Board Books For Babies
Many books have board book editions but aren’t always available at your library or bookstore. The 21 board books for babies and toddlers listed here are generally found in this format anywhere you find books. If you have a favorite board book you don’t see listed here please leave a comment for me and other readers about why it’s your favorite!
How Big Is a Pig? by Claire Beaton is a favorite in our house and has been for both my kids. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text. My daughter loves taking this one in the stroller while I run and because it’s a board book I can give it to her without worrying that after a few miles it’s ripped and ruined.
Doggies by Sandra Boynton has been one of my daughter’s favorite books for ages. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a simple counting book about dogs, their different barks and one pesky cat. Toddlers love barking along with it so it’s a great book for places where they don’t have to be shushed, it’s not a great one for quiet only places like a church service.
Moo Baa La La Laby Sandra Boynton always makes me laugh. There is something about the facial expressions her animals always have that crack me up, and lets me honest if the book is good for the adult reading it, it’s always a plus. Super bright colors on each page is a huge plus for my baby girl as I flip the pages, and even though she doesn’t get the humor yet she will soon enough and it’s a book that will grow with her.
Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton. This author is a preschool parents dream, short and easy to read melodic books with illustrations to die for. The story is simply a little love song about all the ways the dog loves the puppy, simple and touching. As an educator something I love is that the dogs don’t have an obvious race , they don’t even have an obvious gender which is perfect. Regardless of who loves who in your family your child can see you in the dog and themselves in the puppy! I think that is the perfect valentine! My son didn’t warm up to this book right away, but now not only does he love it he is very very specific that only I can read it to him . It’s become a big favorite in our house.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown isn’t an innovative choice but I make babies who love this book. My son could be “Goodnight Mooned ” to sleep as a baby if we simply recited the words and while my daughter isn’t at that point yet she sits happily listening to our voices as we read it to her. I will be the first to admit I didn’t always love this book but as a mom it’s been more than a book, it’s been a signal to my son that it’s bedtime and I hope that it becomes part of my daughter’s routine soon too. The story is simple , it’s not even really a story so much as a baby bunny saying goodnight to all the objects in his room including the moon peeking in the window.
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle was one of my son’s favorite books to read before bed when he was a toddler, not so much because of the story but because the board book version has flashing lights at the end ! The story is all about a firefly looking for another firefly but mistaking all different light for a friend. Toddlers love this book because it gives them a chance to be bossy and say ” No that’s a flashlight” to the firefly. The text is the right length for little guys but not boring for older kids , and I need to mention the little lights are really quite magical in a dark bedroom, especially if you are in a place that doesn’t have fireflies!
Learn the Alphabet with NorthWest Coast Native Art by Ryan Cranmer (and others) was an amazing gas station find. Yes I said gas station. I ran in for some diet coke and came out with an alphabet book ! This book is amazing, bright beautiful and even though I bought it for my daughter since it’s bright colors and sturdy pages are perfect for a baby, my almost 4 year old son adores it. What I love is when he reads it to her . The Native art is gorgeous and if you are unfamiliar with North West coast art you are in for a treat.
Clap Your Handsby Lorinda Bryan Cauley is a rhythmic rhyming book that suggests movements for the readers ( perhaps when she is sitting or standing she will follow along) with fun and silly pictures of kids mixed with animals doing the actions. What probably appeals to my 3 month old are the bright colors on the white background and the rhythm of the text.Also it’s a fun book to have an older sibling join in with and do the actions as you read.
Beddy-bye, Baby: A Touch-and-Feel Bookby Karen Katz is a cute bedtime book for the toddler crowd. I like the rhyming text and that it’s a feel and touch book but with the exception of the final page the textured pieces are too small . Fumbly flappy infant hands have a a hard time hitting the small textured sections. Ideally they would be larger so the child can explore as the adult reads . It’s not a huge complaint and I love Karen Katz so I would still recommend this book for families with little ones.
Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?by Karen Katz. This lift and flap book is the newest addition to our Karen Katz collection. My son adores these books. I read this in the check out line 3 times and he was asking for more before I could get my groceries in the fridge. I like this book because it’s a cute and gentle introduction to Halloween and all the creatures that go along with it. Also there are fun textures to many of the illustrations which help keep little hands busy! Edited for 2012 : Even though this is a Halloween book both my kids loved it and it’s never been put away since I bought it in 2009. It’s easily one of my daughter’s all time favorites.
This Little Chick by John Lawrence is just about the perfect board book for my daughter right now, she didn’t even try to eat it! The rhymes are melodic the text full of animal sounds is spot on for our littlest readers . My son and I had fun reading this old favorite to my daughter for the first time. The illustrations are fantastic with lots of contrast and is the perfect length for a quick snuggle and read for wiggly babies who are eager to move.
Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski is a cute cowboy book for the younger set. We have the board book edition and it’s been loved for a long time at our house, although since our return from the Calgary Stampede it’s been read constantly. The text is simple, the drawings are charming and the book covers all the basics of what a cowboys does day and night. My son loves that Cowboy small has a guitar, and is pretty fond of the part when he gets bucked off a bronco as well.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. is a book that can go with a baby from infancy through toddlerhood and into the preschool years. The bold colors of the illustrations by Eric Carle are perfect for catching infant’s attention and will continue to grab it through the years. With the turn of each page the reader is left wondering what’s next, and if the reader is my son he will cut you off to tell you what’s coming next before you have a chance to turn the page. There are other titles in the series , including ; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? , and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? but this one is my very favorite! My daughter actually sits looking at these pages instead of simply trying to eat the book, which in my opinion is a great review from a 6 month old!
Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is a fantastic board book and shorter version of the longer book. My son loves this book and it’s the perfect amount of text for a toddler, the illustrations by Lois Ehlert are so bright and bold that even very young babies will respond to it! A must have for all bookshelves.
Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee .This book celebrates all sorts of babies and all the every day things babies do. My daughter points out all the babies on each page as I read the rhyming text . So maybe you are thinking ” What’s so great about babies and text that rhymes?” nothing, that isn’t what makes this book so awesome. I love this book because of it’s diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of all babies and families. The illustrations are full of depictions of all sorts of families showering their smallest most precious member with love . What I adore about the diversity of the illustrations is that readers are left to put whatever assumption we wish on the families in the book. What I assumed were two mommies my husband thought was a husband and wife, I thought a lady was a grandma and my son said it was just a older mom. This is why I love this book, my daughter doesn’t see why this message is outstanding, what she does see is all sorts of happy babies in all sorts of families being the norm and this is the world we want her to know.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is simply one of my favorite books ever. I love it and love that my daughter doesn’t fuss when I read it to her because it was a special book for my son when he was little and it’s a book he will still curl up and read quietly with us, making it fun cuddle time for all three of us. If you aren’t familiar with this book it’s all about a sneaky gorilla who unlocks all the animals at the zoo and they quietly follow the zoo keeper home and climb into bed with him, until his wife wakes up! I love this book cause I relate to the zoo keepers wife , when I wake up there is always a sneaky 3 year old gorilla in my bed!
One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book , but inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline, that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! See a duck gets stuck in the muck and while others are eager to help the duck isn’t unstuck until they all work together. My class was nuts about this book a few years ago and my son has greatly enjoyed it since infancy. Don’t pass this book up.
Dinosaur Roar! Board Book by Paul and Henrietta Stickland and is a board book that I’ve read often enough that I don’t need to look at the book. The premise is simple, using 2 different dinosaurs every page illustrates a pair of opposites. Toddlers and young preschoolers adore this book and I can’t blame them, it’s adorable and a great tool for teaching ! My son loves how funny the illustrations are and clearly enjoys the rigidity of the opposite concepts.
The Busy Little Squirrelby Nancy Tafuri is a great book for babies and toddlers. The readers follow along with a squirrel as she gathers nuts , seeds and berries for the winter. As she hunts for her treasure she encounters many animals who all make their respective sounds and ask her to play, of course she is too busy and continues on. Even though the idea is not groundbreaking I like that this book can be used to introduce animal sounds without simply sitting down with let’s say flash cards and teaching them to your toddler. Even if you have no real animals near by books like this one are a great way to authentically teach very young kids.
Bye-Bye Time by Elizabeth Verdick is a great book for toddlers who are anxious about separation. It goes through drop off time at school between a little girl and her dad. When I worked in a childcare setting bye bye time was a huge source of anxiety for many students, books like this one are such great tools for parents and teachers. There are wonderful tips at the back that in my experience are all great advice. This book is just one of many by the same author that are all wonderful tools for families and classrooms. My favorite being Teeth Are Not for Biting and Words are Not for Hurting
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell was an instant hit with my son. I knew it would be, much like little Bill the smallest of the three baby owls my son is fond of saying “I want my mommy”. The three birds are distraught when they discover mama owl is not there. I love how they huddle together, and think a lot before mama Owl returns non- challant about the fact that she’d returned. The illustrations of the owls are so expressive , which with very few facial features is impressive. Patrick Benson did a wonderful job bringing all three owl’s personalities out visually as well as making the setting ominous without being frightening to young readers. Great book!This post contains affiliate links
As part of Scholastic Parent’s Circle of Book Club book reviewers I get the chance to choose books every month to review and giveaway to one reader. Last month we did Lego City books for new readers but this month I wanted to focus on the baby crowd. My daughter who is 19 months adores books with babies. I love board books because she can’t rip them and chewing on them only cause minimal damage.
The selection we chose this month was a set of 4 classic nursery rhymes beautifully illustrated by Annie Kubler. The pack includes Ring Around the Rosie , Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes , Humpty Dumpty and Pat-A-Cake! As you can imagine the text is familiar and it’s supposed to be. The sing song way that most adults will read this to their children is wonderful for read alouds with tiny ones. The illustrations are filled with babies and toddlers of all ethnicities happily playing and acting out the rhyme in bright cheery colors. The thing I love best about these books are their small size. They fit in my back pocket, in my smallest purse and my daughter can easily grab and walk around with it. It’s easy to put a few in your stroller or Ergo carrier to keep your little one engaged while running errands . My daughter loves these books and grabs them to read many times a day.
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Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee
Every now and then I choose just one book to devote a whole post to, instead of putting it in a post with a handful of others. As soon as I sat down to read this book my daughter got for her 1st birthday I knew I’d write about it. Months after her birthday this book has never made it to a shelf, it’s always on the coffee table because she flips through it, we read it together and my son reads it to her every day.
The concept is simple but the results are wonderful. The book celebrates all sorts of babies and all the every day things babies do. My daughter ( who is 14 months) points out all the babies on each page as I read the rhyming text . So maybe you are thinking ” What’s so great about babies and text that rhymes?” nothing, that isn’t what makes this book so awesome. I love this book because of it’s diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of all babies and families. The illustrations are full of depictions of all sorts of families showering their smallest most precious member with love . What I adore about the diversity of the illustrations is that readers are left to put whatever assumption we wish on the families in the book. What I assumed were two mommies my husband thought was a husband and wife, I thought a lady was a grandma and my son said it was just a older mom. This is why I love this book, my 14 month old doesn’t see why this message is outstanding, what she does see is all sorts of happy babies in all sorts of families being the norm and this is the world we want her to know.
My son and I had a blast making this photo board book for my 9 month old daughter. Not only is the book entertaining for her , creating it was a lesson about emotions and giving to others for my son. All in all it was a family project that gets played with a lot.
- Gather your materials .To start you will need to take photos of different emotions . This is a great chance to talk about each of these feelings with your kids. I sat my son on the couch and we chatted between pictures. It was such a wonderful talk , we shared what makes us happy, sad, worried etc… and really listened to each other. We also made lots of silly faces!
- Now after printing out the pictures you will also need an old board book, contact paper, card stock , scissors, a marker and double stick tape. Let me explain why I used a book and paper instead of just laminating sleeves like I have before like for the Eye Spy Book. My daughter likes to put the book in her mouth. I don’t let her just chew on it but the laminated pages can be really sharp if you get it at the right angle on sensitive gums. So I opted for the board book. If you are making this for older kids a simple laminated book would be great.
- Next write out the emotions with marker on the card stock ( of course if you have a printer you can just use it). Cut.
- Time to do the layout. My son helped choose the paper from our stash and I taped pieces of card stock on each page to cover the existing illustrations. Add the photo and emotion.
- Cover with contact paper . I cut mine so it covered the paper but didn’t go all the way to the edge .
- Fill the whole book.
- Make a cover page, I tried to get my son to help but he was busy playing pretend spy( Oh and that is my art closet packed up behind him… we are down to the basics until we move).
- Let your baby explore! She lit up and unlike most books she didn’t immediately try to eat it. She gently explored touching her brother’s photos. Success!
** Safety Notice : Only you can decide what is safe for your baby. This book is made to be used with an adult caregiver , it is not a baby toy. **
by Carrie Anne
A love of books is important even before your kids can read. I hope to bring to you each month some new releases for the smallest ones in your family to enjoy.
written Lesley Simpson, illustrated by Yayo
Age 2-4 (board book)
First published in 1985, this new board book edition of THE HUG revisits the story of one lonely hug. Feeling unneeded, the hug sets out to become something different. It uses its large round shape to turn itself into different things but maybe all the hug really needs is a little practice to remember how good it feels to give—and receive—hugs! I found this to be a wonderful book about hugs, something you and your kids like to give and receive. Why not end the story by hugging some of your favourite people and things.
Age 0-5 (board book)
This chunky board book combines kids’ love of vehicles with lift the flap books. Each page contains a question pertaining to the picture ‘Who’s behind the brick wall?’, inviting kids to lift the flap and see. The images are all based on kids toys. Each page has a nubby tab that sticks out for little fingers to flip open. The pages are thick and sturdy for little hands. A great book for little ones to explore on their own or enjoy together sitting on mom or dad’s lap.
Carrie Anne is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , Managing editor of EverythingMom.com and an avid reader. You can catch up with her on her blog Another Day. Another Thought…Or Two