandra Boynton. Cheery, tappy dance tunes and other clever songs featuring personable animals.


  • One Hundred and One Dalmations by Disney. Pongo and Perdita bravely rescue 101 Dalmation puppies, many their own, from the evil Cruella De Vil and her bumbling henchmen.

Good Night!, it is time to go to bed

Good Night!, it is time to go to bed