I read to my toddler from a very early age, but for us it is not a bed-time activity, we read in the afternoon or when ever we want a bit of rest after some activity, this way I found that Aadi takes more interest & is alert when something new comes up. His favourite are the Clifford books, I also read to him some Marathi books (Marathi is our mother tongue). Over time Aadi has taken a huge liking for books & picks up some book from his shelf & sits down to browse & comes to me with all his questions!!
This is a recommended reading list from Oprah.com for infants to age 2:
Hug by Jez Alborough - A tiny chimp invokes the universal language, uniting his friends in a group hug to end all group hugs.
Max's Bedtime by Rosemary Wells - Max's rubber elephant is lost. Ruby tosses him her bear, but Max still can't sleep. So many toys get piled on his bed that he falls off -- and there's the elephant! Good night!
Shanna's Princess Show by Jean Marzollo - "Shanna is a whole series and it's great for African American kids to see some black faces in story books like this one." — Oprah
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz - How many Kisses does it take to say goodnight?
When Mama Comes Home Tonight by Eileen Sinelli - No other bedtime book addresses working families as effectively as When Mama Comes Home Tonight.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. - A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck all parade across the pages of this delightful book. Combined with Martin's sing-song text, Carle's boldly colored collages create unforgettable images of these endearing animals
Duck Is Dirty by Satoshi Kitamura - What starts out as a pleasant stroll becomes one catastrophe after another for Duck, our hapless lovable hero.
Snoozers by Sandra Boynton - By using the colorful picture tabs on this collection of seven bedtime stories, kids can easily find the story they want to hear. Snoozers is the perfect bedtime book for children and parents.
Baby Dance by Ann Taylor - A rhythmic poem by 19th-century poet Ann Taylor makes a delightful board book perfect for baby and parent to share.
Time for Bed by Mem Fox - At the end of the day, darkness is falling and little ones are getting sleepy, feeling cozy and being tucked into bed.
The Adventures of Max the Minnow by William Boniface - A small fish sets off to become the biggest fish of all, only to learn to appreciate himself as he is.
Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley - It empowers a child to scare of the monster, one of the fears a lot of kids have at this age." — Oprah
No, David! by David Shannon - When Award-winning writer and illustrator David Shannon was five years old, he wrote and illustrated his first book. On every page were these words: "No, David!" ...and a picture of David doing things he was not supposed to do. Now David is all grown up. But some things never change.
Little White Duck by Walt Whippo - "This is a book you can sing or read." — Oprah
Here are some more timeless books for toddlers:
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. About a little bunny who before falling asleep, wishes all that he loves in his room goodnight. A poetic classic that gently lulls a child to dreamland.
Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. An infinitely mischievous yet engaging (and not at all frightening) tale that will delight every young one and every one young at heart. Also see other books in the trilogy: In The Night Kitchen and Outside Over There.
Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram. With over 12 million copies in distribution worldwide, this beautifully-illustrated book about whether you can measure love is as popular as it is touching.
Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?, by Karen Katz.Arguably the cutest lift-the-flap book that will get your little one laughing himself/ herself to sleep. Helps little ones learn about eyes, lips, hands and other parts of the body.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. Beautiful pictures and adorable storyline aside, this book serves as an ideal introduction to math and life-science concepts. It’s actually used in some preschools to explain a butterfly’s intriguing life cycle! Also look for The Very Busy Spider by the same author.