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Best Books for Babies

Looking for the best books for babies?

Here's my list of the Top 10 Very Best Books for babies, guaranteed to delight you and your baby.

I put this list together to help parents who may need a bit of guidance when choosing books for their babies.

reading to baby

You can start reading these books to your baby from birth and you'll probably find he'll love them for at least the next two years.

I still have the dog-eared copies of most of these books stashed away in our storeroom, even though my three children are now all young adults.

Most libraries will have copies of these books but you can also buy them online from the Book Depository.

If you're pregnant or if you have a new baby and aren't sure where to begin with reading aloud, buying the ten books reviewed on this page would be a great start. Read two or three a day to your baby and you'll be well on your way to raising a smart child who loves reading!

guess how much i love you, best books for babies

1. Guess How Much I Love You

This is a gorgeous book about a father rabbit saying goodnight to his son.

Parents often choose to read this book every night at bed-time so that it becomes a ritual for their child. This is a lovely idea because young children love the security associated with rituals. They love knowing that the same thing will happen at the same time every night - it provides some structure for them in a world that can seem unpredictable and even a bit scary as they grow up.

If you make reading a book like this part of your child's bedtime routine from the time he or she is born, you'll find it becomes a signal to your child's subconscious that it's 'sleep time'. This can be a god-send with a busy pre-schooler who resists going to bed.

Also, if you're travelling with your child - whether overseas or locally or even just to Grandma's place - taking a book like this with you can help your child to settle in an unfamiliar place.

baby 1 2 3, best books for babies

2. Baby 1 2 3

This delightful first numbers book is one of the best books for babies of its kind because it combines all the things babies love: pictures of babies doing everyday things, bright, clearly-defined photo-illustrations, a format small enough for little hands to hold and simple text.

Page one, for example, reads one baby clapping and has a lovely photo of a happy baby clapping. 

fuzzy yellow ducklings, best books for babies

3. Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings

This book has become a bit of a modern classic for little ones.

On each page there's a different coloured shape inset with a textured material - fuzzy, rough and so on. Turn the page and the shape is revealed to be part of an animal. Different textures, shapes colours and animals and a surprise just over the page.

No wonder babies and toddlers love this book! My three adored it and I've never met a little one yet who didn't. 

wheres spot, best books for babies

4. Where's Spot?

This simple lift-the-flap book has bright, clear pictures which babies and toddlers love.

Even young babies get the lift-the-flap idea quite quickly. They get really excited as you turn each page, looking for Spot in all sorts of places around the house, lifting each flap only to find he's not there!

A great choice for your baby's first lift-the-flap book. 

when we were very young, best books for babies

5. When We Were Very Young

This classic book written by the author of Winnie-the-Pooh is still one of the best books for babies around.

At first, you might think 'poetry? For babies?' You might also wonder whether these poems aren't a bit too old fashioned to read to children today. But poetry is about rhythm and rhyme and the use of language in different ways and babies love rhymes and poems like these ones. Read with expression and try some of the more well-known poems such as 'Lines and Squares', 'Vespers' and 'Buckingham Palace'. 

The book comes in hard-cover and paperback versions and either is great but do think about paying a bit extra for the hard-cover one. The colour illustrations are just gorgeous and definitely worth the extra few dollars.

where is the green sheep, best books for babies

6. Where Is the Green Sheep?

Babies and young children love the colourful, funny illustrations and the repetition in this gorgeous book and it's a favourite with most little ones. 

Mem Fox is an Australian literacy consultant and teacher who has written many, many wonderful picture books for young children. Children and their parents love her books, many of which feature Australian animals and settings.

Two of Mem's books are included in this list of the best books for babies. 

Click here to read about how Mem came to write 'Where is the Green Sheep?'

the very hungry caterpillar, best books for babies

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This book has become a modern classic and it's not hard to see why. It's truly one of the best books for babies every written.

The book is about a very small caterpillar who eats one apple on Monday, two pears on Tuesday and so on.

Children love the repetition and, when they're older, the counting as you read about all the things he ate.

I suggest you buy this book if you can, rather than borrowing it from the library. It's one of the very best books for babies around and your family will read and re-read it for years to come. 

hairy maclary, best books for babies

8. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy

This is a delightful story told in rhyme about Hairy McLary who goes for a walk with his friends, 'Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay', 'Hercules Morse, as big as a horse' and all the others.

The best news is that there's a whole series of books about Hairy MacLary and his friends and all of them are delightful!

Hairy McLary and Lynley Dodd are New Zealanders. If you don't know much about New Zealand, you may not know that a 'dairy' is the local corner shop. Remember those great places that used to sell a bit of everything, from bread and milk to ice-creams and sweets?

Sadly, they've almost disappeared in Sydney but they're alive and well in NZ!

each peach pear plum, best books for babies

9. Each Peach Pear Plum

There is so much to love in this book. Older babies and young children love trying to spot the nursery rhyme characters hiding in the pictures.

But even very young babies will love listening to the rhyming verse which is just delightful ... 

Each peach pear plum, I spy Tom Thumb. 
Tom Thumb in the cupboard, I spy Mother Hubbard. 
Mother Hubbard on the stairs, I spy the three bears.'

ten little fingers and ten little toes, best books for babies

10. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

This is a gorgeous rhyming book for babies which is sure to become a childhood favourite ... 

There was one little baby who was born far away, 
and another who was born on the very next day. 
And both of these babies—as everyone knows— 
had ten little fingers and ten little toes. 

There was one little baby who was born in a town, 
and another who was wrapped in an eiderdown. 
And both of these babies—as everyone knows— 
had ten little fingers and ten little toes.

You can also listen to Mem or even watch her on Youtube reading 'Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes' - how great is that? 

You can also read about how Mem came to write 'Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes' here. 

STOP PRESS: How cool is this? Australia’s official gift to little Prince George, the baby son of Prince William and his wife, Kate, was a signed copy of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes!

OK, so we apparently gave him some other gifts too but I wonder who had the good taste and the smarts to suggest this wonderful idea?

Here's a picture of the book from Mem's website.

ten little fingers and ten little toes

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