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