The 15 Best Baby Books to Buy or Gift
It’s easy to research (or grill your mom friends about) the best stroller or crib, but narrowing out a quality selection of baby books is where things start to get much more subjective. That’s why we pulled together this definitive list of the best baby books—both new and old—to include in your baby’s first-ever library.
1. “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown
This classic about a bunny saying goodnight to everything around him will lull everyone in the room (parents included) to sleep.
2. “Goodnight Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann
The opposite of Goodnight Moon, this is the tale of a mischievous gorilla who steals the keys from the zookeeper to let all the animals—from the giraffe to the hyena—out for an epic late-night romp.
3. “Time to Sleep” by Denise Fleming
Noticing a theme here? A bear sets out to (adorably) warn the rest of the creatures in the forest that it’s hibernation time.
4 .“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
Vibrant color palette aside, this story—about a caterpillar who eats his way through the pages on his path to becoming a butterfly—will hook your baby from the start.
5. “The First 100 Words” by Roger Priddy
Cover all the first word basics with your newborn when you read aloud from this sturdy (and very visual) board book.
6. “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” by Eileen Christelow
More bedtime hijinks! These monkeys are supposed to be getting some shut-eye, but instead they’re bouncing around. (The moral: It’s all fun and games until someone bumps their head.)
7. “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
This magical story about a child’s first glimpse of a world covered in snow will make you feel all the feels. (We’re not crying; you’re crying.)
8. “Pat the Bunny” by Dorothy Kunhardt
Daddy’s scratchy beard is just as riveting as it was in 1940 when this touch-and-feel book came out.
10. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson
Ah, the wonder of a baby’s imagination. (Related: Keep your crayons far, far away from that new white sofa.)
11. “Hippos Go Berserk” by Sandra Boynton
Ain’t no party like a hippo party—especially one that teaches your baby how to count.
12. “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney
A bedtime classic about abandonment, self-sufficiency and fantastic meter and rhyme.
13. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
Though slightly scary for the younger set, this classic—about a naughty boy who dreams up a jungle environment filled with, well, wild things—is a must-have for any child with a big imagination.
14. “Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy” by Lynley Dodd
This book chronicles the misadventures of five kooky canines—with Hairy leading the pack.
15. “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” by Jimmy Kennedy
Here’s the gist: A bunch of bears picnic in the woods. But the accompanying song will have your one-year-old hooked.