Your toddler is developing a sense of humor now. Choose books that play with language, and don't be afraid to be silly. Sandra Boynton's books, including Moo Baa, La, La, La! and But Not the Hippopatamus (Little Simon) are especially popular with younger toddlers.
Young toddlers are classifying the world and rapidly adding new words to their vocabulary, both understood and spoken. Choose books with things to point at and say.
Around one year, invest in a well-illustrated book of Mother Goose. Choose one with a single illustrated poem on a page, such as My Very First Mother Goose edited by Iona Opie (Candlewick Press). The repetition and rhythm of these familiar rhymes make them easy to memorize. The things memorized early in life stay with us and provide a platform for comparing new experiences to familiar knowledge. As these become familiar, try playing "fill in the blanks" with them, "Jack and Jill went up the …" Predicting is an important building block to learning.
Books with richly rhythmic language that explore familiar incidents in a youngster's life are very popular. Wrapping Paper Romp by Patricia Hubbell (Harpercollins) explores the joys of opening a present. Her Pots and Pans (Harpercollins) celebrates the simple joys of making noise with ready-made kitchen instruments.
High-definition, colorful illustrations can help your baby explore the natural world. Bumble Bee (Harpercollins) pairs Margaret Wise Brown's lively poem with Victoria Raymond's sculptured illustrations for an early playful encounter with a familiar insect.