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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Quarto, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.

The Best Books for Early Reading

written by JACLYN VORAN

The Everymom’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

best books for early reading"
best books for early reading
Source: Steph Alleva Cornell
Source: Steph Alleva Cornell

One of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children as parents and caregivers is a love of reading. Not only is it a bonding experience between us, but it is the foundation that builds so many of the lifelong skills that our children need to succeed. From language and literacy to social development to a lifelong love of learning, opening the world of books to our children at an early age fosters so many benefits for them.

Even as we grow out of our childhood years, the experience of cracking open a new book and losing ourselves in a world outside of our own never loses its magic. Within a book, imagination comes alive, anything can be possible, and we can learn about the world in endless ways. That’s why reading is so much more than a gift–it’s the key that unlocks a world of possibilities and growth.

So today, we’re sharing some of the benefits of early reading and a few of our favorite books to foster a love for reading in children from their earliest days.

Reading Together Strengthens Parent-Child Relationships

If there’s one thing our children want, it’s our attention. Reading together provides an opportunity to step away from the distractions of life and spend quality time uninterrupted.

Giving our children this kind of undivided attention promotes closeness and helps develop their social-emotional skills. Incorporating a bedtime story or two into your nightly routine gives kids something to look forward to and allows them to end their day on a positive note, surrounded by our physical and emotional love and affection.

An interactive book, like Joseph Coelho’s Poetry Prompts, is a fun way to spend time reading and creating together. Coelho is a British poet and Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate from 2022 to 2024, and his series of kids’ poetry books inspire creativity in children of all ages. Poetry Prompts is just what it sounds like–a collection of fun and engaging prompts for writing a poem that the whole family can enjoy.

poetry prompts
Joseph Coelho
Poetry Prompts

Channel your child’s imagination with this fun and colorful book of prompts to create your own poems together. Ideal for school-age kids, this book is filled with bright and cheerful illustrations to accompany each poem. It is a great choice for kids learning to write, as well as read out loud.

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poems aloud
Joseph Coelho
Poems Aloud

Perfect for confident children and shy readers alike, this book teaches all sorts of clever ways to performing poetry.

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Reading Teaches Social-Emotional Skills

We all know that learning to read takes time. Similarly, emotional intelligence is also learned as our children grow and hit different milestones. Reading helps even the youngest of children start to recognize feelings and emotions through pictures, dialogue, and narration in books. Through reading, kids can learn to understand others, develop empathy and see themselves in the characters in the story.

As with pretend play, through a book a child can become a princess, slay dragons, be the star athlete. In this new world, they also learn about kindness, setbacks, perseverance, and so many of life’s other emotions and experiences.

For kids that want to step into the princess role, Princess Diana from the Little People, Big Dreams Series, goes beyond the fairy tale–diving into lessons about kindness, struggle, confidence, and recovery. Have a little athlete on your hand? Let them play the role of superstar through Leo Messi, which details Messi’s rise to the top, despite many obstacles and setbacks.

little people big dreams princess diana
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Princess Diana

Children can learn about how a real life princess spent her life being kind and trying to make the world a better place with this book about Princess Diana and her life.

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little people big dreams leo messi
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Leo Messi

Let your little one step into the role of one of the world’s best and most famous soccer players with this book. They’ll learn all about how Leo Messi overcame struggles to become who many consider to be the greatest of all time.

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Reading Supports Language Development and Literacy

The first three years of life are the most critical for language development. Research shows that reading to children from birth helps stimulate brain development that serves as the first building block for language skills.

We wouldn’t expect our children to open a book and know how to read immediately. It starts with recognizing sounds and patterns that eventually translates into understanding letters and how they form words that form sentences and so on. Reading from the earliest age is just the start. Continuing to read throughout childhood and engage little ones with books will keep them on the path to a lifelong love of reading.

pout pout fish
Deborah Diesen
The Pout Pout Fish

Repetition helps with language development, so swim along as the pout-pout fish tells all his friends why he spreads the “dreary wearies”–and then learns that maybe he’s actually more cheery than he thought.

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ten tiny toes
Caroline Jayne Church
Ten Tiny Toes

A fun rhyming book to introduce your little one to body parts with a new twist on “head, shoulders, knees and toes.” Try pointing to each body part as you read to help make the connection.

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Reading Can Introduce Diversity and Perspective

Books are filled with characters that can help kids understand all types of people, even ones who are different from them. Through storylines, kids can put themselves in other characters’ shoes and see the world through a new lens.

Reading goes well beyond the words in the book. It introduces kids to concepts including respect, empathy, curiosity, perspective, and so much more.

love makes a family
Sophie Beer
Love Makes a Family

This book celebrates all the diverse and beautiful ways there are to be a family and reminds us all that love is the most important ingredient in any family.

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Lupita Nyong’o

Beautiful illustrations accompany the story of a young girl’s journey to accept and love herself. Sulwe’s story can teach children about how to recognize their inner beauty and accept what makes them unique.

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Reading Builds Concentration

Anyone with a young child knows that getting them to sit still is nearly impossible. In the days of screens, technology, and jumping from one thing to the next, reading helps children learn concentration and discipline as they focus on a story. It’s normal for kids to squirm, but the more you read to them, the more you’ll see them focusing on the story and building on their concentration abilities.

the gruffalo
Julia Donaldson
The Gruffalo

A sweet and whimsical story about a mouse in a deep dark wood who encounters someone he never expected to meet. With repetition and rhyme, little ones will want to read it over and over.

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how do dinosaurs say goodnight
Jane Yolen
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Who knew that dinosaur kids were so similar to human kids when it comes to bedtime? Put a playful spin on bedtime antics by reading all the ways dinosaurs might just try to avoid bedtime.

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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Quarto, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.