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The Five Senses: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about the five senses?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to the five senses. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about the five senses.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about the five senses, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Little Red Riding Hood to popular sellers like Strega Nona to some of our favorite hidden gems like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.

We hope this list of kids books about the five senses can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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Top 10 Books About The Five Senses

#1
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Waiting
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child’s windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?

Waiting is a big part of childhood—waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen—but in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s extraordinary career.

#2
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Pokko and the Drum
Written & illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a magical drum, an emerald forest, and the little frog who dares to make her own music.

The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father’s voice when he calls her home?

Pokko and the Drum is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.

#3
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Turtle Walk
Written & illustrated by Matt Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
#4
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Something Smells!
Written by Blake Liliane Hellman & illustrated by Steven Henry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elliot wakes up one morning to the most terrible smell. But what could it be? Find out in this gentle introduction to hygiene that’s stinkin’ adorable! One morning, Elliot wakes up and smells something awful. Is it the trash? No… The dog? No… Dad? His sister? The baby? Grandma’s famous gerfartzenschanffel? No, no, no, and no! Elliot searches high and low for the something that smells, but he just can’t find it, and it’s driving him and his nostrils crazy. Almost as bad, now his mother wants him to take a bath, which means taking off his super cool skeleton costume that he’s been wearing since Halloween! The funny thing is, after Elliot finishes his bath and Mom puts his costume in the wash, something doesn’t smell anymore…

#5
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Anatole
Written by Eve Titus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Anatole is a most honorable mouse. When he realizes that humans are upset by mice sampling their leftovers, he is shocked! He must provide for his beloved family—but he is determined to find a way to earn his supper. And so he heads for the tasting room at the Duvall Cheese Factory. On each cheese, he leaves a small note—“good,” “not so good,” “needs orange peel”—and signs his name. When workers at the Duvall factory find his notes in the morning, they are perplexed—but they realize that this mysterious Anatole has an exceptional palate and take his advice. Soon Duvall is making the best cheese in all of Paris! They would like to give Anatole a reward—if only they could find him…

#6
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Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This was a very cute story. Lilly was infatuated with her teacher. She thought he was the greatest. She wanted to be a teacher like him when she grew up. She pretended to be him at home, and she even bought a chain for her glasses just like his. Then the unthinkable happened. She had brought something very special to school and wanted to show everyone. Her teacher asked her to wait. She could not. She finally could not handle it and did not listen to her teacher. This caused some trouble and tension between the two of them. She was very very sad because she had really liked her teacher before. The best part is how her family helps her overcome this difficulty and she learns to apologize and to listen.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can’t wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly’s fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends. Lilly, the star of Chester’s Way and Julius, the Baby of the World, is back. And this time she has her name in the title - something she’s wanted all along. If you thought Lilly was funny before, you are in for a treat. So hurry up and start reading. Lilly can’t wait for you to find out more about her.

#7
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Little Red Riding Hood
Written by Brothers Grimm and Trina Schart Hyman & illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On her way to deliver a basket of food to her sick grandmother, Elisabeth encounters a sly wolf.

#8
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The Rabbit Listened
Written & illustrated by Cori Doerffeld
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a beautifully simple but powerful story about coping with failure, empathizing and being a friend who is willing to listen without insisting that people deal with things the way YOU would choose to deal with them. The illustrations are simple on each white background, and the animal comparisons to feelings help bring it to a level where these complex issues and emotions can be better understood by children. In the end, Taylor needs to go through many stages to be able to cope with the trauma of his block tower falling over, and that's ok. In the end, we can start again!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Taylor’s block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling

#9
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We Are Music
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Nick Radford
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the author of Music Is… Brandon Stosuy comes a second pitch-perfect board book that’s a kid-friendly music history lesson—perfect for the little record collectors in your life. From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief, Brandon Stosuy, comes a new board book called We Are Music that dives into the history of music. It starts with clapping, tapping, and drums, and from there the music moves in many different directions. From classical to blues to jazz to country to rock to punk to rap to hip hop, there is one important thread that weaves through every song that has ever been created: us.

#10
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See, Touch, Feel
Written & illustrated by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

There’s lots for baby to explore in See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book. This sturdy board book, with bright photgraphs of happy babies, is specially designed to stimulate curiosity through sensory play. Each page has a colorful picture activity that invites baby to touch and explore. There are raised textures to feel, finger trails to follow, and a shiny mirror to look in to. Can they follow the swirl on the snail’s shell. Can they tap the drum? As your baby grows, See, Touch, Feel will help your child develop language recognition and motor skills, as they learn to interact with the book in new ways. With lots to explore together, See, Touch, Feel is an ideal first book to share with your baby.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about The Five Senses and...

Books About The Five Senses and Sounds Or Noises

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Pokko and the Drum
Written & illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a magical drum, an emerald forest, and the little frog who dares to make her own music.

The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father’s voice when he calls her home?

Pokko and the Drum is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.

Add to list
We Are Music
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Nick Radford
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the author of Music Is… Brandon Stosuy comes a second pitch-perfect board book that’s a kid-friendly music history lesson—perfect for the little record collectors in your life. From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief, Brandon Stosuy, comes a new board book called We Are Music that dives into the history of music. It starts with clapping, tapping, and drums, and from there the music moves in many different directions. From classical to blues to jazz to country to rock to punk to rap to hip hop, there is one important thread that weaves through every song that has ever been created: us.

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Arf! Buzz! Cluck! A Rather Noisy Alphabet
Written by Eric Seltzer & illustrated by David Creighton-Pester
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Moo! Neigh! Oink! Peep! This silly and inventive alphabet board book teaches little ones the ABCs with animal sounds!

We Arf We Buzz We Baaah We Coo

We Chirp and Cluck and cock-a-Doodle-Doo!

Honorable Mentions
Music Is . . . book
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Animal Noises book
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What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! book
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What's That Noise? Tap! Tap! book
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  1. Music Is . . . - From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you. Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages.

  2. Animal Noises - A brand-new board book that explores animal sounds from morning until night in the bold and vibrantly colorful world of artist Thomas Flintham. The chickens wake from the farm each day, “CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK,” the chickens say. At breakfast time, the cows all chew, In the meadow, “MOO, MOO, MOO.” It’s a very noisy day on the farm, until bedtime comes and the farmyard is quiet. With sturdy pages, a simple, engaging story, and graphic bold artwork, this animal sounds book is perfect for little ones.

  3. What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! - “What’s that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills—and simply joining in!”—Page 4 of cover.

  4. What's That Noise? Tap! Tap! - “What’s that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills — and simply joining in!”—Page 4 of cover.

Books About The Five Senses and Imagination And Play

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Waiting
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child’s windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?

Waiting is a big part of childhood—waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen—but in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s extraordinary career.

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Brave As Can Be: A Book of Courage
Written by Jo Witek & illustrated by Christine Roussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the author and illustrator of the bestselling In My Heart!

The life of a toddler can be full of frightening things: the dark, the neighbor’s dog, and thunderstorms, just to name a few. As children get older, they begin to feel braver around these everyday events, but how do they build this newfound confidence? In this lyrical, insightful picture book, an older sister explains to her younger sister all the things she used to be afraid of, along with some tricks to help, whether it’s a special blanket for bedtime or singing during a storm. Now, big sister assures little sister, the fears that once felt as big as a mountain feel as minuscule as a speck of dust.

This playful portrait of fear and bravery empowers young readers to confront once-scary situations and, with charming illustrations and die-cuts throughout, is also beautifully packaged.

The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling.

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Why Are You So Quiet?
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Into a world where it often seems nobody is listening comes a poignant story that celebrates the power of silence.

"Why are you so quiet?" Her teacher implores it, her classmates shout it, even her mom wonders it. Everyone, it seems, is concerned for Myra Louise. So, in search of an answer to the tiresome question nobody will stop asking, she invents a listening machine. If the raindrops, or the crickets, or the dryers at the laundromat can tell her why they're so quiet, maybe Myra Louise can finally make everybody understand. But the more she listens, the less interested she becomes in finding any answer at all. Because Myra Louise comes to realize that all she really needs is someone else to listen alongside her.

With gorgeous illustrations from Risa Hugo, Jaclyn Desforges's first picture book champions introversion and the value of being a listener, a thinker, and an observer in our increasingly loud world.

Honorable Mentions
Never Touch a Spider! book
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Noodle Loves to Cuddle book
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Follow Me: Animal Faces book
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Llama Llama Sand and Sun book
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  1. Never Touch a Spider! - You must never touch a spider . . . unless it’s in this book! This insect-themed touch-and-feel book is perfect for young children! They will love reading the funny rhyme, filled with insects doing silly things. Innovative silicone touches feature throughout the book, with a different texture for children to explore on every spread. This tactile book offers plenty for young children to enjoy, helping to promote an early love of reading!

  2. Noodle Loves to Cuddle - Noodle the panda loves to play with his fluffy duck, cozy blanket, and bumpy ball, but his favorite thing is a cuddle with his mother.

  3. Follow Me: Animal Faces - In this interactive novelty board book, little ones trace a die-cut trail of different faces! Use your finger to trace a trail on many different faces! This interactive board book lets little ones explore others’ faces by tracing a tactile pathway forming different features. Each page will display a face, showcasing a diverse group of people throughout the book.

  4. Llama Llama Sand and Sun - Fun in the sun with Llama Llama! Read along with Llama Llama as he splashes in the waves and plays in the sand in this brand-new touch-and-feel board book!

Books About The Five Senses and Listening

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Little Red Riding Hood
Written by Brothers Grimm and Trina Schart Hyman & illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On her way to deliver a basket of food to her sick grandmother, Elisabeth encounters a sly wolf.

Add to list
The Rabbit Listened
Written & illustrated by Cori Doerffeld
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a beautifully simple but powerful story about coping with failure, empathizing and being a friend who is willing to listen without insisting that people deal with things the way YOU would choose to deal with them. The illustrations are simple on each white background, and the animal comparisons to feelings help bring it to a level where these complex issues and emotions can be better understood by children. In the end, Taylor needs to go through many stages to be able to cope with the trauma of his block tower falling over, and that's ok. In the end, we can start again!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Taylor’s block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling

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Listen, Buddy
Written by Helen Lester & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This little bunny has big ears but doesn't learn to listen until he has some less-than-desired natural consequences from failing to do so. I quite enjoyed seeing what Buddy "heard" instead of what was really said. You (and your toddler) might relate to this story if you've ever talked to someone who doesn't always listen well, but hopefully any little ones can learn from Buddy's mistake through reading rather than meeting the Scruffy Varmint! ;)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A lop-eared rabbit named Buddy finds himself in trouble with the Scruffy Varmint because he never listens.

Honorable Mentions
Telephone book
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Ella WHO? book
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Little Elephant Listens book
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Listen, Listen book
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  1. Telephone - It’s time to fly home for dinner! In this witty picture book from award-winning and bestselling author Mac Barnett, a mother bird gives the bird next to her a message for little Peter. But passing messages on a telephone line isn’t as simple as it sounds. Each subsequent bird understands Mama’s message according to its own very particular hobbies. Will Peter ever get home for dinner? This uproarious interpretation of a favorite children’s game will get everyone giggling and is sure to lead to countless rereads.

  2. Ella WHO? - Mom . . . there’s an elephant in the living room. It’s moving day—and look who slipped in the door: an elephant! But when a little girl tries to tell her family about their unusual guest, the distracted grown-ups just say, “Ella WHO?” Even as children giggle at the girl’s adventures with the smallish pachyderm, and at the fun, recurring refrain, they’ll relate to the poignant theme about making—and sometimes letting go of—new friends.

  3. Little Elephant Listens - The Book Snob Mom -

    A cute, simple book about listening. Little Elephant is quick to be obedient throughout the book, which is excellent (if a little bland), and there's just a touch of humor at the end. The illustrations are very brightly colored and it's a very fast read.

  4. Listen, Listen - The Book Snob Mom -

    The beautiful, crackly illustrations are whimsical and fun, and I love all the different tableaus. This book takes you through all four seasons and the sounds you may hear out and about, encouraging to stop, listen, and be in the moment!

Books About The Five Senses and Touch

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See, Touch, Feel
Written & illustrated by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

There’s lots for baby to explore in See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book. This sturdy board book, with bright photgraphs of happy babies, is specially designed to stimulate curiosity through sensory play. Each page has a colorful picture activity that invites baby to touch and explore. There are raised textures to feel, finger trails to follow, and a shiny mirror to look in to. Can they follow the swirl on the snail’s shell. Can they tap the drum? As your baby grows, See, Touch, Feel will help your child develop language recognition and motor skills, as they learn to interact with the book in new ways. With lots to explore together, See, Touch, Feel is an ideal first book to share with your baby.

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Through with the Zoo
Written & illustrated by Jacob Grant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Goat has always dreamed of having his very own space. But Goat lives in a petting zoo, surrounded by hugs and rubs and grabby little hands. Determined to find his perfect alone space, Goat escapes into the big zoo. But space is not an easy thing to find, in this humorous picture book from Jacob Grant, Through with the Zoo.

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Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!: A Touch, Skritch, and Tickle Book
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

COW Tousle her fuzzy blue hair. Rub her fuzzy pink nose. PUPPY Skritch the rough brown pad of his paw. PIGGY Stroke her smooth pink snout. Touch her cool green glasses. TURKEY Feel his bumpy red wattle. DUCK Tickle her soft white tummy. and 2 BIRDIES The blue one is crabby. The yellow one is happy. Open the eggs to see what these guys say….

Honorable Mentions
Baby Loves the Five Senses: Touch! book
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The Black Book of Colors book
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What Can I Feel? book
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Toesy Toes book
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  1. Baby Loves the Five Senses: Touch! - Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. Accurate enough for experts, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the science of touch. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well.

  2. The Black Book of Colors - Living with the use of one’s eyes can make imagining blindness difficult, but this innovative title invites readers to imagine living without sight through remarkable illustrations done with raised lines and descriptions of colors based on imagery. Braille letters accompany the illustrations and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help reading along with their fingers. This extraordinary title gives young readers the ability to experience the world in a new way.

  3. What Can I Feel? - A board book designed to promote the exploration of the sense of touch, describing different feelings from cold snow to warm, soft, furry animals.

  4. Toesy Toes - A board book that explores the different sensations babies can experience with their toes. Toes have long had their place in songs, where they head off to market and enjoy roast beef, but they have been overlooked and underrepresented in children’s books. That’s all about to change with this rhyming board book featuring piggledy-wiggledy digits in all their sweet glory. Toesy Toes head to the beach, jump around, take a bath and delight in being one of a baby’s most adorable parts. Sarah Tsiang’s clever couplets will have little ones reaching for this book come story time, perhaps even with their toes.

Want to see books about touch?

Books About The Five Senses and First Concepts

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Opposites
Written & illustrated by Katie Wilson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Quiet/Loud… Over/Under… Day/Night… and many more. Katie Wilson’s lovable illustrations teach little ones a variety of common and not so common opposites in this creative board book from the Montessori inspired Discovery Concepts early learning collection.

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Touch and Feel: Never Touch a Dinosaur
Written & illustrated by Make Believe Ideas Ltd
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

You must never touch a dinosaur . . . except in this book!

This dinosaur-themed, touch-and-feel book is perfect for young children. Little ones will love reading the funny rhyme that warns of the dangers of touching a dinosaur—and of ignoring the advice! Innovative silicone touches are featured throughout the book, with a different texture for children to discover on every spread.

This tactile book offers plenty for young children to enjoy, helping to promote an early love of reading.

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Toes, Ears, & Nose!
Written by Marion Dane Bauer & illustrated by Karen Katz
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Engages readers to lift the flaps to see which body parts are hiding underneath clothing.

Honorable Mentions
Wiggle Jump Tickle: A Little Book of Actions book
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Making Tracks Mountain book
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Touch-And-Feel Farm book
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Can You Make a Scary Face? book
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  1. Wiggle Jump Tickle: A Little Book of Actions - This adorable book of feelings encourages babies and toddlers to explore the world around them with confidence and joy. The playful illustrations and key words introduce you and your little one to a shared language of empathy, connection, and emotional intelligence. A fun and gentle way to support early communication skills; ideal for sharing at playtime or story time. •Features words like “play,” “wiggle,” and “snuggle” to give your child the language to explore movement. • A board book to encourage babies to explore and connect with the world around them with playfulness, confidence, and emotional intelligence • Perfect for ages 0—2 • Gifting occasions: baby shower, new baby, early birthdays

  2. Making Tracks Mountain - Run little fingers along these chunky, die-cut shapes and guess what created the tracks! Lift the flap to find out if you are right! Develop observation and prediction skills by exploring tracks that can be found in a variety of settings. Did a tractor leave this trail? Or a duck? A rewarding and tactile experience, full of surprises.

  3. Touch-And-Feel Farm - Learn and discover more than 50 farm words in this bright and busy book with fun textures to explore on every spread.

  4. Can You Make a Scary Face? - What kind of a face would you make if a tickly green bug were sitting on your nose? Or if it were—eek!—inside your shirt? Could you make a scary face to frighten it away? Or, even better, stand up and do the chicken dance? Yes? Then better get to it! This exuberant, interactive picture book starring a bossy little ladybug and a GIANT hungry frog will have kids leaping up and down and out of their seats to dance and make silly scary faces of their own.

Books About The Five Senses and Science And Nature

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Turtle Walk
Written & illustrated by Matt Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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Around the World
Written by Katie Howarth & illustrated by Craig Shuttlewood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

In this interactive novelty board book, little ones trace a die-cut trail to explore the world. Use your finger to help different creatures find their special trail around the world! This interactive board book lets little ones explore world by tracing a tactile pathway. Each spread will feature a different animal looking for its way through a different landscape, from a thick, green forest to a dry, orange desert.

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Making Tracks: Beach
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Run little fingers along these chunky, die-cut shapes and guess what created the tracks! Lift the flap to find out if you are right! Develop observation and prediction skills by exploring tracks that can be found in a variety of settings. What left this trail? Can you figure it out? A rewarding and tactile experience, full of surprises.

Honorable Mentions
My Ocean Is Blue book
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Snow book
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The Seashore Book book
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My Autumn Book book
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  1. My Ocean Is Blue - “This is my ocean,” the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. It’s both “slimy” and “sandy,” “sparkly” and “dull.” It has wonderful sounds, as it “splashes and crashes and echoes and squawks.” And it contains so many colors, from “rusted orange” to “runaway red,” “faded white” to “polished green.” Though “mostly it’s blue.” Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day’s end, she can’t wait for her next trip to the beach. Author Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, uses spare text and a rhythmic style to create an evocative read-aloud. The vivid adjectives, both concrete and abstract, will inspire children to try to capture in words what they notice not only at the ocean, but in any natural setting. The bright, richly colored cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story. The portrayal of a girl with a physical disability enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach encourages all children to do the same in their own lives, while also offering a character education lesson in adaptability. This book has strong curriculum ties to primary nature units and life science lessons on oceans and the seaside, and it offers a perfect focus for nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.

  2. Snow - Run little fingers along these chunky, die-cut shapes and guess what created the tracks! Lift the flap to find out if you are right! Develop observation and prediction skills by exploring tracks that can be found in a variety of settings. What left this trail? Can you figure it out? A rewarding and tactile experience, full of surprises.

  3. The Seashore Book - A summer classic by two masters, reissued and redesigned for contemporary audiences. Wendell Minor’s elegant artwork and Charlotte Zolotow’s simple, evocative prose brings a day at the beach vividly to life as a boy and his mother imagine what it would be like to spend a day at the seashore.

  4. My Autumn Book - A young girl rushes outside when the air is crisp and the sky turns gray to observe all of the changes that autumn brings.

Books About The Five Senses and Animals

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TouchThinkLearn: 123
Written & illustrated by Xavier Deneux
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

High design, brilliant graphics, essential learning skills—these features distinguish the TouchThinkLearn titles, presenting knowledge in a new dimension. Xavier Deneux applies the same unique vision that informed TouchThink-Learn: ABC to this year’s most innovative counting book. Die-cut numerals and shapes stimulate understanding of essential concepts, inviting youngest readers to engage in a meaningful and tangible hands-on experience of numbers by tracing figures and shapes to coordinate concepts and images.

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Push Puzzles: In the Woods
Written by & illustrated by Nastja Holtfreter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Little ones will love solving the puzzles to form forest animals in this cute concept book complete with sliding pieces that move back and forth! In this book, kids can slide board pieces back and forth to solve the animal puzzles! There are three pieces on each spread, and each piece has a part of the animal on them. Little ones will love sliding the pieces back and forth to either make the correct cute forest animal or make a funny new animal instead! Animals included are a fox, hedgehog, owl, and deer.

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Textures
Written & illustrated by Katie Wilson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Soft. Rough. Bumpy. Smooth. Textures are all around us and all through this innovative board book. Latest in the Montessori inspired Discovery Concepts series, Textures takes us on an African safari where we also learn about safari animals in this cross-concept enhanced board book. Caregivers will enjoy the tactile teaching and all children will love the discovery in Textures.

Honorable Mentions
Pat the Zoo book
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TouchWords: Animals book
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Baby Touch and Feel: Kittens book
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Rain book
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  1. Pat the Zoo - A fun and exciting touch-and-feel book featuring one of the best-selling children’s book characters of all time - Pat the Bunny! Pat the Bunny has been creating special first-time moments between parents and their children for over 75 years. This engaging touch-and-feel book takes babies on a playful trip to the zoo where they can pet animals like lions, pandas, turtles, and more, all the while making cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

  2. TouchWords: Animals - TouchWords is a brand new extension to the beloved, groundbreaking TouchThinkLearn series, now with raised letters that fit into die-cut shapes! This is a full handson, sensory experience, associating the tactile shapes of letters with the objects. Rilla Alexander executes a fresh design incorporating the classic elements of the TouchThinkLearn first words format, with core vocabulary and stretch words on each page helping children expand their vision of words and how they work together.

  3. Baby Touch and Feel: Kittens - Pet cuddly and soft kittens in Baby Touch and Feel: Kittens. Filled with real-life photographs of all kinds of kittens with touch and feel textures that babies can stroke, tickle, and touch, this is the perfect book to encourage tiny fingers to explore and to help develop fine motor skills while building an early learning foundation with clearly labeled pictures. With padded covers, simple images, and an amazing range of novelty textures, Baby Touch and Feel books capture the attention of the very youngest children and create an experience they’ll want to repeat again and again. Baby Touch and Feel books are the perfect series for the very youngest readers. These small, padded books excite babies and toddlers with their foil and touch-and-feel covers. Each book in this affordable series contains twelve vibrant interior pages with bold, engaging images. Containing large word labels, each page has foil or glitter to behold or a tantalizing texture to touch. These safe novelty textures immediately intrigue babies and are perfect for little fingers to feel. The Baby Touch and Feel series encourages sensory development, language skills, and early reading skills while teaching colors, shapes, patterns, and opposites.

  4. Rain - When rain comes to the parched African savanna, the animals use all their senses to track the storm. The porcupine smells rain in the air. The zebras see lightning. The baboons hear thunder. The rhino feels the first drops. And the lion tastes the cool water. For a time, the grasslands abound with new green leaves, juicy fruits, and fresh pools of water. But soon the hot sun dries out the land, and the animals must again wait for the next big rain. Manya Stojic’s picture book debut is as satisfying and refreshing as the rain she describes. With paintings that are exuberant and saturated with color and a simple text that rolls off the tongue with pleasure and ease, here is a book parents and teachers will enjoy sharing again and again.

Books About The Five Senses and Social Themes

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Too Sticky!: Sensory Issues with Autism
Written by & illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff and Jen Malia
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Holly loves doing experiments and learning new things in science class! But when she finds out the next experience is making slime, she’s worried. Slime is made with glue, and glue is sticky. Holly has sensory issues because of her autism and doesn’t like anything sticky! With help from family and her teacher, Holly receives the accommodations and encouragement she needs to give slime a try.

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Places to Be
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Renata Liwska
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

We have so many places to be! Places to be loud and lovely and scared and jubilant. With an elegant simplicity reminiscent of the classics, this picture book celebrates all our wide-ranging emotions.

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Ducks!
Written by Deborah Underwood & illustrated by T. L. McBeth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A funny, visual story from Bearnard’s Book author Deborah Underwood, about a duck who wanders away from the rest of the flock and must find the way back.

Ducks. Ducks? NO DUCKS!

Duck wanders away from the pond for a moment and returns to find the other ducks gone! Searching high and low, Duck discovers many clues around the city―footprints, feathers, eggs―but no ducks. Will Duck’s feathered friends finally be found?

With spare storytelling and lots of visual jokes, this is a funny and sweet celebration of family.

Honorable Mentions
My Travelin' Eye book
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What Is Light? book
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Listen book
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  1. My Travelin' Eye - Jenny Sue loves that her “travelin’ eye” lets her see the world in a special way, and so she is not happy when her teacher suggests that her parents take her to an opthamologist to fix the lazy eye.

  2. What Is Light? - This lyrical and luminously illustrated picture book explores the beauty of the everyday moments in a child’s world. Light can be so many things! The twinkle of a faraway star, a firefly captured in a jar, a mother’s love, a turtle dove… Through this thoughtful and celebratory book, young readers will discover the special glow in everything from nature to the smiles of loved ones. Each page reveals a different sparkle found in a child’s simple but extraordinary world. The light revealed on the final page makes a fitting finale for this sweet, bright tale.

  3. Listen - A lyrical, inspiring picture book that promotes empathy from the creators of the New York Times bestseller Come With Me. Listen with your heart. It is your ears your eyes your nose your mouth your hands— Author Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaître ask you, me, and all of us to inspire empathy by exploring what it means to be connected to everything, including the natural world. Simple and tender, Listen teaches us to engage our senses, to taste, see, and feel in order to engage with the world around us.

Books About The Five Senses and Health And Daily Living

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Something Smells!
Written by Blake Liliane Hellman & illustrated by Steven Henry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elliot wakes up one morning to the most terrible smell. But what could it be? Find out in this gentle introduction to hygiene that’s stinkin’ adorable! One morning, Elliot wakes up and smells something awful. Is it the trash? No… The dog? No… Dad? His sister? The baby? Grandma’s famous gerfartzenschanffel? No, no, no, and no! Elliot searches high and low for the something that smells, but he just can’t find it, and it’s driving him and his nostrils crazy. Almost as bad, now his mother wants him to take a bath, which means taking off his super cool skeleton costume that he’s been wearing since Halloween! The funny thing is, after Elliot finishes his bath and Mom puts his costume in the wash, something doesn’t smell anymore…

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I Feel...
Written by DJ Corchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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TouchWords: My Day
Written & illustrated by Rilla Alexander
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The Touchwords board book series brings essential concepts to life for babies and toddlers

Sturdy and interactive, these board books combine touch, sight, and sound to help children experience and learn about the world. By allowing the child to trace the raised letters of a simple word and then trace its corresponding object, these books foster critical early reading and language skills, all while delighting readers with bright and eye-catching illustrations.

With Touchwords: My Day, build vocabulary and explore the exciting possibilities of a day – from washing to playing to sleeping and everything in between.

Perfect for gifting at baby showers: This exquisitely designed board book is a beautiful addition to any baby’s shelf and provides an educational element as well.

If you and your child are fans of Baby Touch and Feel, Goodnight Moon, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, or Press Here, you’ll love the Touchwords series.

Honorable Mentions
I Like Berries, Do You? book
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I Hear a Pickle book
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  1. I Like Berries, Do You? - This light-hearted board book by the author of “I Can, Can You?” and “My Up & Down & All Around Book” features wonderful photographs of young children with Down syndrome enjoying a wide selection of healthful foods, from fruits and vegetables to meats and snacks. Simple, singsong questions — I like broccoli, do you? — invite participation by little ones (aged birth to 4 years) as they anticipate and say the word for the food in each photograph. And when youngsters see children just like themselves eating nutritious foods with different textures, temperatures, colours, tastes, and smells, they will want to try them too! The book encourages a varied diet that can minimise potential sensory or oral-motor issues often associated with Down syndrome. Read it from cover to cover with your child, or tailor it to meet your child’s specific dietary needs (GF/CF, non-allergenic).

  2. I Hear a Pickle - Hearing, smelling, seeing, touching, tasting-our five senses allow us to experience the world in so many ways! With our ears we hear the birds sing; with our nose we smell the stinky cheese; with our eyes we see the moon and stars (and sometimes glasses help us see even better!); with our skin we feel the rain (and learn not to touch the hot stove!); and with our tongue we can taste our favorite foods. Isadora’s lively art reveals the power and delight of each sense, and young children will see themselves in the charming vignettes that explore a wide range of familiar activities throughout the seasons.

Books About The Five Senses and Colors

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Blue on Blue
Written by Dianne White & illustrated by Beth Krommes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Rhyming text and illustrations depict the swell and quieting of a storm.

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Hooray for Fish!
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Little Fish has all sorts of fishy friends in his underwater home, but loves one of them most of all.

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Play with Paint!
Written & illustrated by Jenny Pinkerton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

When it comes to painting, there are so many possibilities! Mix colors, swish your brush around, and see what sorts of marks you can make with just your hand and a bit of paint in this adorable board book!

Creative play meets self-expression in this board book perfect for budding-artist babies!

Honorable Mentions
White Noise: A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages book
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Colors book
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  1. White Noise: A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages - First came One Red Dot, next Blue 2, 600 Black Spots, Yellow Square, and finally White Noise, the fifth installment of David A. Carter’s acclaimed color series! Modern and elegant paper engineering and text are certain to awe children of all ages. Paper-over-board book has 9 spreads of pop-ups. Book is packaged in a resealable polybag with a sell sheet

  2. Colors - Touch and learn. Explore the colors of the rainbow in the newest addition to the Montessori-inspired Discovery Concepts series! This colorful title features sandpaper cutouts on each monochromatic spread to encourage young readers to interact with the book as they learn colors. One-of-a-kind colorful illustrations, sturdy board pages, and no moveable parts make this a unique addition to an early learning collection. About the Discovery Concepts series: Discovery Concepts books celebrate Montessori’s curious discovery approach to learning. Maria Montessori believed “the hand is the chief teacher of the brain,” encouraging students to learn by touch and created specially designed materials such as sandpaper letters to support this method. Inspired by her teachings, each book in the Discovery Concepts board book collection uses tactile enhancements to engage young children in discovering the topic at hand. Beyond the tactile elements each title is designed to capture a child’s imagination and curiosity as they learn.

Want to see books about colors?

Books About The Five Senses and Explorers

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What Can I Hear?
Written & illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A group of babies have fun making noises and listening to things. On board pages.

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See Hear
Written by Tania McCartney & illustrated by Jess Racklyeft
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This innovative flip-format picture book is a sequel to the best-selling and CBCA Notable Book for 2017, Smile Cry. Piglet, Bunny and Cat return in a charming, whimsical sensory adventure that encourages kids to explore the multitude of ways that they can engage with the world around them, particularly via the senses of sight and sound. From watching ‘squiggly rain’ on a window to pointing out ‘heavenly horses’ in the clouds, from hearing ‘buzzing blossoms’ as bees collect pollen and nectar to ‘hot pan sizzles’ as a favourite meal is prepared, See Hear invites us to open our eyes and ears to the everyday magic that surrounds us. Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will enjoy the onomatopoeic wordplay. Perfect for ages 3 and up, this is a book that will captivate children and parents alike.

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Bugs
Written by Carol Lawrence & illustrated by Francesco Zito
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What are bugs? Are all bugs insects? What role do they play in our world? Baby Explorer encourages little ones to explore the world around them, through their five senses of seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, or tasting.

Honorable Mentions
Wind book
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Rain book
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Sun book
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  1. Wind - Let’s play out in the wind! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

  2. Rain - Let’s play out in the rain! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

  3. Sun - Let’s play out in the sun! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

Want to see books about explorers?

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