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25 Best Baby Books of All-Time

Even if your little one isn’t old enough to read, that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy the fun illustrations and the sound of your voice with these stories.

© 2015 Children's Books Guide


Pat the Bunny

by Dorothy Kunhardt
ISBN: 9780307120007

There’s just something about Dorothy Kunhardt’s touch-and-feel story that places it among the best baby books. Young ones just delight in touching the bunny’s soft fur, playing peek-a-boo, looking in the mirror, and other fun things. It’s a title that has become a staple among toddlers and babies. The colors are faded pastel that are soft and gentle on eyes, while the simple line drawings get images across without the need for extravagant detail. Pages are made with strong cardboard material and kids have eight different activities to go through. At a perfect size for little hands, kids will go through this book again and again.


Goodnight Moon

by Margaret Wise Brown
ISBN: 9780064430173

When it comes to great children’s books to read at bedtime, none is better than this title by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. Available in multiple formats, including giant lap book and smaller board book, this story is perfect for infants up to kids in preschool. It features a short poem while a young rabbit trying to stave off bedtime by saying goodnight to everything in his room. But finally, sleep overtakes him, and readers can say nighty-night to the little rabbit in his bed. The colors are deep and alternate between wide views and ink drawings that will stick with readers long after they’re asleep.


Peek-A Who?

by Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9780811826020

Plenty of things are waiting to be discovered in this Nina Laden title. Cute books for baby can easily mean that they get plenty of interactive fun. Here, it comes in the form of a simple rhyming design with a board book format for easy holding. Each illustrated page has a die-cut hole, and each one also features a little surprise. Kids will discover everything from cows to ghosts – and even themselves! It’s all about having some peek-a-boo fun, and it’s a title that parents can read to their kids and even get in on the fun if they want.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle
ISBN: 9780399208539

Eric Carle is well-known for his delightful illustrations and simple stories. Kids get to learn about colors, words, and occasionally something else in his stories – in this case, caterpillars! This caterpillar is indeed ready for something to eat. So he eats an apple on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, and so forth until the end of the week. Finally, he’s quite fat and decides now is the time to become – what else? – a butterfly. From counting to seeing a butterfly appear at the end, kids get a little bit of everything in this tale. Choose from a small board book size or big lap book!


Guess How Much I Love You

by Sam McBratney
ISBN: 9781564024732

Featuring Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare, it’s one of the best baby books for boys and dads alike. This father-son team both keep challenging each other as to just how much one of them loves the other with cute phrases such as, “I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river.” These are coupled with matching pictures in pen-and-wash materials for faded, soft colors. Kids will love Big Nutbrown Hare’s long ears and the way his son hangs and plays on them. A great book to read before bed, or anytime parents and kids feel like being cozy.


One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

by Dr. Seuss
ISBN: 9780394900131

Dr. Seuss stories are all about wacky rhymes, silly illustrations, and plenty of imagination. Here, there is plenty of fun to be had, with the same goodness that all Dr. Seuss stories offer, but with a bit of extra teaching power. Done with colors, numbers, and more, kids may begin to learn about various basics all within the goofy confines of this title. From Wumps to Gumps, fish to cats, and pets called Zeds, there is no true central story, but in a Dr. Seuss tale, why on earth would there be? Great for starting out; kids can read on their own when they get older.


Moo, Baa, La La La!

by Sandra Boynton
ISBN: 9780671449018

Is there’s one woman that knows what it takes to make the best baby books, it’s Sandra Boynton. Kids everywhere have fallen in love with her stories, and little hands can easily hold onto the board–like design. Whimsical and totally giggle-worthy, kids will get a kick out of her silly animals and all their antics. Simple text such as “A cow says Moo” paired up with her classic artwork will amuse everyone reading this fun little tale. Animals stand on bold backgrounds; mouths open with the word nearby. It’s simple and a great way for parents to teach their kids while letting them delight in the pictures.


Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?

by Karen Katz
ISBN: 9780689835605

Everyone gets to play a bit of peek-a-boo in Karen Katz’s lift-the-flap book. Kids and adults alike get to see where Karen’s babies are hiding things, each page brightly colored and ready for fun. Mom and dad can ask young kids where each thing is – whether it’s baby’s eyes or hands – or read to them and reveal the answers themselves. The board book design gives it a sturdy quality so it stays on the shelf for a long time and is perfect for little hands. For a great interactive story, make this everyone’s go-to book.


My Big Animal Book

by Roger Priddy
ISBN: 9780312490836

Great books for baby that help them learn in the future and delight them with pictures of animals when they’re young come to you from Roger Priddy. Vivid images of animals, such as a dog, fish, elephant, bear, and many more are showcased on each page with the word underneath. It’s an excellent nonfiction book that parents can use to help children grow and learn, increasing word and picture association, and even their vocabulary. Until then, kids will love to look at the pictures, and the strong board design will give it a long life on the shelf.


Open the Barn Door, Find a Cow

by Christopher Santoro
ISBN: 9780679809012

What’s on the inside of this lift-the-flap book? Kids will have to lift and see to find out! But with cows, chickens, and more living around the barnyard, it’s bound to be a ton of fun. Perky illustrations really make things pop, and each animal makes a sound that kids can learn and that helps lead them to the right area of discovery. A small board design gives small hands an easy grip, as well as providing it with a long shelf life. So get ready to play a bit of hide-and-seek, because the animals are all waiting to be discovered!


The Going-To-Bed Book

by Sandra Boynton
ISBN: 9780671449025

Whether you’re looking for the best baby books for girls or your little man, Sandra Boynton is always there with something that will cause a few giggles and plenty of smiles. Sometimes the way to fall asleep is with one last fun book. Done with Boynton’s classic animal characters, kids will follow along as they put on pajamas, take a bath, do some exercises, and more before finally going to sleep when the moon rises high. On their boat, they get to rock to sleep, as little ones will finally do once the story is over. It’s made as a board book so little hands can grasp it if they want.


Dear Zoo

by Rod Campbell
ISBN: 9780689825491

At twenty-five years old, this Rod Campbell work is still one of the best baby books out there. Little ones will giggle with glee as they lift flaps and discover all the different animals that can be found at a zoo. Kids and parents alike can make the sounds on the page as they lift the flap to see lions, frogs, and many more. Kids can tug down areas and peek under others for a great interactive experience. Made to be durable for excitable readers, it will stay on the shelf for a long time. The simple colors and text make it a great book that can help kids learn to read as they grow.


The Rainbow Fish

by Marcus Pfister
ISBN: 9781558580091

Children’s books with bright colors always appeal to kids, especially when there’s a bit of sparkle. Down in the ocean lives a magnificent fish with scales of all sorts of colors. All the other fish wish they were like him, so they ask for just one scale. He refuses, which leaves him without any friends. The wise octopus tells him to be generous with his scales and he discovers that sharing his beauty makes him much happier. Marcus Pfister pens a tale with beautiful illustrations that has since become a classic that parents now share with their kids.


Click, Clack, Moo

by Doreen Cronin
ISBN: 9780689832130

Searching for funny books for baby? Doreen Cronin makes up silly stories that match perfectly with Betsy Lewin’s loose watercolors of cows, ducks, a farmer, and of course, a typewriter. Farmer Brown doesn’t quite know what’s going on when he hears a lot of clicking and a lot of mooing in the barn one day. When he discovers that his farm animals have gotten their hooves on an old typewriter, he’s surprised. He’s even more surprised when he starts getting letters from them! Kids will love what the animals have to say and what happens after they type it.


Everyone Poops

by Tarō Gomi
ISBN: 9780916291457

If there has ever been one of the best baby books for toilet training, it’s this title by Taro Gomi and Amanda Mayer Stinchecum. It’s a book with a very simple concept – to teach kids that everything around us does one thing the same. While the results may be a little different, as shown by the illustrations on the pages such as elephants versus mice, the rest is the same. This title is a bit hit with parents looking for a helping hand when it comes to showing kids about one particular basic body function.


Love You Forever

by Robert N Munsch
ISBN: 9780920668368

Even when parents don’t remember the author or title of this tale, they always remember the story. Robert Munsch writes of a mother and her child, and what she says to him every night. She lets him know how much she will love him, and how long that will be. As time passes, she grows older and her son does too, until finally he is a man and she an old woman. Eventually, it is he who says the same words to her, and holds her just as she used to hold him. It’s a sweet story that parents and kids will long remember.


Go, Dog, Go!

by P. D. Eastman
ISBN: 9780394900209

Watch as dog zooms along in his little race car! Great books for baby utilize simplicity, colorful illustrations, and of course, fun things. P.D. Eastman delivers a little of everything by using single-syllable words and a whole lot of rhyming in a way that only he can. With Dr. Seuss as inspiration, this title has become a classic and a stable in children’s rooms everywhere. It’s whimsical and features all sorts of dogs who love all sorts of things. It doesn’t matter if they’re skiing or racing, they know how to have a good time, as will anyone who opens up this book.


Once Upon a Potty

by Alona Frankel
ISBN: 9780812055726

After thirty-two years, this title by Alona Frankel is still in circulation. It began humbly as something to help her own son learn to use the potty. Now parents all over can use it to help teach their children all about going to the bathroom – the big boy or big girl way. The simple illustrations come with straightforward text that can be read by parents to children. It begins with the new potty coming to the house and discovering what it is for. Then the child in the story learns how to use it and how good it feels to be grown up!


The Snowy Day

by Ezra Jack Keats
ISBN: 9780670867332

It’s hard to do better than a winner of the Caldecott medal when it comes to choosing the best baby books for boys. Ezra Jack Keats creates a story that looks as tranquil as it feels. The big snow has blanketed everything in calming whiteness, and readers get to follow the young boy as he discovers all the joy that snow can bring. He makes tracks, creates a snow angel, knocks it from a tree, and even tries to save a snowball for the following day. When it comes to winter wonderlands, this is an excellent choice.



by Bruce Degen
ISBN: 9780060214166

Time to go berry picking in the best way possible! Grab it in its board book form to get one of the best baby books on hand. A boy and a bear head out together to plop berries in their hats. It doesn’t matter if they’re strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or some kind of berry we’ve never heard of! They’re all juicy and delicious, and kids can learn a little bit of counting along the way. Of course, Bruce Degen makes it even more fun by spinning up the rhymes into fun words that don’t exist. It’s definitely a book that picks up spirits!



by Matthew Van Fleet
ISBN: 9780152167738

Matthew Van Fleet makes absolutely delightful children’s books, and this is one that kids won’t soon forget. With so many different animal tails out there, it’s hard not to have fun with a lot of them. Van Fleet makes use of different mediums to create a nifty combination of touch-and-feel and lift-the-flap so kids get a lot of interacting within its pages. Created to be a solid book for excited hands, you may find your child asking you to read it, or seeing them sit down on their own and having a good time. From tigers to alligators, there are so many different types, this will keep kids entertained for hours.


Giraffes Can’t Dance

by Giles Andreae; Guy Parker-Rees
ISBN: 9780439287197

The cover images definitely negate the title, though everyone will wonder just what on earth that wacky giraffe is doing. Gerald is a giraffe. He only wants one thing – to dance. But he’s a rather awkward creature to do so, with his long legs and crooked knees. All his friends say he can’t join in during the annual Jungle Dance. But Gerald soon learns that even if he’s different, he can still do just what he loves best – and he most certainly does. Vivid colors and wild animals decorate the pages, making it one of the best baby books for girls or boys.


Kitten’s First Full Moon

by Kevin Henkes
ISBN: 9780060588281

Author and illustrator Kevin Henkes has a Caldecott Medal in his list of accomplishments, which makes it easy to say that he offers up some of the best baby books on the shelves. This sweet little story features a kitten who has seen her first moon, but it’s so big and round, she’s convinced that it’s a great bowl of milk in the sky. Her attempts to reach it only result in a bit of a tumble, a bug on her tongue, or jumps as high as she can muster. Kids will wonder just what she’ll do if she can’t reach it, and whether or not she’ll finally discover that it’s not a bowl of milk after all.


Owl Moon

by Jane Yolen
ISBN: 9780399214578

Walking in the woods when the night grows late and the moon is full and high can be a magical thing. Jane Yolen understands how to create a beautiful scene where a child and Pa go out with hopes of seeing owls. Descriptions are lovely and are coupled together with watercolor washes that will amaze young children’s eyes. It’s a great story to read near bedtime, with the deep blues on the pages helping to calm sleepy eyes as parents read about owling long after bedtime. Kids will be lulled to sleep, dreaming of owls that hoot in the night.


On the Night You Were Born

by Nancy Tillman
ISBN: 9780312346065

It’s hard to resist two polar bears dancing in the moonlight. So kids and parents will discover in Nancy Tillman’s story. After all, why not? To celebrate the birth of a single child, unlike any other, is a very special thing. The beautiful art with all its colors and gorgeous images is accompanied by sentimental rhymes that parents will love and want to share with their child. It’s sweet and exactly what many parents are looking for, which make it the best baby books for girls as well as boys. It is available as a board book or a hardcover for when kids grow older.It doesn’t matter if you’re searching for the best baby books for boys or for girls, these are certain to delight, teach, amuse, and wholly entertain every child.

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