Best Books for Babies (that don’t always make top 10 lists)


You can never go wrong with books and there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a little kid and reading a wonderful story. There are the amazing standards like Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Guess How Much I Love You, etc. but if you want to pick up some fantastic books that don’t always make the “best books for babies” lists, here are some great suggestions.

llamaIs Your Mama a Llama?

Here’s another book that has stood the test of time. C’mon the llama’s name is Lloyd. How can you go wrong?




I Am a Bunny

Anyone who reads this site knows I have an unhealthy obsession with this book. The beautiful pictures and sweet story always get me and I give it as a gift to anyone having a baby.


Mommy Loves

Who loves their baby bunnies?! Their mommy does, dammit! (They also have a series of these: Daddy Loves, Mommy Hugs, etc. that are equally lovely)


everywhereEverywhere Babies

Lovely little drawings of babies being fed, carried, dressed in a variety of different ways while being loved by their parents the whole time.


Blown Away

This one was recommended by a reader and looks like a lot of fun! “A brave young penguin takes a kite flight to a tropical paradise. But in the end, he realizes that home is where his igloo is.” I feel ya, bird!



Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball

Sweet little book that features animals from Australia. Endearing and beautifully illustrated.



To Market, To Market

The illustrations in this large board book are incredible and it’s a great, new take on an old, classic rhyme where no one gets eaten in the end.



Where Is Maisy?

Maisy books are like baby crack. The bold color and the simple illustrations rock their world’s. This lift-the-flap version was a huge hit.


Boo Hoo Bird

Like Baby Owls, kids seem to love peril and torment so when this bird gets clocked in the head with a ball and everyone tries to help him, the plot really thickens. It’s a real page turner!



I Know a Rhino

Lovely little rhyming book that isn’t too girly or too rough and tumble.



The Gruffalo

This one may skew a little older, but it’s such a fantastic story about a bad-ass mouse that rules the forest with his quick thinking.


The Monster at the End of This Book

I actually had this book as a kid and I LOVED it. Turns out it stood the test of time because my kids love it too. Grover is terrified of the monster at the end of the book so he implores you not to turn the pages. Turns out he is the monster at the end of the book. Spoiler alert – sorry : )



Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You

Oh, this one is a classic in our house. I prefer the board book to the longer version because it’s short and sweet.



Little Blue Truck Board Book

The illustrations in this one are really fun and the moral is a great too – be nice because people don’t like assholes.


Open the Barn Door

This kept coming up as a recommendation when my kids were little, but I just couldn’t see the appeal. Holy crap, was I wrong – my kids LOVED it. It’s quite wee so babies can hold onto it quite well. It’s also a lift-the-flap book and those are always winners.


The Little Gardener

What does it take to become a little gardener? It takes more than just seeds and water. Lift the flaps in this bright board book and find out all you need to know in order to create and care for your very own garden. Spoiler: slugs are not good.

poutThe Pout-Pout Fish

Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading “dreary wearies” isn’t really his destiny.


The Going to Bed Book

When I first published this list, a few of you were outraged that there was no Sandra Boynton. I LOVE Sandra Boynton books but I thought they’d make every best of list possible. The Going to Bed Book seems to be the best of the best, but I also love Pajama TimeBarnyard Dance!Horns to Toes and in BetweenMoo Baa La La La and my all time fave, Your Personal Penguin (be sure to find the Davie Jones song so you know the tune – or, I can also come over and sing it to you.) Honestly, Sandra Boynton are like pizza, I’ve rarely experienced a bad one.


Giraffes Can’t Dance

A great little story about individuality and dancing to your own beat.

Are You My Mother?>mother

Are You My Mother?

I LOVED this book as a kid. (Actually, I LOVED all of P.D. Eastman’s books.) So I can’t believe I forgot about it until, you guessed it, my mother reminded me. The short board book version is nice and to the point, and the long, book version isn’t too tedious.



This book does make some ‘best of’ lists but I still want to mention it in case it isn’t on your radar. It’s small and sweet and full of anticipation and surprise endings.


100 Great Gifts Ideas for Babies Under One

I’m going to keep adding them, so let me know what you would put on the list!


Some of the best board books that don't always make the top 10 lists. Great for shower gifts or just expanding your baby's first library.

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  • A few of our favorites are “I Love You to the Moon and Back”, “Caps for Sale”, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” and “Little Owl’s Night”, a good mix of old and new 😀

  • My 1 year old LOVES to read! Awesome to see a few of oir favorites make your list! Sometimes I Like to Curl Up In a Ball was a favorite with both of my boys. Dear Zoo is another one. Can’t wait to read some others off this list!

  • My kids and grandkids have loved many, many books, some of them listed here. I have to say there is one book that I just didn’t “get” and that is: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I don’t understand the appeal and I think it’s downright CREEPY!

  • Great list. “To Market To Market” is awesome! We also love “Little Chicken’s Big Day” and our daughter still quotes back the refrain to us: “I hear you clucking, Big Chicken!”

  • Everyone loves Giraffes can’t dance. My husband and I actually disliked it so much we removed it from the house. While I get that it’s super cute, the giraffe finds the rhythm in his own beat, etc…. The other animals are mean to him and ridicule him. Only when he can dance do the like him. YUCK.
    We also love Peek-a-who. Can’t get enough of it and had to buy a second copy when the first one was literally lvoed to death.

  • I love the book lists that include some of my favorites that are not as mainstream. Thanks for sharing this one! (I might have a book problem, you can ask my husband.) My new favorite books to gift new babes are Girrafes Don’t Dance, I Love You Stinky Face, and Blue Hat, Green Hat (by that kid book wizard Sandra Boyton!) With 3 boys we also love Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site & Steam Train, Dream Train by the same author/illustrator team & the Digger Dozer Dumper book of poems!

  • My hubby and I both dance, so reading about Gerald the Giraffe has been wonderfully fun! And five others from your list are our go-to books as well:)
    Another addicting one we have fallen in love with….The Very Cranky Bear (it’s been a lifesaver book when baby is crying in the car when I’m driving…can easily recite as it rhymes amazingly well, same goes with The Gruffalo.)

  • We have so many of the books on this list! Our newest favorite (2 1/2 yo and 16 month old) is digger dozer dumper. My kids can’t get enough of it and the cute poems

  • Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems! I may or may not have begged my husband to read “just one more book before bedtime??” to our son. And he’s only 8-months old. The baby.

  • We love “I Am Small” about a baby penguin that lives in a big world. Ultimately, he knows that being small is okay, because his parent loves him. Loves of black and white images, very interesting to baby eyes!

  • Hey, a brilliant list! thanks for this. My daughter absolutely loves the Gruffalo!! Have to check out most of the others on this list. Another one of her favourites is Alfie’s Feet. She’s two and we read these two books every night right now.

  • My almost-2-year old is obsessed with diggers and dump trucks; he just got “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” and that’s his go-to — he loves it. He also loves “Chu’s Day,” which has beautiful illustrations. Oh, and “Each Peach Pear Plum” and “Peepo,” both by the same authors. Those are great; I remember my best friend having them when we were kids, so another pair that have stood the test of time.

  • You’ve got some good books on the list. My kids all loved open the barn door (so much so that my littlest just tore it apart), but the inconsistency in the animal (baby, adult, single, plural) drives me crazy. My older two also loved Peek a Who. Our copy went missing, so baby #3 is getting it for Christmas. I highly recommend that one.

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