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Baby's First Book: Some Top Choices for Parents

Katlyn Joy |15, July 2014


Choosing books for a baby is a fun job, but it can yield too many choices. You want something that appeals to baby's senses, with bright clear illustrations or photos, while texture adds extra sensory appeal. The text should be simple and engaging, whether it's helping baby label objects in their world or naming emotions, or has fun rhymes or language play. Books for the youngest hands should be durable to stand up to a child's rough handling.

It's important to remember that baby is never too young for books, and the more, the better. Building a baby's library is the beginning of a whole world of literacy and learning about the universe and everything in it.

Peek-a-Boo Forest, a Lamaze Cloth Book.

This book is from the Lamaze Infant Development System and is made of lightweight yet durable cloth material that is washable and meant to be chewed, er--loved. It features bright colors and bold illustrations that teach children about animals of the forest. It has a crinkly texture that babies love to feel and hear. For extra fun, there's a flap to lift on every page, revealing yet another fun aspect.

First 100 Words, by Roger Priddy.

Every baby needs a book like this, filled with loads of pictures of items baby need to work into their vocabulary. Since it's a nice thick board book it will withstand all the many, many readings required. Use it with babies to simply enjoy holding and turning the pages initially, then pointing and labeling each item, then asking baby to point to the picture you call out. Finally, one day, baby will point a chubby finger and tell you what the picture is of!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.

Before kindergarten your child should have a bundle of Eric Carle books, all of them being beloved classics with engaging text and lovely watercolor and paper cut out illustrations. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a staple of preschools and kindergartens everywhere.

Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram.

How can you not love a story featuring a character named Little Nutbrown Hare who gets into a who love you most contest with his dad. This now classic book is available in hardcover and board book, which is best for babies. You can also find audio editions.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes..., by Annie Kubler.

If you want to capture a baby's attention with a book, this is the type to get. You have great illustrations, but the text introduces baby to the rhythmic sounds of the song as well as the actions that accompany it. Baby will love watching you demonstrate!

Pat the Bunny, (Touch and Feel Book), by Dorothy Kunhardt.

Chances are you enjoyed this book as a little one, and maybe your Mama did, too. It was first published in 1940, and continues to delight children to this day with the tactile features and text that is interactive.

Open the Barn Door, (A Chunky Book) by Christopher Santoro.

A must for every parent, to enjoy teaching baby about farm animals and the funny noises they make, and the funny noises Mom and Dad make in the process.

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? Dr. Seuss' Book of Wonderful Noises.

It's never too early to give baby the joy of Dr. Seuss, and this book is perfect for the youngest ones, with the delicious and fun sounds described within its pages. Babies love imitating sounds and this goes right along with that joy.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Williams.

This is cartoonist's Mo Williams' first picture book, and it is beloved for its accurate depiction of a raging temper tantrum. For older babies to grow with them, but opt for the hardcover option, as paperback never tastes quite as good.

Where's Spot?, by Eric Hill.

Introduced in 1980, this book has held steadily as a family favorite every year since. Created by the author for his son, the character of Spot is one of the best loved dogs in kid literature.

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