Books about developmental milestones from 2-4

Miss Dotty's Potty School.jpg

Toddlers are bundles of energy and contradictory desires. They want to be independent yet can cling to a parental figure.

This selection of books celebrates all the things most toddlers learn to do from age 2 to 4 or thereabouts, from jumping, drawing and playing with other children, to potty training and going to nursery or school. And of course, they enjoy being read to at any age!

  • Now Wash Your Hands!

    Author: Matt Carr
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 2-5

    Matt Carr’s sweet picture book is a useful one for little ones and would be perfect at school or at home as a fun reminder to wash our hands and keep nasty germs away.

  • Miss Dotty’s Potty School

    Author: Tracey Corderoy Illustrator: Ali Pye
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 7+

    This charming and reassuring picture book offers up gentle tips and guidance in a super child-friendly way for children starting out on their toilet training journey.

  • Time to Eat

    Author: Penny Tassoni Illustrator: Mel Four
    Publisher: Featherstone
    Interest age: 2-4

    Toddlers with ponytails and toddlers with braids enjoy all sorts of delicious snacks and meals in Time to Eat. In addition to the story, there are helpful tips for parents and carers  about how to introduce new food and encourage a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Dog Loves Drawing

    Author: Louise Yates
    Publisher: Jonathan Cape
    Interest age: 2+
    Reading age: 6+

    A great read for all those children who love books and drawing

  • Don’t Make Me Cross

    Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Angie Rozelaar
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 2-5

    Little Monster claims to be sweet, but is proving to be anything but! Children will love the naughty monster snatching presents and hogging sweets, and parents will delight in reminding them not to be like Little Monster if they don’t want to end up feeling silly! 

  • Meekoo and the Big Red Potty

    Author: Camilla Reid Illustrator: Nicola Slater
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 1-3

    A cute and thoughtfully produced book that is non-gender specific and will make the potty an approachable concept for even the most sensitive child. There are also interactive buttons!

  • Zeki Gets a Checkup

    Author: Anna McQuinn Illustrator: Ruth Hearson
    Publisher: Alanna Max

    Zeki is a big boy now – he loves hiding toys, playing ball, singing and dancing. Today, he’s going for a checkup at the doctors’ with Daddy and his toy Mister Seahorse. A lovely book to share with toddlers, which marks their developmental milestones.

  • My New Shoes

    Author: Leilani Sparrow Illustrator: Dan Taylor
    Publisher: Boxer Books
    Interest age: 2-6
    Reading age: 5+

    Young bear’s feet are growing, so it is time for him to get some new shoes. Vibrant illustrations and rhyming text capture the excitement of this familiar experience, making this an ideal tale for toddlers who are embarking on their own visit to the shoe shop.

  • Zeki Rise and Shine

    Author: Anna McQuinn Illustrator: Ruth Hearson
    Publisher: Alanna Max
    Interest age: 2-3

    Rise and shine, it’s time to wake up for little Zeki. Follow little Zeki as he gets ready with Mummy and Daddy for a morning of fun and adventure.

  • Lulu and the Noisy Baby

    Author: Camilla Reid Illustrator: Ailie Busby
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
    Interest age: 1+
    Reading age: 4+

    Mummy and daddy have some great news for Lulu - she is going to be a big sister! This is an absolutely adorable book about adapting to change. Each page is bursting with detail and endless flaps to lift and investigate.

  • Where's Lenny?

    Author: Ken Wilson-Max
    Publisher: Alanna Max
    Interest age: 2-3

    Lenny and Daddy have a great time playing hide and seek! This charming tale, which features a mixed-race family, is ideal to share with toddlers.

  • Puddling!

    Author: Emma Perry Illustrator: Claire Alexander
    Publisher: Walker Books

    This delightful celebration of splashing in puddles is a joyous book, full of community, friendship and the pleasure of being outdoors, whatever the weather.  Parents and carers of little ones will know how fun “puddling” is and it’s nice to see this popular game reflected in a picture book.

  • Let’s Go to Nursery!

    Author: Caryl Hart and Lauren Tobia
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3-5

    Bee and Billy are going to nursery! What will the day hold? This sweet book about the potentially anxiety-making environment of nursery focuses on the friendship between little ones that play there together – and is full of wonderfully creative rhyming text.

  • Hugless Douglas Goes to School

    Author: David Melling
    Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    Hugless Douglas has a great first day of school when he shows everyone his favourite activity.

  • See What I Can Do!

    Author: Jon Roberts Illustrator: Hannah Rounding
    Publisher: Graffeg Books
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 6+

    See What I Can Do! introduces a range of characters (based on real-life children) who each share an insight about disability and point out the challenges but also positive aspects of their lives. A beautiful book that celebrates individuality, empathy and understanding. 

  • Two Can

    Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Ben Javens
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
    Interest age: 2-5

    Maybe playing together is better because two can have twice as much fun as one! This is an adorable book about letting others join in your games - and each page has hidden details that young readers will love to discover.