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Toddler Book Series Your Kids Will Love

Updated on February 5, 2020

Books Books and more Books

There are thousands of books out there for infants and toddlers. I know, I have read most of them. Despite the seemingly infinite selection, my kids have repeatedly returned to a few tried and true favorites. For those of you that might be looking for your own kids, or as a gift for friends and family, I have listed my family’s three favorite book series below. The descriptions will hopefully give you an idea of what the books are about. I have also included links to where you can read reviews and even take a peek in-side many of the books. May your little blessings enjoy them as much as mine do?

Reading is a great way to engage your child's imagination and help their language skills.
Reading is a great way to engage your child's imagination and help their language skills.

Franklin the Turtle Series:

Franklin, as one might guess, is a young turtle experiencing everyday adventures much like any young child would. Created by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark, these books are captivating for both little ears and eyes. The series itself has over 25 books as well as several collection volumes. The first was Franklin in the Dark published in 1986. The last individual book was Franklin Says I Love You published in 2002.

Through the various books, Franklin learns what it means to be a friend, and be part of a team. He also tackles his fears of the dark and thunderstorms. Little readers can explore the first day of school, having a sleepover, and even getting a first pet. There is always something to learn from this little turtle. At two years old, my son was requesting a Franklin book almost daily. They are also perfect for older kids to practice reading. These books are a favorite in our family and I am sure they will be in yours as well.

On a side note, I have often wondered where ideas for books like these come from. If you are curious as well, here is a little story. Paulette was drawn to story writing after the birth of her daughter, Natalie. The inspiration for Franklin came from none other than M*A*S*H. In one episode, Hawkeye Pierce admitted to being claustrophobic and refused to enter a cave. Paulette remembers thinking that if he would have been afraid of his own shell were he a turtle. From this thought came Franklin in the Dark. The rest is history.

In the last several years, the Franklin books have been collected and published in themed volumes. These range from the classic stories, collections on family and friendships, as well as holidays. These are all hardback books and provide a convenient way to collect the series.

Adam Raccoon Series:

The Adam Raccoon series was written and illustrated by Glen Keane. Keane is best known for his animation work for Walt Disney films. His talent is evident in the classic characters and the attention holding stories throughout this series. Each book in the series tells the story of a biblical parable with Adam as then main character. His interactions with his friends and King Aren help teach kids about the importance of obeying, friendship, and love. My kids have all enjoyed these books well before their first year birthday. They are still chosen as favorites for story time to this day. My wife and I have started gifting these for baby showers as well. They are always well received by both parents and kids. The series contains the following books:

  • Adam Raccoon at Forever Falls
  • Adam Raccoon in Lost Woods
  • Adam Raccoon and the Circus Master
  • Adam Raccoon and the Flying Machine
  • Adam Raccoon and the Mighty Giant
  • Adam Raccoon and the King's Big Dinner
  • Adam Raccoon and the Race to Victory Mountain
  • Adam Raccoon and Billy Garumph

Unfortunately, the series is out of print, but new and used books can still be easily found online. The may require a little more searching than the others though. For the trivia minded reader; Glen is the son of Bill Keane. You may recognize him as the creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon Family Circus. Creativity certainly runs in the family.

How Do Dinosaurs Series:

Geared more toward the boys, the How Do Dinosaurs series is both fanciful and fun. Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague, these books put a "prehistoric" twist to many of the situations young children find themselves in. They are available in a mixture of picture books (hardback and paperback) and board books. This allows your kids to migrate from playing with them to reading the books themselves all with the same wonderful and witty characters.

The books mainly explore behaviors and personal interactions. The start by looking at poor behavior in a fun and exaggerated way. They finish by explaining that dinosaurs don't behave this way, but rather in a polite and respectful way. They cover the full spectrum of topics from behaving and taking part in school, to obeying their mother and father by getting ready for bed at nighttime. They also have books designed to help learn to count and learn colors. In addition to this, each dinosaur has its name written on it somewhere. This can also be used as a teaching tool if you have a dinosaur lover in your house. The series includes the following books:

Board Books:

  • How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?
  • How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends?
  • How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?
  • How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors?

Picture Books:

  • How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?
  • How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?
  • How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?

These are three of my kids favorite series. I can almost guarantee at least one of these will be read every day, often several times a day. This has been true for the better part of 2 years now. They are all engaging, exciting, and educational. They have helped open doors for conversations with my three year old regarding obedience and respect, as well as helping introduce my youngest to concepts like sharing and friendship. If you are looking for some wonderful material for your little reader or pre-reader then spend a some time looking at these.  You won't be disappointed.


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