Little Library: Baby’s First Books

Pregnant or Know a friend who is? Here is our guide to the best of the best - Baby's First Books!

I don’t know about you but I am a little obsessed with books.  Long before my children can remember,  I have been reading to them. I may have started reading to them before they were born.  There is no one thing that makes a book special.  Some are funny, some are sweet, some have a lesson and others are interactive.

The one thing they have in common is the joy they give when they are read.  We have put together a list of our favorite first baby books.  They cover a variety of themes from unconditional love and stories about sleep to books that teach colors and days of the week.  Some will be old familiars but some may become new favorites.  We hope you enjoy!

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Good Night Books

 Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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.


The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

Boynton’s books are filled with humor, bright colorful pictures, and wonderful rhymes.  They are completely addictive. We read these books until they fall apart (which for a board book is difficult to do).  The story makes no sense but that is part of the reason that we love it so much.

Time for Bed by Mem Fox- This book is so sweet.  The rhythm and rhyme are mesmerizing and the pictures are sweet.  This book is a staple in our house.



Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann This book is hilarious and a favorite in our house to this day.  The sweet animals and the completely clueless zookeeper are laugh-out-loud funny.  One of my oldest sons first words was “armadillo” which says something about how amusing this book is.

Books About Love

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

The words of this book run through my head and I cannot read it to my kids without crying at the end.  I adore this book about the unconditional love a mother has for her child. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Although this book was made into a movie, the book is a classic. Max takes a journey in his head to the land of the wild things where he is king.  When Max finally decides to come home, his dinner is waiting for him and it’s still hot.  This act of love always touched me.

Guess How Much I love you? by Sam McBratney

I love that this book is about a father and his son. The baby bunny is talking about how much he loves his dad who tells the baby bunny how much he loves him in return.  “I love you to the moon and back”.  Truer words are hard to find.


And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

I adore this tale of 2 male penguins who raise an orphan penguin as there own. What cuddly way to teach a child that love is love.


Books to Stimulate Learning

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr.

Brown Bear teaches about colors and animals.  The repetitive pattern is addictive.  There are so many activities that can be done with this great book for toddlers. However, the colors and pictures are perfect for even the littlest reader.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

There is so much to learn from this book like days of the week, counting and foods.  The little pages with fruit are adorable.  I love the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly as well.

Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

This book is filled with repetition which is so good for child language development.  It is filled with onomatopoeia- the best words to convey sounds and sensory input that I just love: squelch, squerch; swishy swashy; etc.

Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli

I adore this book and have mentioned it on the blog before (link here.) The cut-outs and interesting pictures make the story engaging while the chunky pages are perfect for baby photos.

Interactive Books to Stimulate the Senses

Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) by Dorothy Kunhardt 

This touch and feel book is perfect for little ones to feel the soft bunny and look in the mirror.  It’s such a cute classic.

Dear Zoo a Lift-theFlap-Book by Rod Campbell

What animal will the zoo send next? Lift the flaps to reveal a giraffe, a snake and a number of other animals that the zoo sends as a pet.

Little Puppy: Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle Books

Little kids love to look at the finger puppets in these books.  The words are simple and the puppets are too cute.


Peek a Who Board Book by Nina Laden

I don’t know what it is about this book that is so cute.  It is a simple story but it rhymes and has great pictures.  The final picture is a mirror.  No baby can resist a mirror!

Books with a Lesson

Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Rainbow Fish learns an important lesson about generosity and sharing. Your kids will probably learn about this in pre-school so knowing the story in advance will give them a leg up.


The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Ferdinand is the gentle bull who is not what anyone expects him to be.  I love this story about being yourself. This is such an important message.  I read this to my kids from a really early age.  Kids love listening to the sound of your voice at any age.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

I have been reading this book to my kids since they were babies.  I adore this giraffe who finds a way to do what he loves.  The message in this story resonates with many stages of life.  Even though my boys are older, I still find situations to read this book to them.


The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Oh, this book…..The message of unconditional love is heartbreaking.  Yet, it is the feeling that every mother, father, and caregiver feel about their kids.  We do everything we can for them and hope that they take our lessons and use them the best they can.  Nothing about this fifty-year-old book is dated.  The message is the same.

20 baby books to help create your child's first library. Perfect for a baby shower gift, these books are about love, bedtime, and help learn lessons. Others stimulate the senses and begin introducing learning concepts. 5 perfect stories for baby's bedtime from oldies but goodies to modern classics! These calming stories will gently coax your baby to sleep. 4 fun books engage the senses early to maximize brain development. Lifting tabs, textures pictures and finger puppets all safely engage baby.