Babies and Toddlers

Once Upon a Lap: Stories for Babies and Toddlers

Babies love stories, pictures and rhymes, and toddlers do, too! Choose from some of our favorites and snuggle in for a cozy read.

Ashman, Linda (2003) Babies on the Go
Clear, large illustrations and rhyming text show how different animals, including humans, carry their babies when they are on the move.

Baker, Keith (1994) Big Fat Hen
This bright vibrant rendition of the familiar rhyme “One, two, buckle my shoe” gives everyone lots of things to count, including newly hatched chicks!

Bang, Molly (1983) Ten, Nine, Eight
A little girl prepares for bed in this gentle countdown lullaby. (Also in Spanish.)

Barner, Bob (2000) Fish Wish
Striking collage illustrations and simple text take us for an underwater journey through a coral reef, introducing its varied inhabitants.

Barton, Byron (2001) My Car
Sam tells us all about the car he loves while bright simple illustrations show him taking care of it and driving it very carefully to work.

Beaumont, Karen (2004) Baby Danced the Polka
This rambunctious baby is not sleepy! The bouncy rhyming text and open-out flaps will have you dancing along with Baby and a variety of stuffed animals!

Bornstein, Ruth (1976) Little Gorilla
Little Gorilla gets a respectful and loving response to the serious question of whether he will be as loved when he's big as when he's little.

Bowie, C. W. (2003) Busy Fingers
A cute toddler shows a playful rhyming list of some of the things that fingers can do, from counting and poking to waving and squishing! (Also in Spanish.)

Brown, Margaret Wise (1947) Goodnight Moon
Soothing rhythmic tone and gently darkening illustrations come together in this classic bedtime story as a little bunny says goodnight to all the familiar things in her world. (Also in Spanish.)

Brownlow, Mike (2002) Bouncing Babies
With lilting verse and cheery illustrations of happy multiethnic babies, this book celebrates all the different activities that infants enjoy from morning to night!

Carle, Eric (1979) The Very Hungry Caterpillar
A caterpillar munches through all the days of the week and an amazing variety of foods on his way to a very splendid transformation. (Also in Spanish.)

Carlstrom, Nancy White (1986) Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
”Jesse Bear, what will you wear/ What will you wear in the morning?" The joyous answers include the predictable (pants and shirt) and some terrific surprises in this wonderful rhyming book.

Charlip, Remy (1999) Sleepytime Rhyme
Warm colors and simple artwork enhance this gentle lullaby of parental love as a mother and her baby revel in each other.

Cooke, Trish (1994) So Much
Family members swirl through this baby’s life kissing, hugging, wrestling and dancing with him, showing with each interaction how much they love him. Expressive illustrations and repetitive text invite you and your baby to play right along!

Cousins, Lucy (2004) Maisy Goes Camping
Maisy the mouse and her friends discover the delights of camping in the country. Bright colorful illustrations and minimal text make this book any toddler’s favorite!

Cowell, Cressida (2000) What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby?
A dog, a duck, a cat and a cow try their best to soothe a crying baby. Which animal’s solution will actually work? Large uncluttered illustrations and repeated animal sounds invite toddler participation!

Crews, Donald (1978) Freight Train
All abooooooard! Join us on a train ride as a colorful train goes through tunnels, cities and over trestles.

Crews, Nina (2004) The Neighborhood Mother Goose
Photographs of a multiracial cast of city kids illustrate the Mother Goose rhymes we know and love.

Davis, Katie (1998) Who Hops?
Preschoolers will enjoy chiming in as they discover who hops, flies, slithers, swims and crawls in this genuinely goofy book with bright fluorescent illustrations.

Degen, Bruce (1983) Jamberry
Bears, berries, counting and rhyming get all mixed up in this cheerful ode to jam.

Dodd, Emma (2001) Dog’s Colorful Day
Colors and numbers play a prominent role as an enthusiastic dog accumulates splotch after splotch all over his bright, white coat.

Dunbar, Polly (2004) Flyaway Katie
When Katie feels gray, she cheers herself up with lots of colors. This magical makeover has really lively illustrations!

Dunrea, Oliver (2002) Gossie
Gossie is a gosling who likes to wear bright red boots every day, and she is heartbroken the day the boots are missing. Where can they have gone?

Field, Eugene W. (2004) Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Peaceful and soothing, this perennial lullaby features fisherman rabbits casting their nets for stars and herring in rich soft dark illustrations.

Fleming, Denise (1998) Mama Cat Has Three Kittens
One of Mama Cat’s kids marches to the beat of a different drummer! Boris the kitten is too busy napping to join his siblings as they follow Mama Cat’s every move. Repetitive phrases and vibrant artwork accompany Boris as he finally swings into action!

Fox, Mem (2004) Where Is the Green Sheep?
The vibrant rhyming text offers numerous opportunities to point out daily objects and activities as we discover different kinds of sheep, up and down sheep, moon and star sheep, near and far sheep. But where, oh where is the green sheep?

Freymann, Saxton (2005) Food for Thought: The Complete Book of Concepts for Growing Minds
Bright photographs of fruits and vegetables shaped to resemble animals and simple labels teach toddlers shapes, colors, numbers, letters and opposites.

George, Kristine O’Connell (2001) Book!
Simple energetic illustrations bring to life the happiness and pleasure of a toddler and his brand-new book.

Hill, Eric (1980) Where’s Spot?
Everybody loves Spot! Lift the flaps to find eight different animals hidden around the house as Spot’s mother looks for her lost puppy. (Also in Spanish and other languages.)

Hindley, Judy (1999) Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes: A First Book About You
Play along as these toddlers discover various parts of their body. Cartoon-style illustrations tickle the funny bone and invite repeated readings.

Isadora, Rachel (2002) Peekaboo Morning
A playful toddler greets everyone and everything in the new day with a game of peek-a-boo. Simple text and warm pastels illustrate this favorite children’s game as a charming toddler moves through the day naming everything in view, including… YOU!

Jarrett, Clare (2004) The Best Picnic Ever
In this simple, imaginative tale, Jack and his mother meet a variety of animals in the park and they have a satisfying rumpus before sharing a most delicious picnic meal.

Keats, Ezra Jack (1962) The Snowy Day
This snowy day is full of opportunities and wonder for a small boy in the city: to crunch, make tracks — and dream of doing it all again tomorrow. (Also in Spanish.)

Kraus, Robert (1969) Whose Mouse Are You?
A lonely little mouse with big ears rescues his parents and sister for a warm-hearted reunion. Bright artwork, humor and rhyming text make this an enjoyable book. (Also in Spanish.)

Krauss, Ruth (2003) I Can Fly
Rhyming text and retro illustrations show a little girl at play who can fly like a bird, moo like a cow and squirm like a worm.

Kuskin, Karla (2004) Under My Hood
How many layers does it take to bundle up a young child? The lively illustrations and simple rhymes in this book invite everyone's attention!

Lawrence, John (2002) This Little Chick
Children will love guessing what sound this feisty little chick will make next as he visits all his neighbors and hops, jumps and swims with different animals.  Vibrant artwork and a happy rhyming text (with plenty of animal sounds!) will enthrall both parents and children.

Leslie, Amanda (1999) Flappy, Waggy, Wiggly
Simple clues and bright illustrations lead young "readers" to guess the animal riddles in this fun book!

MacLeod, Elizabeth (1998) I Heard a Little Baa
Simple riddles, rhyming words and lift-the-flap pages challenge a little one to identify familiar animals from their sounds.

Martin, Bill, Jr. (1983) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
In a question and answer format, this classic book shows a teacher and her class observing a variety of animals, each one a different color. Striking illustrations and a rhyming predictable text make this a perennial favorite. (Also in Spanish.)

McDonnell, Flora (2002) Giddy-Up! Let’s Ride!
Large colorful pictures show many kinds of riders — a show jumper on her trrrit-trrroting horse, a raja on his rumpetta-trumping elephant, a nomad on his lolloppy-plodding camel and more.

Meyers, Susan (2001) Everywhere Babies
Marla Frazee’s wonderful illustrations portray all kinds of babies everywhere — their moods, their expressions, their activities — as they grow and are loved everyday.

Morris, Ann (1995) Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
What do your shoes look like? Clear photographs and simple text show children and their families from various parts of the world wearing different kinds of shoes.

Morrow, Tara Jaye. (2003) Mommy Loves Her Baby, Daddy Loves His Baby
How much do lions love to roar or froggies love to leap? As much as mommy and daddy love their baby, as this ingenious flipbook demonstrates. Kids will chime in with joyful animal sounds and movements.

Murphy, Mary (2003) I Kissed the Baby!
Call and response couplets share the excitement of an entire community for the lovable new baby in their midst. The simple text and high contrast illustrations in mainly black and white make this book perfect for the youngest of children.

Nakamura, Katherine Riley (2002) Song of Night: It’s Time to Go To Bed
Coziness prevails as animal parents supervise teeth-brushing, back-rubbing, bath-taking and other familiar activities, while preparing their children for bed.

Opie, Iona (1996) My Very First Mother Goose
Detailed illustrations by Rosemary Wells accompany this collection of over sixty Mother Goose rhymes. Perfect for your very own sing-along!

Ormerod, Jan (2003) If You’re Happy and You Know It
Add your own verses to the exuberant spin on this popular children’s song! A little girl and host of animals make up their own verses describing what they do when they’re happy. Colorful illustrations are lively and happy!

Oxenbury, Helen (2004) Helen Oxenbury Nursery Collection
A collection of more than twenty-five classic nursery rhymes and stories joyfully illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

Rice, Eve (1977) Sam, Who Never Forgets
Join Sam the zookeeper as he feeds all the residents of the zoo. But could Sam have possibly forgotten to feed the zoo’s largest resident?

Schories, Pat (2004) Jack and the Missing Piece
Jack the terrier loves to knock over the block tower that two boys are building. But when a piece goes missing, is Jack really to blame? This wordless book has lots of room for youngsters to add their own narration, dialog and woofs!

Scott, Ann Herbert (1972) On Mother’s Lap
A small boy discovers that mother's lap has room enough for him, his possessions and the new baby, too.

Sis, Peter (1998) Fire Truck
A boy who loves fire trucks happily wakes up one morning to find he has turned into… a fire truck! Bright simple illustrations and fire truck details make this one a winner!

Smee, Nicola (2006) Clip Clop
Come along with Cat, Dog, Pig and Duck as they enjoy a ride on Mr. Horse’s back. Toddlers will want to hear this one again!

Stickland, Paul and Henrietta (1994) Dinosaur Roar
Dinosaurs of every shape and size race, roar and stomp through this colorful book of opposites. And where are all these silly-looking creatures off to? A dinosaur picnic, of course!

Sturges, Philemon (2005) I Love Bugs!
A small boy celebrates the insect world in a rhythmic text, complemented up by colorful easy-to-identify pictures.

Tafuri, Nancy (2006) Five Little Chicks
Large vibrant illustrations and simple counting text accompany the five little chicks and Mama Hen on their quest for food.

Uff, Caroline (2000) Happy Birthday, Lulu!
Celebrate Lulu’s birthday with her as she receives hugs, cards, telephone calls, presents and a party.

Vestergaard, Hope (2003) Driving Daddy
Way up high, Baby can see everything and steer Daddy to where he wants to go. However, Daddy has his own plan. The short, sweet rhyming text and bright colorful illustrations are just right for toddlers.

Weeks, Sarah (2006) Overboard!
Everything that this little toddler can lay her hands on goes overboard!

Wells, Rosemary (2006) Carry Me!
Three short poems and soft pastel watercolors capture the curiosity of a toddler who wants to be carried, talked to and sung to, so that she can find out all about the world around her.

Wheeler, Lisa (2004) Te Amo, Bebe, Little One
Share a mother’s lilting love song, in a pleasing mix of English and Spanish, as she watches her infant grow into a toddler. Children will enjoy the bold colors, clear illustrations and soothing rhythmic text.

Whippo, Walt (2000) Little White Duck
Everyone will enjoy singing along with the update of this favorite children’s song featuring a duck, a frog, a bug and a snake, presented theater-style. The seemingly three-dimensional illustrations convey a wonderful sense of movement. Musical score included.

Wild, Margaret (2004) Kiss Kiss!
Baby Hippo is in such a hurry that he forgets an important morning routine. Rushing off to play, he hears the "Kiss, Kiss" of animal mothers and their babies and hurries home for the special kiss he missed!

Williams, Sue (1990) I Went Walking
A child is delighted by encounters with one familiar animal after another in this pleasing book with rhythmic text and illustrations that burst with life.

Williams, Vera B. (1990) "More, More, More," Said The Baby: Three Love Stories
Love and sweetness abound in this colorful picture book. Three short vignettes introduce three little toddlers and their families, who love their toddlers so much that they can’t help but catch, kiss, rock and swing their little babies.

Wolff, Ashley (2004) Me Baby You Baby
Simple rhymes and gentle illustrations describe a day in the life of two babies and their mothers, including visiting the zoo and seeing baby animals with their animal parents.

Zimmerman, Andrea and David Clemesha (2003) Digger Man
Round up your “big machine” fans and follow the action in this playful picture book, featuring diggers of all shapes and sizes! Don’t be surprised is someone wants to start digging when you’re through!!!