The best baby books list is, of course, somewhat subjective. We all have our favorites, and we all have those books that are nostalgic from our own childhoods.
This list of the 20 best baby books of all-time represents a mix of long-time classics, as well as some newer titles for you to discover.
Best Baby Books of All-Time
These books are beloved for many reasons; whether it be sweet illustrations, stirring (but simple) text, or just because it will hold your baby’s attention – there is something here for every tiny reader and their parents.
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Your child may be too young to understand all of the text. But reading to your baby from a very early age is one of the best things you can do to encourage their development.
And remember: there is a wide range in terms of when kids learn to read. But that is not what you need to be thinking about in these early years. You are laying a groundwork for future literacy through the simple, age-old act of sharing a story with your child.
- I Am A Bunny
- Goodnight Moon
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- The Snowy Day
- Big Red Barn
- First 100 Words
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
- The Going to Bed Book
- Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book
- Harold and the Purple Crayon
- Love You Forever
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
- Everywhere Babies
- Please, Baby, Please
- Where's Spot?
- Bear in a Square
- If Animals Kissed Good Night
- Giraffes Can't Dance
- Ten Tiny Toes
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
In this beloved Richard Scarry book, a small bunny moves through the seasons with appreciation for the changes around him. I can't overstate how simple and lovely this story is. This is a must-have for babies and toddlers.
I know, I know - the bedroom is the size of a palace and that fireplace is definitely not child-proofed. And yet still, the gentle rhythm of this book can’t be beat. Repeating a few lines puts my toddler to sleep (not that that’s always the goal of reading, but it’s a win at bedtime).
Of course, these animals would never meet in the wild, but my 1-year-old doesn't know that! She just loves the repetition and the fact that she's learned the animals and their colors. It's a simple book, with a longstanding appeal.
This Caldecott Medal-winning book has been celebrated by generations of readers. It is regarded as a classic of children's literature, and is one of the first books to realistically depict a multi-cultural urban neighborhood. As the young protagonist Peter delights in the snow, you will find yourself delighting in this book.
This is the sweetest little story about a group of animals who live together in....you guessed it....a big red barn. Margaret Wise Brown's signature style shines through this story.
Older babies will love recognizing familiar objects that they see around the house. This is a great book for gently teaching your baby about the world around him.
If you want a fun, engaging read-aloud book, you'd be hard pressed to beat Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Babies and toddlers love the colorful illustrations and rollicking text.
You'll be reciting this one from memory in no time. It's impossible not to get the catchy, fun story stuck in your head - and in this case, that's a good thing.
This "lift-the-flap" book has been a classic since 1982. It will delight the youngest children with bright artwork and many familiar animals.
Harold and his purple crayon may look messy (and yes, it's true that you don't want your baby to get any ideas when it comes to drawing on the walls)! But this book will spark your imagination, and the illustrations are just perfect for little readers.
This is a tear-jerker, so it *may* go over your baby's head. That being said, it's a classic for a reason. This story about a mother's boundless love for her child will strike a nerve. And the quiet nature of the story, plus the repetition of the most important lines, makes for a sweet read-aloud experience with your baby.
Babies will love the song-like nature of this book. And mischief-making toddlers will get a kick out of watching these little monkeys misbehave for their mama!
With an adorable cast of babies, you and your little one can celebrate this distinctly special time of life. Plus, the illustrations in Marla Frazee books always stand out from the crowd!
This relatable and endearing book by Spike Lee and his wife Tonya is both a Teacher's Pick and a recipient of over 3,000 5-star ratings on Amazon. It is a bedtime favorite for many young kids, who can see themselves in this cute protagonist.
Parents magazine calls Spot "one of the essential experiences of childhood."
This adorable book is a huge hit in my house. The bold colors jump off the page, and little ones love pointing to all the shapes they recognize as the bear has his adventures.
This book perfectly captures the love between parents and their babies.
This book is a huge hit at my house! (And not just with my kids - my husband and I love it too). How can you not love a book starring a clumsy giraffe who just wants to impress his jungle buddies?!
Caroline Jayne Church's books are adorable and well-loved. Your baby will delight in the simple, relatable illustrations.
There's a good chance this book is already in your collection. Eric Carle's books hold an appeal for babies that is unrivaled.
Even the youngest children love to hear the sounds of their parents reading to them. This is a great opportunity to cuddle up with your baby and spend some high quality time together.
Related posts: Best Books for Toddlers, Best Books for Kindergarten, Best Books for One and Two-Year-Olds, Short Nursery Rhymes for Children
I hope this list helped you find some new books to enjoy with your child. These are the stories that your child will come to love and remember. And, perhaps, read one day with their own children.
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