Reading strengthens your brain; it Increases your ability to empathize. Even science has supported this! (Check out why reading is important here) This is true not only for adults but also for babies.
Reading plays an important role in a baby’s development. They get familiar with different sounds and words, create a love for books and a passion for reading, introduce them to new words and ideas, and also, reading stimulates their imagination and helps them learn about a lot of things.
Not only vocabulary skills but also reading gives babies an introduction to sentence structure, rhyming, etc. It introduces them to numbers, letters, colors, and shapes.
Now, don’t think reading only develops intelligence in your baby because the content matters too! The story or rhymes or just a story made of pictures impacts your child’s emotions. And that’s why it’s necessary that you choose the best baby books for your toddler! The story, the moral…it all plays an important role in your baby’s character development.
So, let’s see some of the best baby books for your toddlers to read!
Best Baby Books
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Eric Carle is one of the best and most popular children’s books author. And one of his best baby books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Following the story of a hungry little caterpillar who eats his way through the beautifully illustrated book. Apart from fun illustrations, there’s also an opportunity to learn counting and the days of the week.
This beautiful story gives young readers a hopeful message- anyone can grow up to become a beautiful butterfly!
2. Moo Baa La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton’s this fun rhyming book will definitely be something your toddlers love. Boynton has about seventy-five books made just for children.
From this lovely book, your baby will learn the different sounds animals make! Educative, right?
3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This classic board book is a must in your baby’s library. Available in paperback and as a board book, this captivating illustration book follows the story of a little rabbit in his bedtime routine.
This rhyming text of Margaret Wise Brown shows us the rabbit’s bedtime ritual of saying “good night” to many things (both inanimate and living) in his bedroom.
4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
Created by the best baby book authors of all time, Bill Martin Jr. And Eric Carle, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a must-have in your baby’s library.
Each page of this book introduces you to different animals, who are asked a question: What do you see? This interactive book is both fun and educational read.
5. Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
Karen Katz’s one of the best baby books, Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? is an educational book. But the liftable flaps make this classic baby book more enjoyable.
Asking your toddler to point to the body parts, this baby book helps your kid learn about different body parts!
6. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
This book by Giles Andreae is one of the must-have baby books for your kids. It features Gerald, the giraffe, who struggles at the annual jungle dance because of other animals say he can’t dance.
But in the end, Gerald learns self-confidence, the beauty in being unique, and many other valuable lessons. What a great way to teach your kids about self-confidence and worth!
7. Corduroy by Don Freeman
Following the midnight adventures of Corduroy, the stuffed bear, this classic board book is a beautiful story of friendship.
Don Freeman has done a great job with the idea of a stuffed bear going on an adventure to find his missing button.
8. Beautiful Oops By Barney Saltzberg
Saltzberg deserves hearty applause for coming up with a baby book that says about mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s important for your baby to learn that mistakes are part of life and a natural part of the learning process. This book turns countless small mistakes into a beautiful, interactive collage full of beauty!
9. Hair Love by Matthew Cherry
Portraying the important relationship between a child, her mother, and her father, this baby book won the Feminist Book Project award. It was nominated for the NAACP Image Award and Irma Black Award.
Following the story of a seven-year-old Zuri and her family, this book is a great way to let your baby learn about the love for family and appreciate every color and race.
10. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
Little Blue Truck is a joyful, fun book to tell the story of Blue, a muddy blue truck, and some of his fun misadventures as he travels down a bumpy country road with all his animal friends.
And if your toddler loves this book, be happy because Alice Schertle has many more baby books about Blue!
11. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
This zany tale is one of the best baby books of all time. Even though this is Willem’s first book for children, it has received the Caldecott Honor.
The book features a bus driver who asks the reader not to allow the Pigeon to drive the bus while he’s away and the naughty pigeon who just wants to have at least one ride. This interactive book asks for your toddler’s opinion on decisions, making them think about what’s right and wrong.
12. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Based on the actual story of Roy and Silo, 2 male chinstrap penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo who have formed a pair bond, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s, this children’s book is an excellent choice for your baby books collection.
This book tells the story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who start a family together. With the help of the zoo keeper, Mr. Gramsey, Roy and Silo obtain the eggs and help hatch them.
With this unique, beautiful story, you can introduce your baby to the fact that love can be between any gender.
13. Look, Look!, by Peter Linenthal
This board book is ideal if your baby is beginning to learn. Having this black and white illustrations book will be refreshing for your baby.
Amidst the bright colors and bold illustrations, this book, full of black and white pictures, will be a great addition.
14. Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
If you want your baby to love, accept and normalize the differences in humans, Eyes That Kiss in the Corner by Joanna Ho is a must-have.
The book follows the story of a young Asian girl who realizes that her eyes don’t quite look like the others. She then goes on to find and accept the uniqueness and differences in everyone.
Add this best baby book ever to your library soon!
15. Time for Bed by Mem Fox
Via the soothing language in this book, it’s sure your baby will obey what the animal parents say to their lovely kids: to sleep.
16. Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke
Written by Trish Cooke, this book is one of the best baby books of all time. The rhythmic and repetitive prose helps kids to learn and remember.
The story is about Jay Jay, the youngest kid of a large family, who has a special connection with his grandma. They both spend their Sundays making dinner for their loving family.
This story is a beautiful way to teach your kid about the importance and love for family, bond with grandparents, and the simple yet loving gestures you do for them.
17. ‘More More More,’ Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Runner-up for the prestigious Caldecott Award, this classic tale is loved by not only the kids but also parents.
The babies featured in this book love to play with their families of all shapes and sizes. While the little ones will find this rhyming and illustration fun, a little older babies would be taught that humans come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. As a parent, this would be a great baby book for your kid.
18. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
With the rhyming story that reads more like a song than a book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is easily one of the best baby books of all time.
The book is about a party on top of a coconut tree, for which all the alphabet is invited. Along with the fun, silly story, the babies also learn ABCs and be a pro in it.
19. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter created one of the best baby books, which is still a favorite among many of us.
The Star of the story, Peter rabbit, has been enchanting young readers with his charm for the last hundred years. Despite his mother’s stern warnings, Peter rampages through Mr. McGregor’s garden, resulting in fun chaos and, eventually, a happy ending.
The picture book comes in smaller than usual size, perfect for your little babies’ hands. And if you loved Potter’s works, there are many children’s books that she has managed to excel in.
20. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
Published in 1989, this was one of the first children’s books to be explicitly based on LGBTQ+ representation.
The book gives out a simple message to young minds: some people have two mothers, and that’s normal and acceptable. Though it created controversy back when it was released, in this era, this would be a great baby book for your young ones to be with a free, open mind.
21. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip C. Stead
This beautiful, simple story has earned its place with the best baby books to teach your kids the valuable lesson of friendship and empathy.
Telling the story of Amos McGee, the caretaker at the zoo for all animals. A day comes when he’s too ill to show up at work. So the animals, out of love and care, take matters into their own hands to help take care of Amos.
With its stunning illustrations, this sweet story has captured many hearts and Caldecott Award in 2011.
22. Baby Signs: A Baby-Sized Introduction to Speaking with Sign Language by Joy Allen
We all know that kiddos first seek language without words. Sure, they do speak, but the first thing they do is express themselves with actions.
So teaching your baby sign language can be a good start. And with Baby Signs by Joy Allen, sign language can be learned greatly!
23. I Am a Bunny by Richard Scarry
Created by Richard Scarry, a famous children’s author and illustrator, this is one of the best baby books that your kids will definitely love.
Your baby can learn about the different seasons along with Nicholas, the little bunny. With simple and repetitive words, this baby book will be easy for your kid too.
24. Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler
Telling the story of a large family who loves to hear music and dance, this book can be added to the list of best baby books.
You and your baby can enjoy the rhythm, clap your hands to the beats and dance your heart out!
25. Anti-Racist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Written by MacArthur grant winner Ibram X. Kendi, Anti-Racist Baby’s concept is based on the book How to Be an Antiracist by the same author.
Children learn the basics about how our world isn’t always fair, and that people are different in all aspects, including color. They learn more about anti-racism and appreciate all colors. And because of that concept, this is one of the best baby books for your young ones.
26. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Teaching young readers to understand the concept of cause and effect, this baby book is a must-have in your baby books collection.
The story is about a zoo keeper who puts every animal to bed, unaware that the gorilla has sneaked the keys away to let everyone out!
Via this book, you get to teach your kid about the effects of simple things. The lesson can be revisited when your child grows up.
27. We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty
One of the best baby books by Patricia Hegarty, We are family, shows your baby the dynamics of different types of families.
From a small family to a joint family, this book teaches your kid that no matter what size or type, a family is always bonded with love and care!
28. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Telling us the story of a little blue engine, The Little Engine That Could reaffirm the importance of believing in yourself against all odds.
We see the little blue engine struggle to haul a heavy load up the mountain and how the train finally manages to achieve the goal through perseverance, diligence, and powerful mantras. It will be great to hear your toddler recite a self-confidence mantra, right?
29. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
With this fun rhyming story, your young ones can send some tired tough trucks to sleep after a long work day.
From cement mixers and dump trucks to bulldozers, the gorgeous illustrations create a construction site atmosphere that your kids will love.
30. Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems
Mo Willem’s Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals, as the name suggests, welcomes young readers with clever texts and beautiful illustrations.
Addressing themes like injustice, friendship, and love for family, this classic book is a must-have for babies and parents alike.
31. I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes
A sweet tale featuring a baby bear, a mama bear, and their animal friends, Tim Warnes and Amelia Hepworth, has managed to create one of the best baby books.
This book offers young children hours of entertainment, from straightforward counting activities to spot the difference, sticker matching, and coloring.
32. Press Here by Herve Tullet
Herve Tullet’s Press Here is a great option if you want interactive books for your kids. This awesome board book pulls children into a world of great illustrations, letting them follow simple instructions.
With the interactive nature, this book encourages your kids to participate in little actions like pressing dots, blowing on the pages, and clapping their hands as you teach them colors and numbers.
33. Dr. Seuss: Little Green Box of Bright and Early Board Books by Dr. Seuss
A Dr. Seuss book is always a fun, silly, yet educative, making it some of the best baby books of all time.
Dr. Seuss: Little Green Box of Bright and Early Board Books includes four titles: Fox in Socks, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? Dr. Seuss’s ABC and There’s a Wocket in my Pocket! These books will be a great way to expose your child to colors, rhythms, animal sounds, and letters.
34. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
Emily Winfield Martin’s The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a perfect choice for not only your baby’s library but also a perfect baby shower and birthday gift.
With whimsical illustrations, this tale encourages children’s creativity, boldness, and bravery.
35. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Yet another interesting book for your kids to learn the concept of cause and effect. Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond have done a great job spinning a simple tale with a deep lesson.
The story is about a boy who shares a cookie with a mouse and has to suffer the consequences of it. By accepting one request, the mouse keeps ordering things until it comes to a full circle when he finally asks for another cookie.
36. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
This baby book features a father and son competing in a series of feats to prove who loves the other the most. The papa kangaroo and the joey is not only the favorite characters of children but also of parents.
Available in hardcover, board book, and pop-up book formats, Guess How Much I Love You is definitely one of the best baby books of all time.
37. I Love You as Big as the World by David Van Buren
Written by David Van Buren and illustrated by Tim Warnes, this board book is a heartwarming tale of a little bear and mama bear who confesses their love for each other.
Apart from the love and connection, this book also helps the kids understand how to convey emotions. The mama bear and the little bear express their love by comparing them to many things, like an ocean. And the enchanting illustrations are the cherry on top of it!
38. Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes by Judy Hindley and Brita Granstrom
As the title suggests, Judy Hindley and Brita Granstrom’s baby book, Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes, is a great way to help your kids learn about body parts.
Unlike other books that teach the kids how to label their body parts, this book also teaches them what to do with them: a nose for sniffing, eyes for seeing, etc.
39. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Everyone in the nap hut is fast asleep when this sleepy book begins. But only until a little surprise keeps everyone awake.
The repeated rhymes and cartoonish illustrations make this book fun and interesting for kids.
Children can learn about cause and effect from stories; stories have enough room to pause and ask children what they think will happen next or why certain characters react in certain ways.
40. Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Featuring the story of a boy and a bear, who are on a berry hunt, this book written by Bruce Degen is a fun, sweet baby book for your child.
This book will easily be one of your kid’s favorites with rhymes and jazzy rhythms.
There you go! That’s some of the best baby books you can get your kids. So, for the next storytime, keep this list in my mind and choose an excellent book!