10 Favorite Books to Read With Babies // Favorite Things

Reading with kids

This baby is 15 months, and she loves to read. Her first word (beside’s my older daughter’s name) was book. We are in the “read the first page of fifty books every night” stage. Luckily, my rule for buying books, especially as gifts, is “can you read it fifty times without wanting to vomit or secretly throwing it away.” All of these books fit in this category for me.

Mostly, the obsessive “pull all of the books out of the shelf and carry them everywhere” makes me smile. I’m glad she so obviously loves looking at books, carrying them around, and even “pretend reading” them (she says, rah rah rah rah rah as she turns the page. Most often the books are upside down).

I thought I would share 10 of my favorite books for babies, and in return, I’m wondering what your favorite books for babies and toddlers are? Thanks in advance!

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Full Moon at the Napping House

When I was a kid, Audrey and Don Wood came to my school and read to us, and I have loved them ever since. But even if they hadn’t, The Napping House would be a favorite. Have you seen the sequel? Its was released last year–The Full Moon at the Napping House! 

books and babies

Each Peach Pear Plum— My mother in law gave this to my nine year old when he was a baby. It is a cute play on nursery rhymes, has great i-spy type pictures, and is one of the few rhyming books that doesn’t make you crazy. Hilariously, this photo isn’t staged for the blog post. She just loves books. And stealing her sister’s necklaces.

elephant and piggie
I like all of the Elephant and Piggie books. Mo Willems is a genius, and this series is our favorite. This one makes us laugh.

Click Clack Moo

I’m also a big Doreen Cronin fan, but I think her first book, Click, Clack, Moo, is my favorite. I saw her Betsy Lewin, the illustrator, speak at the National Book Festival in DC years ago. They did an improv story/art storytime for the kids and I just loved it.

Alice in Wonderland Baby Lit

The Baby Lit books make me smile, you can see Romeo and Juliet in the first photo. The authors take classics, from Jane Eyre to Moby Dick and use them to teach colors, opposites, counting, etc. They are design-savvy illustrations and just a lot of fun.  The Alice in Wonderland one teaches colors, and my daughter loves it.

first 100 words

For whatever reason, babies seem to really like books with real photos in them, especially photos of other babies. My daughter likes the First 100 Words one, among others in the series.

snuggle puppy

You rarely go wrong with Sandra Boynton, I think I read/sang Snuggle Puppy to my oldest 10 million times. My baby loves the Going to Bed Book, although actually going to bed is another story.

from head to toe

From Head to Toe is my favorite Eric Carle book, especially for babies learning their body parts. (looking through the list, I guess I really like the classic authors. This was a surprise!)

freight train

Freight Train by Donald Crews is a ton of fun. All of my kids have loved this one.

Dog Food

Dog Food this one is hilarious–its part of a series where the authors photograph fruits and vegetables that look like other things, in this case, dogs! Our copy is trashed, it has been read (and carried around) so many times.

b is for bear

And a new addition to our library, B is for Bear, a Natural Alphabet. I bought this one at Powell’s in November and I love it!

Happy reading!



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  1. Posted February 19, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    My daughter (age 4) loves books and has enjoyed many of the ones on your list!

    Some of our other favorites:
    Books by Leslie Patricelli (Big Little and Potty, for instance)
    Brown bear, Brown bear
    Maisy books by Lucy Cousins
    Goodnight Moon
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree–great choices! I will have to check out Leslie Patricelli–I’m unfamiliar with her books. Thanks!

  2. Anne
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing. Will definitely look up the suggestions I did not already know. Books are real life-enrichers and I love it if kids are so naturally drawn to them. My current favorite book is Oh no, George by Chris Haughton. The design is marvelous and the story is about a little naughty dog that just can’t help himself in not doing what his owner wants; a story which kids seem to love. It is a real pleasure to read.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your comment–I totally agree. I will check out Oh no, George. It sounds great!

  3. Kimberlee Neville
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the book ideas, I have a few of these and am always on the hunt for new ones! My gal is 8 months old so we’re just getting into the “sit still and read” period. :) I’d love to see “what we’re reading now” updates in the future…

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      You are welcome! Books and babies make me happy. Also, my library has a big selection of board books you can check out, you might try that as well.

  4. Carol C
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Our 14 month old grandson lives with us half-time so we have lots of reading opportunities and in spite of the fact that he is very active, he does love books. Our current favourites are Goodnight Moon and 2 of Sandra Boynton’s books – the Going to Bed book and But Not the Hippopotamus. Reading books has become a really special ‘grandma and little guy’ activity.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      I totally forgot about the Hippopotamus book. I bet I have read that one 100 times. It used to make my big kids squeal with laughter. What a lucky kid, to have you in his life.

  5. Posted February 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    You met Don and Audrey Wood? Too cool! When my husband and I were at the early getting-to-know-each-other stage, I asked what his favorite book was and he mentioned some current stuff but also told me that, as a kid, his favorite book was one they wrote called Quick As a Cricket – and it was the first book he bought for our son.

  6. Posted February 19, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Love the surrounded-by-books photo. My grandson (now three) went through that stage! And the read-it-50-times stage. I love watching them learn vocabulary. He had the Very Hungry Caterpillar and another by Eric Carle. I’d been taught somewhere along the line to start every reading session with title and author in order to convey that books are written by people and encourage writing later (we’ll see if it works latr on). So he started calling the two books “Carle.” And he could find them among his many.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      I like the idea of starting with the title and author. I can totally see him calling the book Carle. happy reading!

  7. abby
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    My kids are both book obsessed. At 4 and 6 it’s great seeing them read to each other and my son (6) read himself to sleep at night.
    My favorite book is a classic Oh the places you’ll go by Dr Seuss. The kids like it too but I love it’s positive but honest message.
    My kids also love dear zoo which we have multiple copies of (mine and theirs)

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Hurray for reading! I’ll check out Dear Zoo. Thanks!

  8. Amy L
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    My daughter loved books as a child. My son did not until our babysitter’s 2nd grader started reading to him. That did the trick.

    It’s been awhile, but their toddler favorites were Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, and Ride a Purple Pelican by Jack Prelutsky.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Sheep in a jeep is so fun. We actually own that one because we lost the library book, paid for it, and found it. ha! My son didn’t like to read either. He loved books, but what did the trick for him was having a teacher who LOVED reading, and then having him read from the back seat while we were in the car. Somehow, that took the pressure off and he really enjoyed it after that.

  9. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Really quick, Napping House text link points to Freight Train in Amazon store. Feel Free to delete this comment when fixed.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      great catch. thanks!

  10. Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh, your baby is so cute! Hurrah for book loving at a tender age. The Mo Willems books are what Liam learned to read with. They are the only ones that were fun enough that he would try to read them (I wouldn’t read them to him, I’m so mean!). Many of yours I’ve never heard of. Will have to add them to my list for hopefully someday.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted March 21, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      My son wouldn’t read at all to me, unless it was in the back seat of the car while i was driving. We love Mo Willems around here! He has a great “Cat the Cat” board book series, to add to the hopefully someday list. Hugs.

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