READING is the best thing you can do for your children, even from the earliest days.
Countless studies have shown how reading can improve everything from vocabulary to early literacy skills a few years later, when they’re ready to head off to school.
It also does wonders for their imaginations and can help establish that most important of things when children are very young: routine.
Setting a time aside every day can help you connect with your one-year-old, and will start to signify to them that sleep will follow the post-bath snuggle in bed, which always involves a book. Or several.
One-year-old children can already be avid readers. Of course, their love of reading often involves exploring the book itself: pawing at it, chewing it, throwing it around – this is why board books are such a hit with the infant crowd.
The most popular books for this age range tend to focus on characters they know and recognise (hello, Peppa!), animal figures (this is why The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Gruffalo are such hits), easy numbers, colours and shapes and anything to do with themselves.
By two, lots of kids know their own name and love hearing it – and shouting it – frequently, so age one is a good time to get them their first personalised book of adventures. Happy reading!
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1. Best personalised book for one-year-olds
This sweet bedtime book is a gorgeously illustrated countdown to sleep featuring your child’s favourite thing in the world: their name. Perfect for bedtime bonding, this rhyming book also has charming animal characters and comes in hardback or softback versions (the hardback is an ideal gift for a baby).
‘The child’s name in the title of the book makes a world of difference!’ writes a fan, and, as any parent can tell you, constant repetition of their child’s name might just be the secret to success when it comes to creating a lifelong love of books.
- Bedtime for You, for £19.99 on Wonderbly – buy here
2. Best buggy book for one-year-olds
Jellycat is renowned for its ultra-cuddly soft toys and this Jungly Tails book is a playful choice for young readers who will enjoy the textures and sounds, with crinkly pages and a jungle sound button. It’s also ideal for bringing with you on the go and has an attachment for the buggy.
‘They are bright, interesting and extremely hardwearing so perfect for first-stage reading, exploring and play. The children love them and so do we!’ writes a grandparent.
- Jellycat Jungly Tails Book, for £13.50 on JoJo Maman Bébé – buy here
3. Best flap book for one-year-olds
Nosy Crow is a charming indie publishing house for little ones and their early-years selections won’t disappoint. The latest addition to their lift-the-flap animal series features the animal-of-the-moment, a narwhal, as well as felt flaps and a mirror. It’s a classic hide-and-seek story and there are plenty more animals and people, from ladybirds to Santa Claus, to find across other books in the series.
‘My almost 18m old absolutely loves this book. It’s hardly been put down since we got it. She will spend an hour with me reading it over and over and loves the brightly coloured animals and kissing herself in the mirror on the last page,’ notes a happy parent.
- (AD) Where’s Mr Narwhal? (Felt Flaps) Board book – 6 Jun 2019 by Ingela P Arrhenius, for £5.24 on Amazon – buy here
4. Best imaginative book for one-year-olds
This board book is a total delight that takes your child on an interactive adventure where they ‘push’ the buttons and shake and tilt the book to find that extraordinary things happen when they do. Since it’s more about action than text, it’s also a great book for anyone in the family who doesn’t consider themselves a natural read-aloud reader (and it will also keep little ones occupied in restaurants).
Fans say it’s an ‘absolutely brilliant book!’, ‘such a good introduction for small children to really engaging with a book’ and an ‘absolutely genius book that teaches young children cause and effect in a fun way.’ Older kids love it, too.
- (AD) Press Here : Board Book Edition, by Hervé Tullet, for £5.24 on Amazon – buy here
5. Best learning book for one-year-olds
By around 18 months, most toddlers are saying around 20 words (this goes up to 50 by age two), and this colourful book helps bring those words to life with actual photos rather than cartoons. It also follows a one-year-old’s interests (emergency vehicles, animals) and day-to-day life (high chairs, babies, bedtime routine, etc).
- (AD) First 100 Words (Soft to Touch Board Books) (First 100 Soft To Touch) Hardcover by Roger Priddy, for £3.99 on Amazon – buy here
6. Best noisy book for one-year-olds
One-year-olds ADORE Peppa Pig: they jump in every puddle they see, they laugh at Daddy Pig’s antics and they shout ‘Dinesaw!’ along with George.
This book has all of their favourite characters, plus 18 sound buttons one-year-olds will love pressing as the story goes on (and will press continually even when you’re not reading). Purchasers say it’s ‘great value for the price’, ‘the story is fun and engaging’ and the buttons ‘offer a range of exciting moods, laughs and silly sounds’.
- (AD) Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Super Noisy Sound Book , for £9.35 on Amazon – buy here
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This article and any featured products have been independently chosen by The Sun journalists. All recommendations within the article are informed by expert editorial opinion. If you click a link and buy a product we may earn revenue: this helps to support The Sun, and in no way affects our recommendations.