Babies are never too young to start enjoying a good book. In fact, reading to your baby even before birth initiates your parent-child bond.
According to Carolyn Cates, a research assistant professor in the pediatrics department at NYU Langone Medical Center, there are many ways your child will benefit from you reading to him or her at an early age. Aside from acquiring language, other advantages to reading aloud include:
- Building literacy skills that will be helpful in the pre-k years
- Promoting cognitive development, especially when parents point out pictures or talk about the story
- Facilitating conversational skills
So what are the best books for a 1-year-old or for newborns? The book choice matters. Below are 10 cute choices that include not just the best books for newborns but for older babies, as well:
All of Baby, Nose to Toes written by Victoria Adler; illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
Family members welcome a newborn with open arms and a ton of love. And the board-book version of All Baby, Nose to Toes is one of the best books for newborns and their siblings. Lively language with a catchy rhythm and bright, joyful pictures capture the attention of little ones throughout this entire celebratory book that illustrates the excitement and emotions that come with watching your baby play and grow.
First 100 Words (Bright Baby) by Roger Priddy
This vibrant, engaging board book displays everyday objects, people, and animals in brightly colored boxes labeled in bold font. Words and photographs show feelings, mealtime, home, and more than 100 things that make this one of the most ideal books for your 1-year-old who’s picking up new words. As your child grows older going into the pre-K years, you can also ask him or her to switch roles and read the book to you as he or she learns to sound out the words.
Lullaby and Kisses Sweet written by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illustrated by Alyssa Nassner
What is a better way to introduce your baby or toddler to poetry than by sharing this volume written by the master of anthologies? This collection of 30 poems falls into the category of one of the best books for newborns and toddlers because it features five fun themes — from family to play, and even food, “firsts,” and bedtime. The rhythmic quality of the poems is sure to captivate parent and child alike.
Max’s First Word by Rosemary Wells
This one appeals to the fans of the Max and Ruby series. Ruby, the attentive big sister tries hard to teach her baby brother the names of the objects around him in hopes of increasing his vocabulary. Then, one day, Ruby receives a great surprise from Max’s first word, which parents and children would find both amusing and clever.
Look, Look! by Peter Linenthal
As one of the best books for a newborn whose vision is still developing, Look, Look! presents high-contrast images in black, white, gray, and red. These black-and-white illustrations combined with punchy descriptions proves to be an excellent first book for your newborn.
Guess How Much I Love You written by Sam MacBratney; illustrated by Anita Jeram
At last, this cherished classic has made its way to the board-book world, thus placing it in the category of one of the finest books for 1-year-olds. The heartwarming story centers around Little Nutbrown Hare and his daddy, Big Nutbrown Hare, and their love for each other. As you read to your little one, you will have the chance to assure him or her that your love is limitless, too.
All the World written by Liz Garton Scanlon; illustrated by Marla Frazee
The wonderful world and all that’s in it comprise this simple, rhyming text with lovely, detailed pictures. This snapshot of a single day describes the sights, sounds, and emotions that coincide with going on the perfect outing with your loved ones.
The Going-to-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
This book follows a goofy group of animals as they prepare for bed. Your baby or toddler will giggle when following the catchy, rhythmic repetition while gazing at the cute illustrations of the pals as they “brush, brush, brush” and then “rock, rock, rock to sleep.”
Say Goodnight written and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
This board book provides more playful inspiration for the bedtime routine. No matter how active and energetic your baby might be in the evening, at some point he or she must get some necessary rest. With the help of the adorable children in this story who “say goodnight,” you can prepare your tot for a great night’s sleep.
8 Little Planets written by Chris Ferrie; illustrated by Lizzy Doyle
Babies might not remember the rhyming facts about the solar system, but with the smiling faces of all the celestial bodies, they will have a good time settling down for the night. As one of the best books for newborns, this board book comes from the creator of the Baby University series.
Now that you have a list of the best books for newborns and toddlers, you can enjoy a story or narrative poem with your child during playtime or as the perfect way to end a busy day. All in all, reading aloud serves quite well as a memorable time for bonding with your baby and helping him or her to acquire new words as time goes on.
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