Instill a love of reading into your child with these entertaining books to read to babies and toddlers. Each book is a kid approved favorite that my son absolutely loved me reading to him when he was little.

mother and baby sitting on the floor reading a board book

What age should you begin reading books to babies?

Pediatricians agree that it’s never too early to start reading to your baby.

Not only is it a fabulous bonding time for mom and baby, but it’s also helpful for their brain and language development!

When my son was six weeks old I would sit him on my lap and read books to him. Well, I say read books, but it was more pointing to the pictures and telling him what we saw.

To this day Dalton loves reading books.

When he was a toddler/preschooler we’d read books 3-4 times a day (always before naptime and bedtime). He would sit for 30 minutes at a time soaking it all in.

Now, as an elementary age child, I read books to him at breakfast before school and at bedtime.

I can’t tell you how many times he’ll tell me something and when I ask where he learned it he’ll say the name of a book.

I’d encourage you to start reading to your baby now! You won’t regret it!

What are the best books to read to babies?

We were given a ton of books as gifts at my baby shower. So, I’ve read my fair share of baby books.

Let me just say that there are some baby books that I don’t enjoy reading. (Is that bad?!)

I can promise you that those books did not make it onto my list.

Below are all the books that we loved and read over and over and over…

Some of them are out of print but still available used (as I’ve noted).

20 Entertaining Books For Babies Under 1 (And Beyond)

Books are the perfect gift ideas for a baby shower! Your baby girl (or baby boy) will love looking through the books (and eventually reading them). Here are my top 20 entertaining books to read to baby!

Bright Baby Animals by Roger Priddy

With bright, easy-to-turn pages and a new animal on every page, this board book is an essential addition to any baby’s library.

The combination of colorful pictures and simple words will help to build your child’s vocabulary, color association, and sensory perception.


Sophie la girafe: Colors by DK

Packed with bright, lively pictures, and large, simple text, all the colors of the rainbow come alive in this board book, Baby: Sophie la girafe: Colors.

This board book will stimulate children’s recognition of objects, as well as encourage talking and naming skills.


First 100 Animals by Roger Priddy

There are 100 animal photographs to look at and talk about, and 100 animal names to read and learn, too.

The pages are made from tough board for hours of fun reading, and the cover is softly padded for little hands to hold.


My Farm Friends by Wendell Minor

Is there anything cuter than a little lamb or playful piglet? Farm animals are fascinating, and they are full of surprises, too.

Naturally, cows make milk—but did you know they need to drink a bathtub-full of water every day?

And of course the turkeys gobble—but sometimes they purr like cats.

Wendell Minor’s bright, bold artwork and jaunty verse in this board book celebrate the wonders of our farm friends.

I Am A Garbage Truck by Ace Landers

*We loved this book so much that we read it until it fell apart.

Readers may want to put on their gloves for this fun and sturdy board book shaped like a garbage truck!

Read along as garbage trucks of all sizes travel door to door picking up sticky, icky trash to deliver to the dump!

Little explorers will love seeing these big machines in action.

Books are the perfect gift ideas for a baby shower! Your baby girl (or baby boy) will love looking through the books (and eventually reading them). Here are my top 20 entertaining books to read to baby!

Sophie la girafe: Let’s Get Counting by DK

In this colorful board book, babies will be introduced to the world of numbers and counting with their favorite friend, Sophie la girafe.

Filled with bright, playful images of Sophie and her pals, as well as tactile tabs and lift-the-flap elements, My First: Sophie la girafe: Let’s Get Counting is ideal for encouraging early word and number recognition in young children.

Prayers for Boys by Thomas Nelson

Introduce your child to the importance of prayer with this padded board book.

Bright, colorful, and with the right amount of text to hold a child’s attention, these books also have handles for little hands to carry.

Toy Boat by Randall de Seve

A little boy has a toy boat that he made out of a can, a cork, a yellow pencil, and some white cloth.

The boy and his boat are inseparable . . . until the day the wind pushes the boat out into the wide lake, and the little boat must face fierce waves, a grumpy ferry, a sassy schooner, and a growling speed boat if he is to find his way home.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

A told B,
and B told C,
“I’ll meet you at the
top of the coconut tree”

In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no—Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom!

The Beginner’s Bible for Little Ones by Beginner’s Bible

The Beginner’s Bible for Little Ones is the perfect starting point for the youngest children to learn about God’s Word. The storybook introduces toddlers to the Bible in an imaginative way, with:

  • Easy-to-read text that has been parent-tested and children-approved
  • A soft, durable board book format that fits into little hands and can be easily carried around
  • Vibrant artwork that engages young readers
  • Eight cherished Bible stories, including Creation, Noah’s Ark, and the birth of baby Jesus

Books are the perfect gift ideas for a baby shower! Your baby girl (or baby boy) will love looking through the books (and eventually reading them). Here are my top 20 entertaining books to read to baby!

Baby: Baa Baa! by DK

Perfect for reading aloud and encouraging early word recognition, this board book is great for babies who love to explore shape and texture.

From woolly lambs to fluffy chicks, Baby: Baa Baa! contains cuddly animals that babies would see on a farm.

Baby Touch and Feel: Baby Animals by DK

This adorable picture book is an interactive and fun way to help your child learn not only words but shapes and textures too. Bold, bright pictures and colorful animal-inspired illustrations will be more than enough to keep your baby’s attention.

Read all about cute and cuddly baby animals, including adorable puppies, furry seals, and small chicks! Not too big and not too small, this sturdy, padded sensory book is just the right size for little hands to hold.

No need for Mom and Dad to turn the pages! Babies and toddlers can turn the tough board book pages themselves, which helps to develop their fine motor skills while building an early language foundation. 

Night-Night Forest Friends by Annie Bach

As the sun sets, animals all over the forest get ready for bed. Papa rabbit tucks his babies in among the leaves, fuzzy bears settle in their den, and little foxes snuggle together under the moonlight. Up above, an owl hoots a lullaby.

The gentle rhyming text and soft illustrations in this charming book will help little ones settle down for a cozy night.

My Turtle and Me by Owen Bernstein

I snuggle with my turtle and hug him real tight.
He cuddles next to me and hugs me right back.
My turtle shines when we hug!

Follow a young child and his turtle as they do everything together!

Includes a turtle-shaped night light visible on every page, just like the real thing.

Sassy: Baby’s First Words by Grosset and Dunlap

This oversized board book introduces babies to common first words. The book’s size makes it a perfect lap book for reading aloud to babies 6 months and up.

Books are the perfect gift ideas for a baby shower! Your baby girl (or baby boy) will love looking through the books (and eventually reading them). Here are my top 20 entertaining books to read to baby!

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

A muddy country road is no match for this little pick-up—that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck.

Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road.

Little Blue Truck is a joyful cacophony of animal and truck sounds that will have youngsters beeping and quacking—and begging for one more go-round!

Along the way, readers see that it pays to be kind to our animal friends. If we show a friendly respect to others, we’re more likely to get help when we’re, say, stuck in the muck in a truck!

Sassy Let’s Count!: A First Book of Numbers by Alice Schertle

Babies 3 months or older can practice counting to 10 with this adorable board book featuring bright illustrations, simple text, and a flap to lift on each page.

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her.

Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button!

The Little Red Caboose by Marian Potter and Tibor Gergely

All aboard! This classic Little Golden Book, originally published in 1953, tells the tale of a charming red caboose who wants nothing more than to be as popular as the big steam engine at the front of the train.

Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver

For babies and toddlers, each moment is full of wonder and discovery. This delightful collection of original poems celebrates the everyday things that enthrall little ones, such as playing peekaboo, banging pots and pans, splashing at bath time, and cuddling at bedtime.

We’ve had hours of fun reading these books, and I hope you and your little one will too!

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