Skip to Content

Five Board Books My One-Year-Old Loves

As a former children’s librarian and a writer, I couldn’t wait to share books with my daughter. However, E, who just turned one last week, is always on the go.

She spends her days toddling around the house as she investigates everything around her. Until recently, she wiggled out of my arms whenever I tried to read a book to her.

Written by: Jennifer Petro-Roy

I kept at it, though, trying different  titles and going to the library a few times a week to get new books to read. Then, about a month ago, something started to shift, and she’s more content to sit and snuggle while I read to her.

E isn’t yet quite nimble or gentle enough to turn the pages of picture books, but she loves board books. The thick, chunky pages are just right for her to rifle through and she’s starting to get her favorites, the books that make her face light up when she sees them.

Five Great Board Books for One-Year-Olds  

1. Furry Friends (Disney It’s a Small World Series)

This Touch & Feel book is probably E’s favorite book at the moment. Each page features an animal and a person from a different country, accompanied by a panel with a unique texture. E can’t resist reaching out to touch the pages (I find the Fox and Bear particularly soft myself) and she often flips the book right back to the beginning to read again.

2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? By Bill Martin, Jr. & Eric Carle

E loves the bright colors and simple animal drawings, and I love that the text teaches colors and has a reassuring repetition. I’ve also tried out Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See, which, instead of colors, focuses on the way that animals move. Even though we own our own copy, E recently found this on a chair at the library and immediately brought it over to me.

3. Llama Llama Zippity-Zoom by Anna Dewdney

This is a recent favorite that I picked up from the library, but I’ve just about reached our limit of maximum renewals and we may have to buy it for ourselves. Part of a series featuring Llama and his Mama, this board book focuses on Llama’s outdoor adventures and is full of fun noises that I make sure to exaggerate.

4. The Best Mouse Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Many people are familiar with Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its spin-offs. The Best Mouse Cookie features the famous Mouse as he bakes cookies by himself—but not without having some problems, of course! A cute story with lots to kitchen-related items to point out and discuss.

5. Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli

Patricelli’s series of board books featuring a diapered baby are simple and charming. E doesn’t get the basic concepts yet, but the text is short enough to agree with her limited attention span. We’ve read Big Little & Quiet Loud (both about opposites), but this is our favorite , talking about all the different types of hugs and kisses. E just learned to wave bye-bye, and always does it when we get to the line, “A hug to say bye-bye!”

What board books do your kids like? We’d love some recommendations!

Get More Recipes via Email

Did you love this recipe? Sign up to receive Good Life Eats Email Updates and never miss another recipe!


Monday 9th of June 2014

We only have Brown Bear, Brown Bear from your list, I will have to check ut the other four! Isn't it great when they start to snuggle on your lap? Here is a list of our favorite board books:


Sunday 3rd of February 2013

We really like the Mouse board books by Numeroff at our house as well. Have you seen the BabyLit Primer board books by Jennifer Adams? They are adorable and are quick reads with few words which is ideal for little ones.

I also love Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox.


Thursday 24th of January 2013

Thank you! These look great and I will keep my eye out for them! Huggy Kissy might very well make a good Valentines Day gift for my little one!


Wednesday 23rd of January 2013

My kids love Brown Bear, Brown Bear! We read all the time. My daughter just got a great gift from my parents--a membership to Max's Book Club. She'll get a book sent to her every month. Great idea!

Caroline @ chocolate & carrots

Wednesday 23rd of January 2013

Such a great list! My little one has two of these in his collection. I 'attempted' to start reading to him, but all he wants to do now is put them in his mouth (thank you teething). I'll have to get the rest of these great books...I remember reading them as a kid!