10 Must-Have Books for Your Baby's First Library

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents read aloud to children every day, starting as soon as babies are born. Reading teaches babies about communication; introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes; builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills; gives babies information about the world around them; and helps them associate books and reading with your warm, loving attention.

As your child gets older, the benefits of reading continue to grow. Reading with toddlers introduces literacy concepts, such as grammar and phonics, and boosts brain development. Most of all, reading is a special bonding time for parents and children.

Especially for young babies, almost any book will do! But these beloved titles are good additions to baby's first library. At least some of them should be sturdy board books so that your baby can handle them (and chew on them). That helps her learn about books too!

1

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Henry Holt and Co.

By Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle

With brightly colored images and lots of rhymes and repetition, this classic picture book is a great starter book for children. The question-and-answer format invites young listeners to participate in "reading" the book.

2

Corduroy

Corduroy

Puffin Books

By Don Freeman

This adorable, timeless classic is the story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship and a new home. He finds both and shares a beautiful lesson for young children.

3

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Philomel Books

By Eric Carle

This story is well-loved by many for its stunning color and the interactive tale of a small caterpillar who eats too many sweets. Little fingers will enjoy poking the holes the caterpillar leaves behind as he munches his way through the story.

4

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon

 HarperFestival

By Margaret Wise Brown

The poetic story follows a little rabbit preparing for bed as he says goodnight to everything in his room, and the world outside his window. This classic bedtime story features black-and-white drawings alternating with the boldly colored illustrations of the room and is a wonderful bedtime book for young readers.

5

Yummy Yucky

Yummy Yucky

Candlewick 

By Leslie Patricelli                                    

This interactive and silly book teaches children opposites. It will get your child laughing along with the very expressive toddler who acts out each pair of food opposites with comically dramatic effect.

6

Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada

Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada

 Feiwel & Friends

By Jimmy Fallon

Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies' first word is "Dada!" NBC's "The Tonight Show" host, Jimmy Fallon, shows you how.

7

Baby Be Kind

Baby Be Kind

 Candlewick

By Jane Cowen Fletcher

From taking turns to saying you’re sorry, from trying not to be angry to giving a big hug, these simple gestures show that being kind feels good. Even a baby will want to try it. The pictures are adorable and the book is a wonderful lesson in being a kind friend for kids and adults.

8

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

 Viking Books for Young Readers

By Anna Dewdney

Children who feel sad or scared when mom is not nearby will relate to Baby Llama's need for comfort. Parents will appreciate Mama Llama's reassuring message. This book is part of a big family of Llama Llama books, which are all rhyming stories with lovable characters and relatable situations.

9

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

 Little Simon

By Bill Martin Jr.

This alphabet book is a favorite of many parents. It helps familiarize children with letters in a silly way, with rhythmic text and bold, cheerful art.

10

Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You

 Candlewick Press

By Sam McBratney

A parent’s love for their child cannot be measured. We know this, but do our little ones? How do we even go about explaining it? This charming book addresses that very question and gives parents a place to start when it comes to trying to convey their love in words.

Was this page helpful?