Big, beautiful, lavishly illustrated picture books are perfect for new parents. And it’s great to read those works of art to babies in the first few months of life, when just hearing words and sounds encourages brain development and the beginnings of literacy.
But, soon enough, new parents need something a bit more… sturdy.
Board books—those thick little books with the hard pages made of paperboard—can withstand teething, stacking, and the whims of toddlerhood.
So, we present a list of eleven of our favorite board books for the littlest readers. We left out anything with recognizable characters, because Big Bird, Maisy, Thomas, and all the rest will become household staples soon enough. And as much as we love Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton,
Big Red Barn
by Margaret Wise Brown
A lesser-known-but-highly-deserving classic from the author of Goodnight Moon. It traces a day in the life of a farm when the children are away, with ever-so-slightly haunting text and gorgeous illustrations of the farm at dusk and at night.