The 30 Best Baby Books of All Time, From Old Classics to New Favorites

by Bethany Braun-Silva

The 30 Best Baby Books of All Time, From Old Classics to New Favorites
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The best books for baby… and beyond!


There are so many benefits of reading to your baby. It’s a great way for you both to bond and for your little one to learn early language skills as well as develop a love for reading early on. Plus, reading exposes baby to the sound of your voice, which will soothe him or her, making it an important part of your bedtime routine. And while baby might not know what you’re saying, he or she will pick up on your tone and rhythm. Studies have also shown that babies who are read to actually read earlier as kids.


If you need more reason to read to your baby, just think about your own childhood. We’re sure there are more than a few books you loved to read then that still spark great memories now. In fact, those baby books are probably on this list! Some of these classic books have been loved by generation after generation, so they’re sure to be a hit with your own children.


If your at-home library is feeling a little lacking, there are tons of online resources you can try. ReadingIQ is a virtual library for kids that includes a number of books for pre-readers in its selection of over 7,000 titles. Epic! is another digital library for kids that provides access to books like Goodnight Moon, Curious George ABCs, and a number of Eric Carle books. You can subscribe to each of these sites on a monthly basis for a very reasonable price.


We can’t stress just how important reading to your baby is, and to help you get started on your reading bedtime routine and spark your baby’s love for reading, we’ve rounded up 30 of the best baby books designed to capture little imaginations. A mix of classic titles and newer titles that have become tried and true favorites, these are our top picks for your baby’s first books.


RELATED: 10 Best Pop-Up Books for Kids


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Goodnight Moon


The bedtime story loved by generations, "Goodnight Moon" bids goodnight to all of the familiar items in the little bunny’s room. Kids of all ages will fall in love with this classic bedtime tale.

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Love You Forever


No children’s library is complete without the addition of "I Love You Forever." The touching story of a mother and her son, "I Love You Forever" puts a spotlight on unconditional love and parenthood.

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Where The Wild Things Are


When Max gets sent to his room without supper, his bedroom is transformed into a faraway land inhabited by wild things. Once Max has grown tired of the wild rumpus, he heads back to his own bed in this children's story of mischief and imagination.

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I Wish You More


Parents' love for their child cannot be compared with anything else. In "I Wish You More," a parent shows just how much they want for their child. This is a story that will melt the hearts of all who read it.

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Oh, the Place You’ll Go!


The Dr. Seuss classic, "Oh, The Places You’ll Go," is a story that illustrates just what children can do when they put their mind to it. No library is complete without this book, and it’s a story that is worth holding on to even after your child has grown. 

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The Runaway Bunny


When a little bunny keeps running away from his mother during a game of hide and seek, his mother reminds him just how much she loves the him. A gentle reminder to children how endless a parent’s love is, this bedtime story will win over the heart of your child just as it has for generations of kids before.

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The Colors of Us


Children will learn about the differences in each person’s skin tone through Lena, a girl who wants to paint a picture of herself. This is a story that reminds children the things that make us different are the things to be celebrated.

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The Giving Tree


"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein has been a beloved story since its publication over 50 years ago. Kids and parents will love this book about the gift of giving to those around you and the acceptance of other people’s love.

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Pantone: Colors


Teach your baby colors in a fun and trendy way. When creating your baby’s first library, it’s important to keep in mind a balance of bedtime stories and books that will enhance learning as well. "Pantone: Colors" is a beautifully designed book that shows your baby all of the colors of the rainbow, and it is so pretty you won’t even be mad when it doesn’t get put back on the bookshelf.

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All Aboard! National Parks


Storytime becomes a cross-country adventure with this book by husband and wife duo Kevin and Haily Meyers. Babies will love to read about all of the different animals in the National Parks as they travel across the country by train. Perfect for your child’s first library, this book enriches reading and teaches about animals.

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What Are You Patty? A Platypus Story


When Patty the Platypus starts to get curious about what kind of animal she is, she and her friends embark on an epic adventure to find out. Along the way, Patty meets all sorts of animals, and she finds out that what makes them strange is actually what makes them special.

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If You Give a Mouse a Cookie


When a hungry mouse shows up on your doorstep, you’ll give him a cookie. And so it goes, if you give a mouse a cookie he’ll want a glass of milk — this circular tale tells the story of how to handle a hungry mouse at your door. Perfect for story time, this silly story from the "If You Give" series will become a beloved story in your child’s first library.

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Curious George Visits the Zoo


When Curious George steals some bananas from the zoo keeper, he starts another one of his crazy adventures. Kids of all ages will love to keep up with George’s antics and silliness in this installment of the "Curious George" series.

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Good Night, Gorilla


What happens at the zoo when the zookeeper is ready for bed but the animals aren’t? Find out in this beautifully illustrated tale by Peggy Rathmann. This is sure to be a favorite bedtime story from your baby’s library.

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


From a frog, to a horse, to a duck, your child will love seeing all of Eric Carle’s brightly illustrated animals in this favorite children’s book. With the iconic illustrations and the rhythmic text, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" is a story that deserves a spot in your baby’s first library.

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Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA


Jimmy Fallon has taken on fatherhood with humor in his first children’s book. He pens the tale of how he ensured his daughter's first word would be “DADA” by revealing his secret strategy. A story that your child will like as much as you do, this is a must-have baby book.

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Belly Button Book


The "Belly Button Book" is filled with hippos heading to the beach. There, these hippos start singing the "Belly Button Song." Your child will love to read (and sing) along with this silly story.

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Go, Dog, Go!


P.D. Eastman’s tale of dogs that go by foot, boat, car, and unicycle is sure to entertain and delight your child. Your child will learn colors and prepositions with this silly tale, making it a perfect book for infants and bigger kids alike.

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom


When A tells B and B tells C to meet at the top of the coconut tree, you can’t be surprised when the other 23 letters tag along. But what happens if there isn’t enough room for all of the letters in the coconut tree? Find out with this enriching alphabet story.

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Five Little Monkeys


With an irresistible rhyme and a surprise ending, this classic children’s book will captivate your baby and encourage a love for reading early on.

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A Bear Called Paddington


Paddington is a bear who has traveled from Peru to find himself alone in London’s Paddington station. It is there that the Browns meet Paddington and offer him a home. Your child will love the misadventures Paddington always seems to find himself in with this charming baby book by Michael Bond.

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The Rainbow Fish


When the most beautiful fish in the sea learns the importance of sharing, he finds that there is so much more to this world than being beautiful. Add this book to your baby’s first library to help him or her learn an important lesson from this classic story.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar


The classic children’s book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" will eat its way through the pages and right into your child’s heart. The Eric Carle story features beautiful illustrations that will make an impression on your baby sure to last long past bedtime.

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Guess How Much I Love You


In this baby book, Little Nutbrown Hare tries to measure his love for his father in wide reaches and little hops. But Big Nutbrown Hare can always reach a little farther and hop a little higher. From the moon and back, a parent’s love for his or her child is an unconditional force.

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Corduroy is a small bear in a department store when he catches a child’s eye. It is then that he finds out that one of his buttons is missing. Follow Corduroy on his adventure through the department store late at night searching for his missing button and learning the meaning of friendship.

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Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses


Get your baby's bilingual skill going with this sweet book that teaches words like besos, perro and gato. Kisses not included!

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Everywhere Babies


There's one thing babies love more than you reading to them, and that's other babies. Get the best of both worlds with this adorable book about, you guessed it! Babies!

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Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book


This beloved book invites kids to lift-the-flap and discover different zoo animals. Babies will be delighted to see monkeys, lions and elephants while reading this fun book.

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Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes


Rhythmic text and rhyming words, make this one of the most delightful baby books around. Plus, it celebrates all things baby, including their wonderful fingers and toes.

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The Snowy Day Board Book


Experience the wonder of the world through the eyes of a child in this magical and loved book. The beautiful writing will captivate baby and parents alike.