Our Top 10 Favorite Books for Language Development

Bridget Hillsberg
December 3, 2021

Storytime has always been one of our favorite routines with our kids! At Speech Sisters, we believe reading stories is a great way to expose children to new words, new sounds, and the rhythm of language. Using a “parentese” voice (higher-pitched and sing-songy) with the consistent repetition of words found in many baby books is one of the best ways to get little ones vocalizing, babbling, and saying real words! So here are our favorite books for building language development in babies and toddlers.



We love this book because it uses FUN exclamatory words (uh-oh, no-no!) AND you can even add your own exclamatory words (boom, whoa!). Easy functional words are emphasized as well  (up, in, out, help). As you repeat these fun exclamatory words again and again, eventually (after reading this book MANY times), your child will start saying some of these fun words too!

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We absolutely love the repetitive animal sounds that make this book a favorite! It’s a great book to get silly and have fun with! Animal sounds are easy word shapes, and with much repetition, your baby may start to fill in the blanks by saying the last word on each page, like "Moo!" "Baa," and "La-la-la!"

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This book is the perfect way to introduce your little one to body parts–especially your toes! As you read the book (with a parentese voice, of course), touch each body part to help bring meaning to the words that you say. Your child will love the interaction and will want to read it again and again!

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We love the simplicity of this book. It contains easy words like MOO, BOO, ZOO, WHO, CHOO-CHOO, and YOU. These words contain only a consonant + vowel, making simple word shapes for babies to copy!

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We love this book because it is repetitive and presents so many opportunities to use gestures! Once your baby starts saying their first words, you can encourage them to fill in the repeated word, such as “BACK,” a fun, easy word for little ones to repeat at the end of the sentence! Fill in the blank is a great strategy to get your little one talking!

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We love this book because it teaches your little one about adjectives and opposites! The best part is you’ll have FUN teaching your toddler new words by acting them out through gestures! We have a REEL all about this, so be sure to check it out!

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This book is great for targeting animal names, animal sounds, and exclamatory words (Beep! Beep! Beep!). This book provides SO many opportunities for your little one to fill in the blank (The cow said _____.). You can also make the book come alive with simple directions (Push blue out!), and you can teach your little one the importance of helping others. If you love this book as much as we do, be sure to check out all the other titles in the series!

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This all-time favorite teaches SO many different concepts. You can work on following directions (Can you wave your arms like the monkey?), identifying body parts (Where is your head? Can you touch your head?), naming animals and making animal sounds (What animal is that?) and answering “WH” questions (WHAT animal is that? WHO is waving his arms?)

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We absolutely love how FUN this book is with all its flaps! Your little one will meet many different animals hiding in strange places in Spot's home. There are many ways to use this book. You can say “hI!” and “bye!” to each of the animals, or you can knock on each flap before opening and target the functional word “open.” Label each animal and the sound they make, answer YES/NO questions by asking your little one, "Is that a dog?" and target simple prepositions (in, on, under) by asking your little one where each animal is.

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This one is a favorite in our house! We love this book because of its repetition (Goodnight) and it is SO easy to make it come alive! We like to make the phone RRRING!, POP the balloon, BRUSH our hair, EAT the food, turn the light ON/OFF.  When you make it fun, your child will be engaged and want to repeat!

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Shop our entire Amazon store here. To learn simple and effective strategies to help get your little one talking, check out our Talk on Track (newborn-14 months) and Time to Talk: Toddler Course (15-36 months). We’d love to equip you to experience the joy of your little one talking to you!

Bridget Hillsberg
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