Touch-and-feel: Books For Kids

Touch-and-feel books are an important genre in the baby and toddler book realm, involving not just their minds, but their tiny hands (and sometimes toes and faces) in the reading process. Snuggling together, truly experiencing a book in a more immersive way can help increase enjoyment of reading for munchkins, keeping them engaged. All touch-and-feel books aren't created equal, so here are a few we'd recommend you try out with your little ones—we think you'll love them!

Beautiful Oops! book
Beautiful Oops!
Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

Little Friends: Happy Birthday book
Little Friends: Happy Birthday
Written and illustrated by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Love this birthday-themed touch-and-feel book! This board book is perfect for toddlers who like a little more of a story, but there's the fun element of some texture inside, as well as a lift-the-flap on the last page. :) I really like how the texture in this book isn't just the same old--there are some ribbons on a party hat, some ridges in the icing on the cake, and some paper in the banner decorations for the party. I also love the colors and illustrations in this book.

Little Puppy is excited – it's his birthday, and all the Little Friends are coming to his party! This charmingly illustrated board book is filled with all the things that make a birthday so special, garlands and party hats, presents and cake, and most important of all friends to celebrate with. A delightful book to share with little ones on their special day, Happy Birthday has textures to touch, feel, and explore, as well as a big birthday surprise flap to lift.

Alphaprints: ABC book
Alphaprints: ABC
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Indentifies the letters of the alphabet using illustrations of animals representing each letter, comprised of finger and thumb prints.

Tails book
Written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Tails are irresistible to toddlers, and in Matthew Van Fleet’s sturdy touch-and-feel board book, preschool-age pokers and prodders can finally tug to their heart’s content. Engaging, cartoonish animals from tigers to pangolins romp across the pages as the rhyming text bounces along: “Tails fluffy, / Tails stringy, / Scaled tails strong and—clingy!” Pull tabs, lift-able flaps, tufts of fur, and even a scratch-and-sniff skunk tail provide plenty of tactile surprises. Along the way, youngsters will learn about counting, opposites, and how animals use their tails. A tried and true tail-wagger!

Who Wears What? book
Who Wears What?
Written and illustrated by Kathy Ireland
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a fantastic touch-and-feel book—I have several friends who have this book when I asked them what their kids touch-and-feel books were, this came back on both of their lists! The variety of textures is great, and I love how cute (and let's face it, kind of hipster) the animals look in their scratchy sweaters, fluffy hats, and rain boot

Who wears the fluffy hat? What about the shiny boots? Touch each page and find out which animal wears what and how it feels! A host of cute animals introduce younger children to different textures and new adjectives in this Touch and Feel board book.

  1. Animal Homes - B is for Bookworm - I really like that this book has texture on the pictures. This book provides a lot of fun picking out which home corresponds with each animal, and I love that the book is nice and colorful.

  2. Picture Fit Board Books: A Traffic Jam of Trucks - The Book Snob Mom - The format of this book is akin to the very high-end Xavier Deneux books by Chronicle, with one part raised on one side of the page, which fits into a cut out on the other page, and is fun for little fingers to explore. I really enjoy that per the title it is a "clever colors book" that not only teaches colors, but also different types of transportation, and different words for groupings of vehicles (particularly since some are a little silly i.e. "a squeeze of buses"!) If your kid is into I-Spying in books, this is also great for pointing out different kinds of animals that ride in and drive these vehicles across the pages.

  3. Touch and Feel: Never Touch a Dinosaur - The Book Snob Mom - The silicon touch-and-feel textures in this book are seriously so cool—some pages you just can't stop touching! The catchy text that warns you very strongly off touching a dinosaur (or else risk serious consequences!) is juxtaposed again bright, friendly-looking dinosaurs grinning at you from each page opposite and creates a humorous feel to the book.

  4. Animal Patterns - Introduce little ones to all sorts of different patterns seen on animals! In Animal Patterns, little ones will be asked which patterns belong to which animals. The pages of this book are filled with familiar, kid-friendly animals, such as giraffes, zebras, tortoises, leopards, and more, rendered in a soft colors that make this an even more enjoyable experience for babies. Each page includes embossed animal patterns, creating a tactile experience for tiny hands. And on the last spread, all the animals appear with their correct patterns!

Lionel and Molly: Opposites book
Lionel and Molly: Opposites
Written by Joanna Lake and illustrated by Jess Racklyeft
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Introducing Lionel and Molly--two best friends exploring the world around them in this touch and feel concept board book. Lionel the lion and Molly the mouse are best friends who love exploring the world together. Join them as they discover the concept of opposites by comparing themselves to each other. Lionel is big and loud, while Molly is quiet and small.

Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!: A Touch, Skritch, and Tickle Book book
Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy!: A Touch, Skritch, and Tickle Book
Written and 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....

TouchThinkLearn: Vehicles book
TouchThinkLearn: Vehicles
Written and illustrated by Xavier Deneux
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Featuring spreads each with raised shaped objects that fit into scooped cutouts on their opposite page, these two new TouchThinkLearn books offer the youngest learners an irresistible opportunity to explore their universe in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name: these modes of perception combine in a dynamic way to stimulate understanding of essential concepts. Discover—and experience a train by tracing the raised railcar on one side and feeling the excavated shape of the track on the other! Clusters of related words on each spread offer parents and children a springboard for further conversations to encourage the language skills so crucial to later successful learning. In a format unlike any other, these groundbreaking books translate abstract thought into tangible knowledge.

Pat the Bunny book
Pat the Bunny
Written and illustrated by Dorothy Kunhardt
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

The timeless children's classic—a perfect gift for baby showers and first birthdays. For generations, Pat the Bunny has been creating special first-time moments between parents and their children. One of the best-selling children’s books of all time, this classic touch-and-feel book offers babies a playful and engaging experience, all the while creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Pat the Zoo book
Pat the Zoo
Written by Golden Books and illustrated by LV Studio
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

  1. Feely Bugs - Fuzzy bugs, feathery bugs, lacy bugs, and leathery bugs are among the tempting textures that kids of all ages will want to identify (and play with). David Carter has created a Bug touch-and-feel book filled with tons of tactile fun.

  2. Jungle Animals - The Tiny Touch board books series teaches concepts to little ones in a stimulating and interactive manner! Little ones will love learning about jungle animals in this interactive board book! Embossed pages create a tactile experience for tiny hands.

  3. See, Touch, Feel - 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.

  4. I Can Dance - Readers make dancers disco, tap, or pirouette just by wiggling their fingers. But wait! There's even more fun. In an impressive gatefold finale, readers use two sets of hands to help the dancers perform an encore. With interactive holes on every page and a satisfying touch-and-feel cover, this charming board book is the perfect way to play and read together.

I Can Explore book
I Can Explore
Written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Adventure awaits! Young readers help characters explore the world—from embarking on a jungle safari through touch-and-feel fabric leaves to riding a tandem bike through Paris—just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, children assist these explorers as they head off on their next adventure in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model both independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!

Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings book
Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings
Written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

This charming introduction to colors, shapes, and animals has been delighting children all over the world for ten years! There is a surprise on every peek-a-boo page, where textured shapes magically turn into colorful creatures perfect for toddler’s touching.

My First Busy Book book
My First Busy Book
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From beloved author-illustrator Eric Carle, this brand-new busy book is filled with touch-and-feels, lift-the-flaps, mirrors, and more—sure to endlessly entertain your little ones! This brand-new busy book featuring Eric Carle’s bright, colorful artwork is jam-packed with interactive activities to keep little hands busy. Each page features a different concept, from numbers and shapes, to colors, animals, and sounds! With a mylar mirror that’s visible through the cover, glitter, lift-the-flaps, touch-and-feels, and more, this book is sure to be a hit with babies and parents. It’s a must-have for every Eric Carle collection!

Touch-And-Feel Farm book
Touch-And-Feel Farm
Written by Isabel Otter and illustrated by Fhiona Galloway
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Learn and discover more than 50 farm words in this bright and busy book with fun textures to explore on every spread.

Baby's World: A First Book of Senses  book
Baby's World: A First Book of Senses
Written by Grosset & Dunlap and illustrated by Dave Aikins
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Invites readers to learn about the five senses, and includes colorful, interactive illustrations.

  1. 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.

  2. TouchWords: Food - TouchWords is a brand new extension to the beloved, ground-breaking TouchThinkLearn series now with raised letters that fit into die-cut shapes! This is a full hands-on, 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. Moo - From the creator of the New York Times bestsellers Heads and Dog. Oink, cluck, squeak, moo . . . cock-a-doodle-doo! Ingeniously designed flaps and pull tabs, accompanied by pettable textures, offer a flock of interactive fun in this innovative introduction to seven species of barnyard residents. Toddlers will delight in identifying and imitating each critter!

  4. Disney It's A Small World: Furry Friends - This adorable touch-and-feel book takes readers around the world in 16 sturdy board pages. It features characters from a number of different countries, along with their animal friends. Little ones will love petting a fuzzy polar bear and feeling a koala's soft "fur." The book includes brand-new artwork inspired by Mary Blair's original art for the Disney theme park attraction, "It's a Small World."

Animals book
Written and illustrated by Sarah Ward
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Touch a soft kitten, woolly sheep, fluffy bunny, and more!

Touch and Explore: Safari book
Touch and Explore: Safari
Written by Stephanie Babin and illustrated by Xavier Deneux
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The newest in this series created to encourage hands-on play and learning, Touch and Explore™ Safari will keep young children busy learning through touch. They will enjoy the textures on every colorful spread, and lift the flaps to find out more about their favorite safari animals.

Hello, Dog! book
Hello, Dog!
Written by Susie Linn and illustrated by Zhanna Ovocheva
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Dog wants to play. Peek-a-boo! Turn the pages to discover the cute animal characters who want to play too and are hiding in every window. Delicate touch-and-feel textures cut into the board pages add to the sensory story time fun.

Look Through: Things that Go book
Look Through: Things that Go
Written by and illustrated by Fhiona Galloway
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

With cute art and simple labels, Look Through: Things that Go is a great tool for early learning. This sturdy board book features unique raised shapes on every page. The playful die-cuts then fit into mirroring pages for added fun! Babies and toddlers will love the added elements as the shapes begin to transform from a helicopter into a boat and even a tractor into a fire truck! Look through the pages and learn all about vehicles.

London book
Written and illustrated by Marion Billet
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

A touch and feel board book about visiting London, England, for babies 6 months and older.Take a trip to London! Lift the giant flaps to reveal what's underneath, including lots of interesting textures. Feel the shiny London taxi, the soldier's furry hat, and stroke the policeman's horse. With something to spot or count on every spread, this colourful book will provide lots of fun for older babies and toddlers.Part of the popular and well-established Campbell London series of books, Marion Billet's bright and friendly illustrations bring the London scenes to life, making them appealing to younger readers and perfectly complimenting the carefully chosen textured panels!

  1. Picture Fit Board Books: A Toy Box of Shapes - Toddlers will love to explore the pages A Toy Box of Shapes, an Alphaprints board book with raised shapes to touch, feel, and explore that fit neatly into the recessed shapes on the facing page. Each spread focuses on a different shape and color, and both concepts are explored simply but effectively. The Alphaprints artwork, created from fingerprints and photographs of everyday things, makes the whole learning experience more fun, as toddlers can see that the teddy bear's nose is made of licorice, and his body is made of a kiwi fruit! A gorgeously simple book that is a visual and tactile treat for young children.

  2. My Favorite Purse - Little fashionistas will love touching different textures and discovering what's inside this collection of fabulous pint-sized purses. The little girl who won't leave home without a headband--who's had fashion sense since she donned her first onesie--will love touching and turning the pages of MY FAVORITE PURSE. From a fuzzy bunny backpack to a sparkly wristlet to a crocodile tote, every purse features an inter-active element to engage growing minds. Cool textures, flaps, and rhyming text will entertain accessories fans of all ages. This is the perfect companion to MY FAVORITE SHOES!

  3. Scratchie - Sharpen your claws—and scratching skills—with this adorable touch-and-feel book about a cat who loves to scratch everything…and wants you to join the fun! Hi there, human! I’m Scratchie the Cat and I like to scratch stuff to keep my claws super sharp. Let’s scratch things together! Join Scratchie the Cat to scratch touch-and-feel elements throughout this story. Rough door mats, grainy wooden tables, paper towels, cardboard boxes, and more give readers a claws-on experience as they innocently wreck Scratchie’s owner’s house (just like real cats)! With touch-and-feel elements on every page, Scratchie even has the perfect ending, because there’s one more thing that loves to be scratched…Scratchie the Cat!

  4. Alphaprints: Boo! - Come and join in the tricks and treats in Boo! —the latest title in Priddy’s best-selling series, Alphaprints. This spooktacular book is sure to delight children with fun rhymes to read, kooky illustrations, and exciting textures to touch and feel. Each Alphaprints character is created by adding pictures of everyday objects to embossed fingerprints and features an inviting, touch-and-feel texture, including: - fuzzy fur - soft felt - foil fabric - and glittery gauze With funny illustrations, rhyming text, and plenty to touch and explore, Alphaprints: Boo! is a great way for your little one to join in the spooky fun this Halloween.

My America, the Beautiful book
My America, the Beautiful
Written by Katharine Lee Bates and illustrated by Katie Melrose
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

In this celebration of what ties America together, My Beautiful America pairs the lyrics of Katharine Lee Bates's "America the Beautiful" with fun, modern illustrations to make a must-have for little patriots! A fuzzy touch-and-feel finger trail weaves throughout the illustrations of soldiers, farmers, and cities to remind children and grownups of the thread that ties us all together. A stunning, heartfelt presentation for all patriotic families--from sea to shining sea!

Bright Books: Baby Bear's Busy Day book
Bright Books: Baby Bear's Busy Day
Written by Megan Roth and illustrated by Emiri Hayashi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

It's a busy day for baby bear. Come along as he and his mother explore the wonders of the forest! Join a young bear and his mother for their very busy day in the forest with Bright Books: Baby Bear's Busy Day. This visually stunning board book features bright neon elements, soft touch-and-feel bears, and shiny foil that will capture baby's full attention and imagination. With sweet, soothing text and gentle illustrations, this engaging book will become a bedtime favorite. Follow along as baby bear has a day full of fun!

Look at Me! book
Look at Me!
Written by and illustrated by Flora Chang
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A first book of faces to share with your little one! Look, point, touch, and say hello to all the animal faces! This sturdy, shaped board book is perfect for little ones looking to learn different facial features. Little ones can point to the rabbit's ears, then have fun pointing to their own ears. Plus, the peekaboo mirror at the end is sure to delight and surprise!

Sleepyhead book
Written by and illustrated by Flora Chang
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A first book for bedtime to share with your little one! Children can look, point, touch, count, and say goodnight to all their animal friends! This sturdy board book is perfect for teaching little ones about different facial features. Children can point to the lion's sleepy eyes, and then identify their own eyes. Plus, the peekaboo mirror at the end will delight and surprise!

Bright Books: Shadow's Nighttime Adventure book
Bright Books: Shadow's Nighttime Adventure
Written by Megan Roth and illustrated by Emiri Hayashi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Explore the night with an adventurous cat named Shadow in this sweet bedtime book! Shadow is a very adventurous cat, but his favorite time for adventuring is at night. He loves saying hello to the moon, strolling around on rooftops, stargazing with friends, and so much more! Read along and explore the night in this storybook with rhyming text, colorful elements that illuminate the dark, and a soft touch-and-feel cat to guide you through the night. Bright Books: Shadow's Nighttime Adventure is a delightful bedtime book for babies and toddlers.

  1. 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!

  2. Picture Fit Board Books: A Barnyard of Friends - In A Barnyard of Friends it's fun to find out where each farm animal lives, from pig sty to chicken coop, by exploring the raised and recessed shapes on every page! In this lively and engaging novelty board book, little learners will enjoy meeting cute farm animals, such as cows, sheep, and ducks, and finding out where they live. On the turn of every page, they’ll be excited to discover raised shapes to touch, feel, and explore, that neatly tuck into shaped spaces on the opposite page. Offering a tactile and visual experience that your child will want to repeat time and time again, A Barnyard of Friends is just right for little hands! Also available: A Traffic Jam of Trucks, A Parade of Animals, A Stampede of Dinosaurs, and A Toy Box of Shapes.

  3. Baby's Big Busy Book - From beloved author-illustrator Karen Katz comes a brand-new busy book filled with touch-and-feels, lift-the-flaps, mirrors, and more! Follow along throughout the day as Baby wakes up, eats, and gets ready to play! This jumbo-sized busy book featuring Karen Katz’s bright and colorful artwork is jam-packed with interactive activities that are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained. It’s a must-have for every Karen Katz collection!

  4. Daisy Duckling's Adventure - Join Daisy Duckling on a touch-and-feel adventure as she looks for her family along the river, encountering other creatures on the way. It's only natural that you will love this lift-a-flap adventure by Maurice Pledger. Life isn't all it's cracked up to be for Daisy Duckling. When she hatches from her shell, she finds that she's all alone! Where did her family go? The brave little ducking embarks on a journey along the river and finds that she's not the only one who hatched from an egg--including Sammy the Snake, Timmy the Turtle, and Casey the Crocodile. In this age-appropriate adventure for children ages 3 and older, you'll find a surprise on every page and learn a little about the wonders you can expect to encounter along the river. Children will increase vocabulary, discover where animals come from, and get to know how differerent animals can come from a similar place. Daisy Duckling's Adventure lets you feel your way home through the forest to get to know the many different creatures and animals that live there.

Alphaprints First Words book
Alphaprints First Words
Written and illustrated by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Adding to the stable of bestselling Alphaprints titles, First Words is a must-have word book for babies and toddlers that sits alongside Alphaprints ABC, one of American Baby Magazine's 24 Best Baby Books of All Time. This casebound board book has over 40 first words to learn, accompanied by the quirky Alphaprints animals and objects created using fingerprints and photographs of everyday objects. Each spread is themed—pets, park, vehicles, toys, farm, food, colors and animals—and the fingerprints are embossed for lots of see-touch-feel fun. This is the latest addition to the Alphaprints series, which has sold over 1,000,000 copies in the US alone, and is published around the world in 13 languages.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!