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15 Best First Books for Baby – Our Favorite Board Books

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I’ve decided to share with your our 15 best first books for baby. Reading to children from a young age is very beneficial. It helps with language development, and communication, and creates special one-on-one time with the adult.

Reading to your child from a young age is a great parenting practice that helps promote communication and language development. These are my best first books for baby - chosen from our favorites that we read all the time! I've picked according to how educational and how engaging they are.

From when my little one was born, we’ve been building up a vast library. I thought I’d share with you our favorites, and why we like them

You can either get them new (I’ve included Amazon affiliate links) or look for these second hand at your local library or flea market. I chose new books when my baby was very little and eating them, and opted for second-hand books once he was a bit older. I still wiped them down….

Features of a Great Board Book for Baby


  • First of all, we opt for board books whenever possible as they are so much more durable.
  • I choose at least some books that have rhymes (which are great for language development) as well as those without.
  • I try to purchase books with enough of  a story line to still be relevant when he is in preschool – as opposed to books with single words that are often chosen for babies. Speaking to children in full sentences, even when they don’t understand, is very beneficial and reading is a great way to do that.
  • I LOVE all-time classics that have proven themselves over the years.
  • Interactive books with extra features add to the “shelf life” and hold baby’s interest for longer, so I throw in some of those too…

Our Best First Board Books for Baby

Here are our favorites (in no particular order), along with the reason we love them so much:

  • A very hungry caterpillar My son loves sticking his little fingers into the little holes. This book is a classic and teaches various lessons – counting, days of the week, and a little bit of healthy eating. Other Eric Carle favorites include:
  • Mr. Seahorse – We absolutely love this book, primarily because of the interactive transparent pages that teach about camouflage in a hands-on way. We have this in hardcover, although I highly recommend the board book! It also provides a great role model for future dads caring for their children.
  • From Head to Toe – a great interactive book that will be even better when your child hits preschool age. It teaches about body parts, animals, and more. Children love to act out the motions and get in touch with their own limbs while reading the book…
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – has great rhythm and teaches colors, names of animals, and more
  • Corduroy – a classic, this book teaches about home and the love it provides. The giant board book is a favorite simply because of its size.
  • Clare Beaton’s Bedtime Rhymes – It contains short and sweet nursery rhymes that are a small break from the classic Mother Goose rhymes. Because it contains multiple rhymes, it’s great for children with an extremely short attention span.
  • Madeline – Believe it or not, this old-time classic comes in a (slightly abridged) board book. The rhymes so engaged me as a child that I can recite the book by heart until this day! The rhyming helps teach language, and the overall moral is to appreciate the good you have…
  • The Going to Bed Book – A great bedtime book, this is another rhyming classic. It makes bedtime fun, and teaches a bit about hygiene and a bedtime routine.
  • Zoo’s Who? – Of all the touchy-feely animal books, this is my favorite. It features various textures to touch. It also features a cute rhyme about each animal that actually teaches something about it.
  • Are You My Mother? – Another childhood favorite teaches about birds, and a bit about animals… It’s fun and kids love it!
  • Goodnight Moon – This is a great rhyming bedtime book that refers to some favorite nursery rhymes and tales, delighting little ones. The entire tone of the book is relaxing as well.
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – While this book teaches alphabet, it’s great for babies too! The rhythm rocks and is great for language development, and as a bonus it carries over great into the preschool years as well.
  • Olivia – This book is a favorite among moms – especially moms with more than one little imp! It teaches about siblings and getting along, and behaving and all sorts of lessons moms love to teach. Children can relate to Olivia’s mischief. Plus, the drawings are magnificent!
  • Bus Stops – It’s easy to read when you’re short on time, and the little size is perfect for little hands. The drawings are bold and loved by babies and it (kind of) teaches about different people and the places they visit.
  • Animal Hide-and-Seek – This book is seriously engaging with its touchy-feely pages and flaps. It teaches about problem solving, animals and counting. Plus, all Usborne books illustrated by Stephen Cartwright, as this one, have a hidden duck to find on each page!


Reading to your child from a young age is a great parenting practice that helps promote communication and language development. These are my best first books for baby - chosen from our favorites that we read all the time! I've picked according to how educational and how engaging they are.

What are your favorite first books for baby? Why do you love them?

Disclaimer: Most of the book links are affiliate links. Nevertheless, I only shared with you our personal favorites – products that we use, have used, or would definitely spend the same money on! Enjoy!

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Book Suggestions for Kids of All Ages | Knoxville Moms Blog

Thursday 16th of July 2015

[…] 15 Favorite First Board Books for Baby recommended by Moms & Crafters […]

Laurie P

Sunday 22nd of February 2015

We have a few of these titles! My girl adores her books, her favorite as of late is Olivia!

Thomas Murphy

Monday 16th of February 2015

Great books! We love A very hungry caterpillar.

Sarah Elyce

Monday 9th of February 2015

Thank you for this post. We welcomed our first child in October and her book collection is something I want to grow. This gives me some great ideas. I don't know how I have blanked on all of them from my own childhood. I guess I can blame mommy brain?