12 Books To Read To Your Baby
Today is World Book Day! So in celebration of the brilliant world of books and reading, we've gathered together a list of some of our favourite books to read to babies.
Why Read To Your Baby?
Reading with children, even babies, does so much more than entertain them. Research shows that it’s never too early (or too late) to start reading to your little one, even if they don’t understand the story, or start chewing the book half way through! Sharing a book with your baby does wonders for their physical, mental and emotional development. Here are just a few reasons to snuggle-up and enjoy a story:
- Reading aloud to your baby helps to develop speech and language skills. The more words your baby hears over time, the more words they learn.
- Spending focused time enjoying an activity together helps you to bond with your baby. Your little one will enjoy your company and love listening to the sound of your voice.
- Interacting with books helps babies to develop their fine motor skills. They may start to reach for the book, touch the images and, as they get older, grasp the pages. You may even find it difficult to finish the story as your little one enjoys honing those fine motor page-turning skills!
- Reading together with your child from an early age helps to develop a love of reading that they can enjoy well into adulthood.
So curl-up together on a comfy cushion, hide yourselves away in a cosy corner and enjoy discovering some books together.
12 Classic Books That Babies Love
Bright, bold images, repetitive simple rhymes and straightforward narratives are a recipe for success when it comes to finding books that babies enjoy. Simple information that they can process easily, and even relate to their own lives helps them to make sense of the stories that we read to them. And that’s why babies just seem to adore the following books (we've included some video links if you'd like to check them out first).
1. Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise brown
Many of us may have been read this absolute classic ourselves as children. Goodnight Moon has been enjoyed by babies for over 70 years. Perhaps it’s the simple repetition of a familiar phrase, or maybe it’s the bright, vibrant illustrations. Whatever it is, there’s no denying that babies absolutely adore this book!
2. The Gruffalo - Julia Donaldson
The pleasure of reading The Gruffalo (and indeed Julia Donaldson’s other books) to your child is that they are as enjoyable for adults as they are babies. The Gruffalo’s beautifully crafted story follows a mouse’s treacherous journey through the woods to find an acorn, all the while telling stories of an ‘imaginary’ monster called The Gruffalo. The ultimate message of this story is that size doesn’t matter when it comes to being bold and resourceful.
3. Spot The Dog - Eric Hill
Eric Hill’s bright, colourful illustrations and short, simple stories are brilliant for babies. Your little one will recognise many of Spot’s situations and circumstances from their own everyday life. Plus, not many infants can resist lift-the-flap books!
4. Look! Look! - Peter Linenthal
It takes several weeks for a newborn’s eyesight to develop. So in those early days, bold, high contrast images are easier for babies to focus their eyes on. The black and white cut-paper art in Look! Look! has fascinated babies since it was first published over two decades ago. It’s a great first book to enjoy with your newborn.
5. Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
Where The Wild Things Are is loved by children of all ages, so it’s a great book to have in your nursery. Enjoy exploring the fantastical forest that grows in Max’s bedroom and follow his adventures as he becomes the king of the wild things. We’re sure your little wild thing will love it!
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle
Eric Carle’s much-loved board book is a real crowd pleaser. Babies love the little peekaboo holes left by the hungry caterpillar, and they can practice fine motor skills as they turn the pages. It’s also great for older children as they learn about the days of the week, healthy nutrition and the lifecycle of a butterfly. Entertaining, and educational - no wonder it’s a classic.
7. The Snowy Day - Ezra Jack Keats
Keats’ award-winning book was groundbreaking when it was first published in 1962. It was one of the first books to break the color barrier in mainstream children’s books and also one of the first to feature urban scenes. That probably won’t mean much to your baby yet, but they will love meeting Peter and experiencing his joy of enjoying a snowy day.
8. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt - Michael Rosen
Michael Rosen’s classic story follows a family as they tackle various obstacles in search of a bear. It’s a simple, repetitive story and babies will giggle with anticipation as they await the discovery of a bear. As your baby grows into a preschooler, this book is perfect for developing early phonics skills. Encourage your child to listen to the noises that words and sounds make in the story (‘swishing’, ‘squelching’ etc) to start developing skills that form the foundations of learning to read.
9. Giraffes Can’t Dance - Giles Andrae
You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But this story will have you believe otherwise. All the animals laugh at Gerald the Giraffe when he tries to dance, but he overcomes their prejudice and proves that he can dance. It’s a tale of gentle inspiration and beautiful illustrations that every child will love.
10. That’s Not My… series - Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells
The books in the ‘That’s Not My…’ series are wildly successful because, quite simply, babies love them. Start encouraging a love for reading early as your little one explores the textures and images in these sensory books. They’re designed for babies to handle and are perfect for introducing them into the world of books.
11. Where Is Little Fish? - Lucy Cousins
'Where Is Little Fish?' is a joyful hide-and-seek adventure under the sea. Your little one will love lifting the flaps to search for the fish under treasure chests, coral gardens and clumps of seaweed. Flap books are also a great way to teach babies about object permanence too, so babies can learn whilst having fun!
12. The Going To Bed Book - Sandra Boynton
Let’s round things off here (as all good things should) with a peaceful, successful bedtime. 'The Going To Bed Book' goes through the simple routines of bedtime which lead to peacefully drifting off to sleep. It’s the perfect book to read to little sleep-fighters if you want to help them understand what bedtime is all about.
What Books Do You Read To Your Babies?
We’ve shared our favorite books to read with babies. Now we’d love to hear yours! What books do you love to read with your little ones? Come and join the conversation on Instagram and Facebook.
Our award winning Tent of Dreams is the perfect spot to cuddle-up and enjoy reading a book together!