Top 10 Books for 1 Year Olds

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Written by: Debbie Hatswell

Following on from last week’s “All Time Top Ten Picks for 2 Year Olds” we are following up with a llist for the little ones. 1 is a great age for reading aloud, your little one will be starting to reach out and interact with the book, wanting to turn the page, lift the flaps and of course try and put the book in their mouth for a good old chew.  Board books are a fantastic format for this age group.

Baby Wombat’s Week

By Jackie Frency, Illustrated by Bruce Whatley

He sleeps. He eats. He gets bored. He creates havoc wherever he goes! He's Mothball's baby - and he's even cuter, naughtier and more determined than his mum


Book of the Year for Younger Children (ABIA) 2010.


Hmm, the pictures of baby wombat using his mother as a climbing frame somehow look really familiar in the Story Mama household. In this sequel to Diary of a Wombat, baby wombat is super cute and his antics particularly with the human baby are a crack up.



Blue Hat Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

Blue Hat, Green Hat, Red Hat…. Ooops. With lots of colourful items of clothing, this Sandra Boynton board book is cute and funny for toddlers. A certain Turkey who keeps putting his clothes on the wrong part of his body will make them giggle.

This board book is both cute and funny. Recommended for ages 1-3

Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen

Who Sank the Boat? By Pamela Allen


Cow, Pig, Donkey, Sheep and Mouse all leap one at a time into a row boat until it sinks.

Story Mama Quick Review:

You will never guess who it is that actually sinks this boat full of animal friends. It amazes me how much the ending managed to surprise and delight my toddler every single time. This one is a bit of fun.


First 100 Words, Bright Baby

This durable large board book has over 100 first words to read and pictures to look at and talk about.  This is a good introduction for young toddlers to words and language.


It has so many photos to look at and learn!  Your little one will love recognizing familiar objects and learning and practicing their names.  This is a bright, colourful and very simple picture book.  A great one for building on baby's vocabularly.


Goodnight Moon, By Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Clement Hurd


Baby bunnies say goodnight to everything they can see.


Story Mama Quick Review:

Hmm.... a toddler stalling bedtime by saying goodnight to everything they can see. Sound familiar? This one has a big nostalgic touch as it was written more than 60 years ago and has been read aloud to generations. Its gentle rhyming language makes it a great bed time pick.

Time for Bed, By Mem Fox, Illustrated by Jane Dyer


It’s getting dark and baby animals are being put to bed. This one was on the bestseller lists in the USA for a year when it was first published in 1993.


The gentle rhyming text make this a fantastic book for bedtime, it seems to have the magical ability to calm the energetic toddler bouncing around the room. This book makes a great gift for a new baby. It has been read many hundreds of times in the Story Mama house.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle


    Baby Caterpillar eats his way through all sorts of fruit and unsuitable food until it is time to go into its cocoon. This one was first published in 1969 and has been translated into 25 languages and has sold more than 12 million copies. The concept came to Eric Carle when he was fooling around with a hole punch.

This has to be on your “must own” list, we haven’t met a kid yet that hasn’t loved it. Eric Carle’s distinctive art work is bright and colorful and the finger sized holes make it very interactive. Little ones will delight in the surprise at the end. (No spoilers here!)




Where is the Green Sheep, by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek


Multicoloured Sheep are up to all sorts of antics in this one, juggling, diving, surfing, playing in the park. The hunt for the Green Sheep is on.


Childrens Book Council book of the year 2005 

Kids Own Literature Award (KOALA) 2006 

SA Kanga Awards 2006

Speech Pathology Australia 2005

Young Australia Best Book Award (YABBA) 2006

Story Mama Quick Review:

This one will capture your little ones imagination and they will love the sillyness of the sheep up to all sorts of adventures. I love how the hunt for the green sheep never fails to entertain my little one after many, many, many, reads.


Where's Spot

Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill

Lift the flaps to find Spot.


The author Eric Hill has won and OBE in the UK for services to children’s literature.

Story Mama Quick Review:

I am pretty sure Spot was the first book character my little one fell in love with and demanded to read over and over again. In this very first book of the series, which just had its 30th birthday, toddlers will love finding where Spot is hiding under the flaps. Warning for parents, keep the sticky tape handy, little hands can be rough with lift the flap books!

Peepo by Janet and Allen Ahlberg

Peepo, By Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Set in the 1940’s, this book follows the busy day of a baby. A series of holes in the pages lets your little one peek into the next page at the goings on of his family. This classic has just had its 30th birthday.

I love the nostalgia in this one, although fair chance my little ones will never again see a bucket of coal or a hairnet in his life. This one is a fantastic reminder of life before electronics. My little one loves shouting out “Peepo!” along with the baby in the story.


So thats our Top 10... have we missed your favourite? Tell us in the comments section below.

















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Last update: Aug 30, 2017

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