What Are Your Favorite Books for Babies?

My two adult children love to read—my main claim to success as a mother. They grew up in a home surrounded by books and often opted to spend their birthday money on new volumes of their very own. I remember my daughter as a toddler “reading” with an adult and interrupting if a page were skipped. I knew I was raising another reader when my six-year-old son fell asleep in his bed curled around an open encyclopedia volume.

I also knew my daughter was marrying well when I discovered that her new in-laws had more books than I did!

So when friends and family began to plan her baby showers (yes, multiple showers), I was not surprised that two focused on her love of books. Guests were encouraged to gift children’s books that they loved to form her new son’s library.

Shower guests shared some touching stories about their own memories of reading these titles aloud to their children. One guest had to hunt down her special book as it was no longer in print but find it she did. My mother could not attend but sent a copy of Goodnight Moon and this note:

I have such wonderful memories reading Goodnight Moon to you over and over again. I know you knew it by heart but wanted me to read it to you anyway. Jennie, I’ll never forget the time I took you to Target and sat you in the cart. You probably were around three. I was shocked because as I pushed the cart along you were reading all the signs out loud! I was so impressed.

Future Grandson’s New Library

Bookshelf waiting for baby’s arrival

K Is for Kick: A Soccer Alphabet
Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef
Go Dog, Go!
Dr. Seuss’s ABCs
Romeo & Juliet (the board book)
Fire Engine
Children Make Terrible Pets
Moo, Baa, La La La!
Peek-a Who?
On the Day You Were Born
The Littlest Angel
On the Night You Were Born
10 Minutes Till Bedtime
Goodnight Moon
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Make Way for Ducklings
A Christmas Day Kitten
Whose Toes Are Those?

What About eBooks?

These are all print books and eFrog Press focuses on ebooks. So you may ask, can ebooks have the same effect? Yes, I can imagine cuddling with my new grandson and reading from my iPad as I point to the vibrant colors and read the rhythmic words of Dr. Seuss. It’s not the vehicle (paper or electronic). It’s the intense experience of sitting close together and sharing a magical experience with language and art that makes those early stories so profoundly memorable.

So what is my favorite children’s book? Frog and Toad are Friends, of course!

By the way, did you know you can gift specific ebooks? Read our post: eBooks Make Great Gifts for Kids.

Please Share

What books were memorable to you as a child? Which did you love reading aloud to children? Share books you would gift to a new family for their first child.

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3 Responses to “What Are Your Favorite Books for Babies?”

  1. Karen Coombs Says:

    I loved reading PEEP-O! to my children when they were small. It’s English, so the unique words took me back to my Canadian childhood, before the days we had Canadian publishers putting out the wonderful books they do today and we read only English and American books. But when I wanted to give the book to friends, all I could find was the American version, which had for some reason been renamed PEEK-A-BOO!. All the other wonderful English words had also been replaced with American versions. It wasn’t the same. I do not understand why they think American children can’t read words like bumbershoot and jumper and figure out their meanings. Why not enrich their language?

    A book I enjoyed reading aloud when the kids were older was Ken Kesey’s
    LITTLE TRICKER THE SQUIRREL MEETS BIG DOUBLE THE BEAR. (Is this the only children’s book he wrote?) I never could remember the title when I tried to tell people about it, but it’s a dramatic, rollicking read-aloud filled with rhythm and repetition. I doubt it would get published today, since it is over 500 words in length, more like 3000, I suspect. The artwork, by Barry Moser, is also amazing.

    One more older picture book we loved is BEDTIME FOR FRANCES. So true to life and such lovely language. And so reassuring. Again, would it get published today? Are we lowering our children’s attention spans by publishing shorter and shorter books or are we catering to those short attention spans that are being created by rapid fire television production and other media? It leaves me flummoxed. (Ah, another wonderful word.)

    I won’t get into books I enjoyed. I’d be overwhelmed by the memories.

  2. Edith Hope Fine Says:

    Same here. My bro and I read Virginia Lee Burton’s Mike Mulligan and The Little House over and over. Same with Little Toot, the small but jaunty tugboat story by Hardie Gramatky. Another that bore repeated readings was Nancy and Plum, an obscure story (known only to me?) of two orphaned sisters and the truly horrible woman who ran the orphanage and gave her bratty niece all the gifts meant for the sisters that their naive uncle sent. And, like Karen, two bear books: Randolph, the Bear Who Said No and Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat. What’s with these bears?

    This shower idea is so perfect for a new baby. I’ve also heard about book birthday parties and bring-a-book-for-a-book–for-a-school-that-needs-them party.

    Book lovers are the best.

  3. LC Says:

    Karen & Edith, thanks for the suggestions. Here are some new titles to add to my list. I wonder if adults who do not read much for pleasure also have fond memories of being read to as a child.

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