The Best New Books for Babies and Toddlers in 2018

Do you remember your favourite books as a child? From Spot the Dog to The Little Caterpillar and the Velveteen Rabbit, I had a very well thumbed (and chewed) collection of kids books, most of which are still in print now.

Books are so important for children. They’re a tool for learning speech, learning to recognise a range of objects or animals, developing motor skills, learning about the world around them and eventually to read themselves.

All my three little ones love being read to from books, especially in the evenings when they’re supposed to be in bed, sleeping! I love children’s books that are imaginative and fun to read. They’re definitely both important qualities when you’re reading one book hundreds of times over.

After doing so much research before writing Colours, I wanted to put together a post with some of the amazing new books for babies and toddlers that I found on the journey.

Tails Are Not for Pulling

Tails are not for pulling kids book

Cute, furry critters inspire shrieks of delight and wonder in my toddlers, unfortunately, I know that this feeling is often not reciprocated! Teaching toddlers how to treat animals is important. Not only does it help to keep your kids safe, it also helps to instill good manners and thoughtful behaviour towards animals.

Children often don’t realise that they’re hurting or annoying their pets when they try to play. This brilliant book helps children to learn how and when to play with their pet. It explains that pets or animals might be frightened and encourages kids to spot warning signs like growling and hissing. This books helps to build empathy with animals, so that both toddlers and pets can have fun together.

At the back of the book there’s also some tips and strategies for parents or caregivers on how to reinforce the lessons taught in the book.

What is Poo?

What is poo kids book

I never thought I’d read a book about poo unless it was also about Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore, but having kids has obviously changed me! Writer Katie Daynes recognised that many preschoolers can be scared of doing a poo, especially if they’ve had digestion issues. When it comes to potty training, making going to the toilet a non-threatening activity can help alleviate any fears children have of changing their routine.

What is Poo candidly discusses everything your little one needs to know, or will find fascinating about poo. What is it? Does everyone do it? Where does it all go? It includes fun facts (that were a surprise to me!) and a quiz in the back. However unlikely, it really does manage to make poo rather charming…

That’s Not My…

That's not my Puppy book cover

These delightful books in the “That’s Not My…” series for toddlers are filled with cute pictures and interesting textures to explore. The story isn’t complicated and enjoying it doesn’t rely on being able to grasp a narrative - you can start on any page and progress in any order which makes it ideal for impatient hands!

There’s a “That’s Not My” book for everything from cars to bunnies, fairies to teddies, ponies, pirates and robots and more. So, if your little one likes the books you can build up their collection.


The Dog that Ate The World

Although this book is best for children 3+ it has fantastic illustrations and is a book that can be enjoyed by all your children if you have more than one under the age of 5. It’s something you can save that your younger toddler can enjoy as a picture book and then discover as a story as the years go by.

This book reads like an ancient myth, with an ambiguous meaning and message that could apply to all kinds of different life lessons. It can be read by children as a cautionary tale of greed and the exploitation of the environment, or by toddlers as a whimsical story with a happy ending.

Colours, a Finger Trail Adventure

Matchstick Monkey Colours Book

Following the monkey friends on their race through the jungle helps to teach children about colours, develop hand-eye coordination and pre-writing skills. Tactile and fun, the bold illustrations and colourful glitter finger-trails on each page are made for little hands.

Of course, we couldn’t let this one go unmentioned and I may be biased, but I’m adding this book to the list!

If you have any favourite new books that you and your baby or toddler have discovered, send it or @ us on our Instagram @matchstick_monkey!