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The Best Baby Board Books to Buy or Gift

The way reading aloud impacts our growing babies is incredible. Get inspired to read to your little one with this curated collection of the Best Baby Board Books to Buy or Gift.

A stack of children's and baby board books on a white surface.

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Being read aloud to is one of my favorite childhood memories. So it was no surprise that I couldn’t wait to read books to our new baby. Fast forward several months later and I can say it’s just as rewarding and wonderful as I thought it would be. Reading even the simplest of board books now is laying a foundation for years to come of reading aloud together.

A look inside the book, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.
Helen Oxenbury’s timeless illustrations in Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.

There are so many exciting board books available to read with our young ones. Quality prose or poetry (paired with excellent illustrations) make reading even these short and simple books a joy.

In this post I have curated a collection of books comprised of our family favorites. There is a good mix of classic board books as well as recently published titles. This list is a great place to start if you are trying to choose a board book for a baby shower gift, or just hoping to grow your own collection.

Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice

I also couldn’t resist including some non-board books called Indestructibles. These are rip-proof, chew-proof, AND washable. Shout out to my sister-in-law who discovered these several years back–they are awesome. Babies can look through them all they want with no worries about gnawing off cardboard. Just note that when you see “Indestructibles” in the book title then it will NOT be a board book.

So here’s how we’re gonna do this. I have a collection of favorite titles included below in a giant tiled image. You can just click the photos of the books that interest you and go from there (will auto-open new tabs). BUT, if you want more details, just keep scrolling. I have then broken up my list into giant numbered images with each title paired with a quick blurb about the book. VERY quick summaries. Click the links you are interested in and again, they will auto-open in new tabs. So easy! Or, copy titles to bring with you next time you are thrifting.

A couple quick tips to choose the best board books for you!

  • Read this post for ideas!
  • Visit your local library to page through new titles
  • Check Amazon for extra photos of the book’s interior pages
  • Read reviews to be alerted to anything unexpected
  • Thrift! A fun way to find older books that may be out of print
  • Keep an ongoing list of favorite authors/illustrators to look for when shopping

A collage graphic of the Best Baby Board Books.

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle | A classic. Watch as the caterpillar eats its way through enormous amounts of food (interactive pages!) and becomes…well, you’ll just have to read it.
  2. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff | A delightful snowball effect ensues with the simple act of giving a mouse a cookie.  
  3. All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer by Haily Meyers & Kevin Meyers | Visit national parks and explore wildlife by train in this unique board book. Very basic language/content make this a great picture book for the littlest babies.
  4. Winnie-the-Pooh’s Colors by A. A. Milne | Simple sentences plus darling Classic Pooh illustrations. Note that there is not a story in this book, it just points out colors such as, “The bee is yellow.”
  5. Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton | With singing pigs that cry “la la la” versus the more expected “oink”, Boynton provides her usual whimsical spin on baby literature. Babies and kids alike love this one! Be prepared to memorize it.
  6. Indestructibles: Baby, Let’s Eat! by Amy Pixton | Read about foods grouped by color with your babe, or since this book is “indestructible” (they really are!) enjoy watching baby crinkle, crumple, and chew to their heart’s content. 
  7. The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton | A quick read filled with the unexpected, like “exercising” being a crucial pre-bedtime step. 
  8. Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit® Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams | A counting book that includes “Two rich gentleman” and “Four marriage proposals”. Just like the original! (Note that it does not include the actual story).
  9. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox | Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury and filled with babies from around the world, a charming must-own classic. The padded cover makes it easy for older babies to page through all on their own.
  10. Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long | Mmk, so old nursery rhymes/songs are actually often pretty odd. If not downright cray. This sweet re-telling of Hush Little Baby is a much preferred update to the old “hush and I’ll buy ya stuff” version.
  11. Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers | A long read for younger babies, we often choose just a few pages to read versus the whole book. Sweet rhymes and illustrations of how babies “everyday, everywhere” fill their days. 
  12. Baby Talk by Stella Blackstone | High contrast + photos of adorable babies make this so engaging for babies. Repetitive text (great for babies, but you may not want to read it dozens of times in a row!).
A collage graphic of the Best Baby Board Books.
  1. Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice | An abridged (and somewhat out-of-order) retelling of the classic story. Babies and kiddos will enjoy the many flaps, wheels, and hidden characters to discover. Includes plenty of quotes from the original (as “asides” from the main text).
  2. Night-Night, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton | Rhyme your way to bed with this short and sweet Boynton pick.
  3. Little Red Barn | “The animals love their little red barn…” and you will too with the interactive flaps and the short & sweet text. A favorite pre-nap read at our house.
  4. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats | The original 1962 Caldecott Medal winning book is full of the magic of a first snowfall and is a must-have for every bookshelf.
  5. Winnie-the-Pooh’s ABC by A.A. Milne | Simple one letter + one word pages paired with Classic Pooh illustrations make this book the perfect choice for tiny readers becoming familiar with the alphabet.
  6. Winnie-the-Pooh’s 1-2-3 by A. A. Milne | Again, the illustrations make this simple book such a charming addition to any babe’s collection!  
  7. Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton | Full of animal sounds and dancing steps, this is an upbeat rhyming read. Toddlers will love to participate as the book is read aloud.
  8. The Jungle Book: A BabyLit® Animal Primer by Jennifer Adams | Very simple text that is indeed a “primer” to the original Jungle Book (you won’t get a retelling of the story with this one). Great for a short read with animal-loving kiddos.
  9. Indestructibles: Hello Farm by Maddie Frost | Greet the day with the animals at the farm. Not all the Indestructibles books have words, but this one does have simple greetings on each page (i.e. “Hello, insert animal name here”)
  10. Global Babies | A favorite of my Little One who loves to look at other babies. Limited text, but the photos are plenty to keep baby engaged. 
  11. All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon | On our list to add to our collection, I’m entranced by the sweet poetry and illustrations of this book.
  12. Indestructibles: Wiggle! March! by Karen Pixton | No words, with generally just one animal per page. Great for baby to chew on, to make up a story with, or to learn animals together.

A collage graphic of the Best Baby Board Books.

  1. The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood | Read along as the little mouse devises a way to protect a delicious strawberry from the Big Hungry Bear.
  2. The Hat by Jan Brett | Hedgie finds an unusual hat and unwittingly starts a new trend among the other nearby animals. 
  3. Sheep Go to Sleep by Nancy Shaw | One of a series, you can read along as the sheepdog gently lulls each sheep to sleep (parents may find this incredibly relatable!).
  4. Time for Bed by Mem Fox | It’s time for bed for all the animals in this rhyming classic. Mostly filled with soft and fluffy critters (though the fish and snake stand out as decidedly UN-fluffy).
  5. Indestructibles: Baby Animals by Amy Pixton | A simple text paired with illustrations that name each animal and its respective baby.
  6. Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear by Nancy White Carlstrom | Follow along with Jesse Bear as he starts his day with the sweetest rhyming text.
  7. Jamberry by Bruce Degen | Berries are everywhere in this delightful whimsical rhyming story.
  8. Who is Coming to Our House by Joseph Slate | Animals in a barn are preparing for an unknown guest who turns out to be very special indeed. A sweet perspective of the Nativity story.
  9. Wherever You Go by Zietlow Miller | Quite long for a board book. Great for older toddlers who will enjoy reading all about where roads can take you.
  10. Anne of Green Gables: A BabyLit® Places Primer by Jennifer Adams | Be aware that Anne surprisingly doesn’t really make an appearance in this “primer”, but older readers will recognize familiar stops like “The Lake of Shining Waters”. This storybook edition might be a better choice if you are looking for a slimmed down version of the classic story (though the illustrations in this aren’t actually my favorite).
  11. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown | A classic I remember so well from childhood, reading about a day with the animals on the farm makes for a peaceful pick.
  12. I See by Helen Oxenbury | We don’t yet own this one, but I’ve heard great things about this simple series from the lovely Helen Oxenbury. I am definitely attempting to collect all her sweet little baby books.

Now, I’d love to hear from YOU! Share your favorite board books with me in the comments. I am always looking for more great titles to read with our baby. Thanks for stopping by!

<3 Ellen

Did You Enjoy Reading About the Best Baby Board Books?

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