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Essential Reading List of Sound Books to Captivate Your Toddler

Essential Reading List of Sound Books to Captivate Your Toddler

A whopping 90 percent of a child’s brain develops before the age of 6. The early years are a concentrated period of intense growth, which is why it’s so important that toddlers and young children are consistently exposed to new words, images, and ideas. Enter: BOOKS! One way to ensure that your toddler is fueling their expanding intellect is by reading to them every day. 

Toddlers learn new words, sounds, and meanings through repetition. So, reading the same books again and again is a great way to help your child with their language skills. To make sure they don’t tire of their library, books need to grab and hold young readers’ attention. Books with sounds are a great way to do just that! Keep reading to get several practical tips to introduce books to your toddler and get more suggestions for sound books that your toddlers will love. 

First, How Do I Interest My Toddler in Books?

It’s no secret that getting a squirming toddler to sit still for story time can be a challenge at times. But there are a few ways you can ensure that reading books together is something that they look forward to. 

1) Create a reading routine

Just like brushing teeth and washing hands, by reading every day, this positive behavior can become a habit. Find a time in the day, perhaps before school in the morning or before bed at night, when you and your child can relax and take uninterrupted time to read together. Even better? Create a cozy reading spot where you and your toddler can snuggle up for storytime. This time spent one-on-one will soon become a favorite part of both of your days.

2) Let your toddlers choose

So much of a child’s day is out of their control—what they eat, whether they wear a coat, when and where they go, and on and on. One way to give toddlers a chance to exercise their own agency is by giving them choices whenever appropriate. Picking which book to read is a terrific opportunity for them to choose and will increase their enjoyment and investment in reading. 

If choosing from all their books is overwhelming, try setting out three to five and have your child pick from a smaller group. Also, make sure your toddler’s books are accessible to them, either on a bookshelf on the floor or in a book bin where they can easily interact with their books whenever the mood to read strikes. 

3) Make story time interactive

Storytime is an opportunity to share the joy of reading with your child. To make sure they are engaged and interested, keep things interesting by having them turn the pages, using different voices, singing where appropriate, and asking them questions about the book you’re reading. For example, “Do you see the mouse on this page?” or “What sound does a cow make?” 

4) Make real-life connections

To deepen your child’s connection to the books and to increase their interest, make links and point out parallels between their life and what you’re reading. For example, you might ask, “The girl in the story loves to ride her scooter. Do you like riding a scooter? What color is yours?” or “The hippo in this book loves to eat watermelon. Have you ever tasted watermelon? What is your favorite fruit?”

5) Incorporate technology

One way to up the excitement and encourage participation is by choosing books with a technological component. Cali’s books have buttons that curious young readers can touch and push, and sounds that they can mimic and sing along to. 

Popular Sound Books for Toddlers

Sound books are popular books with toddlers, as they add an extra element to story time and another way to engage and excite young readers. For your convenience we divided sound books in our reading list into five categories: educational, emotional, All About Me, friendship, and environmental. These books are also a great way to encourage autonomy and independent play since kids can interact with them on their own with the touch of a button. 

Educational Sound Books

  • Count With Nursery Rhymes has a button on each page that plays a fun, 15-second song that corresponds to the words on the page. Songs include One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and Five Little Monkeys.  
  • Sing The Alphabet has brightly colored pictures and a joyful melody to accompany readers as they journey through the alphabet.
  • Dinosaur Alphabet combines two of kids’ favorite things—reciting the alphabet and dinosaurs! With the press of a button, kids can sing along and learn a new dinosaur name for each letter of the alphabet. “S is for Spinosaurus!”
  • Shapes is a lyrical, interactive book that introduces shapes and encourages readers to participate through engaging guided activities. 
  • Colors Nursery Rhymes introduces and reinforces colors through cheerful songs and bright, happy pictures.  

Emotional Sound Books

Sound Books All About Me 

  • I'm a Little Teapot includes fun food songs readers can sing along with, like Do You Know the Muffin Man? and Hot Cross Buns.  
  • Happy Birthday in Six Languages is perfect for little linguists. Learn and sing along to the Happy Birthday song in six different languages.  
  • Humpty Dumpty includes six classic rhymes and songs like Skip to My Lou and Row, Row Your Boat.  
  • Bedtime with Mozart songs turns classical music into soothing wind-down tunes to lull little readers into a relaxed and sleepy state as you read to them about nightly rituals. 
  • Yoga with Music encourages children to try simple yoga poses as classic rhymes are sung.  The book includes Fly, Fly, Fly, the Butterfly and Hey Diddle Diddle. 

Friendship Sound Books 

  • The Wheels On The Bus encourages your child to sing along and join in making the happy hand movements that coincide with this classic song. 
  • Love Nursery Rhymes introduces the concepts of love, kindness, and friendship through simple rhymes and energetic songs.

Sound Books About Environment

  • Spring Bundle includes three books, “You Are My Sunshine,” “I Like Flowers,” and “Easter Nursery Rhymes” that celebrate weather, seasons, and holidays through energetic spring sing-a-longs.
  •  I Like the Flowers Nursery Rhymes includes six catchy songs that kids will love to sing along with, including She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain and A Sailor Went to Sea.  
  • You Are My Sunshine includes six sweet sun rhymes about the weather, including Rain, Rain Go Away, and It’s Raining, It’s Pouring. 


Reading every day to your young child is a great way to support their developing mind. One way to ensure storytime is a happy time for you and your child is to find books both of you enjoy. Books with sound are an engaging, exciting way to connect with the stories and will have your toddler wanting to read them again and again and again.

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Cali's Books, founder, about us, why I love books, children's books

Hi! I'm Cali, Founder of Cali's Books

“I’ve loved books since childhood and wanted to transmit this enthusiasm to my children”

I'm a mom of two young children who trained as an engineer and worked in investment banking and at Disney. A French of Caribbean origin (Martinique to be precise!), I grew up in Paris. Los Angeles is now the place I call home!

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