25 Must-Have Books for Babies: Find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided. All recommendations are mine.
I write so often about books, I’ve put them in one central location and created a collection of all of my book lists! Find more great reading book lists here.
Reading to babies is such an important ritual for their growth and development. Reading everyday :
- teaches them about words, talking and communication
- introduces them to building block concepts, such as numbers, letters, colors and shapes
- builds vocabulary, listening and memory skills
- gives babies information about the world around them
For your new baby or for friends who have young ones, here are 25 must-have books for babies. Just click on the link to be taken right to the book.
- Big Fat Hen
- Goodnight Moon
- Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book
- Whose Nose and Toes?
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Only You
- Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
- Orange Pear Apple Bear (Classic Board Books)
- Rosie’s Walk Classic Board Book (Classic Board Books)
- Ten Tiny Babies (Classic Board Books)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- Giddy up ! Let’s Ride !
- I Kissed the Baby!
- The Saucepan Game
- Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
- Sheep in a Jeep
- Ten, Nine, Eight
- Come Along, Daisy!
- Blue Goose
- The Itsy Bitsy Spider
- I Went Walking/Sali de paseo: Lap-Sized Board Book
- Where’s Spot? (Little Spot Board Books)
- Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book
- Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)
Big Fat Hen: PreSchool-A large, brilliantly colored rendition of the counting rhyme “one, two, buckle my shoe.” Baker uses an imaginative array of acrylic colors for his hens-greens, purples, and pinks to contrast with the warm, yellow straw background. There are lots of things to count, such as sticks, eggs, chicks, and hens.
Goodnight Moon: In this classic of modern children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.
Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book: Baby is bundled in a mountain of clothes! Peek under the flaps of clothing to find out what’s underneath, and play this fun peekaboo book again and again!
Whose Nose and Toes?: From the author of Whose Baby Am I? and Who Says Woof? comes this adorable, interactive picture book that introduces baby animals and their different noses and feet. With large, endearing illustrations and a guessing game format, toddlers will love learning to recognize the noses and toes of crocodiles, elephants, rhinos, and more.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: The very hungry caterpillar literally eats his way through the pages of the book.
Only You: Every adult who loves a child knows how deep and rich that love can be. Little ones are lovable on the outside, with their tiny ears, eyes, and toes. And they’re lovable for who they are on the inside, as they sing, play, and shout. Robin Cruise and Caldecott Honor winner Margaret Chodos-Irvine portray a diverse trio of parents and children in this lyrical celebration of a love that makes each child feel like the one and only.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes: As everyone knows, nothing is sweeter than tiny baby fingers and chubby baby toes. . . . And here, from two of the most gifted picture-book creators of our time, is a celebration of baby fingers, baby toes, and the joy theyand the babies they belong tobring to everyone, everywhere, all over the world!
Orange Pear Apple Bear: This book has spare text and sweet illustrations but contains only five words: apple, pear, orange, bear–and there. Emily Gravett creates clever variations on this theme by rearranging the words–on one spread, a brown bear juggles an orange, apple, and pear; on another spread, there is an orange-colored apple and a pear-shaped bear. Simple and compelling, children will enjoy reading this book over and over again as they learn many different concepts.
Rosie’s Walk Classic Board Book: Rosie’s walk around the farmyard, pursued by the hungry but clumsy fox, has become a beacon in the world of children’s picture books, an ever-popular classic which generations have enjoyed. Children love the humour of this near-wordless story. One disaster after another befalls the poor fox while Rosie goes on her way, supremely unaware of the danger behind her.
Ten Tiny Babies: The fun continues until ten tiny babies are exhausted from the day, fast asleep in their beds! Karen Katz’s bright colors and irresistibly adorable babies are sure to be a hit among the learning-to-count crowd. This board book is perfect for even the youngest of readers.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?: 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. Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle’s flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin’s singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.
Giddy up! Let’s Ride! A gloriously painted circus of animals, based on the traditional children’s rhyme. This is the way the knight rides. Clank clank clanketty-clank This is the way the clown rides. bump Bump bumpetty-bump This is the way the cowgirl rides. Yee-ha! Yee-ha! Knights, princesses, cowgirls or clowns – all sorts of children ride all sorts of steeds in this wonderful book. Join the ponies, shirehorses, elephants and camels in this and find out how children all over the world ride!
I Kissed the Baby!: News of the baby is buzzing from animal to animal, with each one — fish, bird, squirrel, insect, frog — boasting of seeing, feeding, singing to, tickling, and kissing the tiny little thing. With bold, graphic black-and-white illustrations, Mary Murphy’s simple, singsong story captures the giddy commotion that only a baby can bring.
The Saucepan Game: A black-haired, yellow-clad baby and a black cat explore the wealth of creative possibilities offered by a large saucepan.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear: Toddlers will want to join in with this familiar chant as Teddy Bear and child touch their toes, jump in the air, find their noses, and more! Bold, simple illustrations make it easy for toddlers to play along. Its perfect to share with a favorite furry friend.
Sheep in a Jeep: Sheep in a Jeep is well loved by the preschool and early-reader sets for its slapstick story of five sheep (in a jeep) and silly sound effects—especially when the jeep goes splash and thud in the mud! Nancy Shaw’s rollicking rhymes are Seuss-snappy, and Margot Apple’s appealing pencil illustrations are expressive and hilarious.
Ten, Nine, Eight: “This beguiling picture book, with a palette of eye-filling colors, appears to arise from the love binding a father and his little `big’ girl who turn bedtime into playtime with a rhyming game.”–Publishers Weekly.
Come Along, Daisy! Daisy is one darling duckling. But she does have a problem staying close to Mama Duck during their watery wanderings. “Come along, Daisy!” is the refrain of this simple, engaging picture book, as Mom tries to keep her distracted daughter under her wing.
Clip-Clop: Cat, Dog, Pig and Duck all want to climb aboard Mr Horse for a ride. But when they get bored with the slow pace, they ask Mr Horse to go faster and faster…But will “faster” lead to disaster? A delightful rhythmical text with adorable illustrations, which will enthral every child.
Blue Goose: When Farmer Gray takes a trip, Blue Goose, Red Hen, Yellow Chick and White Duck decide to paint their black-and-white farm. Red Hen paints the barn red and White Duck paints the fence white. Then Blue Goose and Yellow Chick pour their paint together to make green for the grass and trees. By the time Farmer Gray comes back, the whole farm is full of color–what a wonderful surprise! Incorporating primary and secondary colors, as well as animals, this is a simple and engaging way for young children to learn basic concepts.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider: “Young children will have a blast with this lively and well-illustrated rendition of an old favorite”.–American Bookseller Pick of the Lists.
I Went Walking/Sali de paseo: In this new bilingual edition of I Went Walking, toddlers will delight in identifying colors and animals–in English and in Spanish!
Where’s Spot? (Little Spot Board Books): Already available in board book format, this very first Spot book now has a brand-new cover in a fresh, vibrant color that makes it jump off the shelf.
Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book): This deluxe, oversized edition of the evergreen classic touch-and-feel book, pat the bunny, features two exclusive spreads not included in the original. It makes the perfect gift for every baby!
Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book: How many kisses does a tired baby need? Count and kiss along with this bedtime book, now in a sturdy format perfect for the youngest readers.