Books for Babies

By Christie

When we think about what books are best for children under three, we need to keep in mind their developmental level.


These children are in the process of adaptation, which means they are learning how to relate and become a part of the world that they see around them.  Children between birth and three possess what Dr. Montessori termed an unconscious absorbent mind, meaning they will pick up every single detail of their surroundings without any preconceived ideas or judgement.  Because of this, the books that the child looks at need to represent this reality.  The books need to do with the life of the child and be culturally appropriate.  It is important that the images in the books are based in reality and if possible not have images of things that don’t really exist like smiling or talking animals.  This characteristic is very hard to find as the majority of children’s books possess friendly looking creatures that are generally smiling and/or talking.  There is definitely a time in the child’s life where these make-believe books are encouraged, it is just not for the child who is under three years old.



The first books that we introduce to the children are books with one object per page.  Then, they slowly increase in content to include one object with the name per page, then two objects with names per page, etc.  The process continues to more objects with a short text (ex. Today is my birthday.  I will have a party.).  The pictures in the books move from real images to drawings, however they still need to be realistic.


At home or in the classroom it is important to have a small selection of books out at one time (ex. 4-8 books).  These can be on a little bookshelf for the child to access.  It is recommended to rotate the books every week or two from your larger selection.  Show your child how to manipulate the book and turn the pages.  If you handle books with respect and model this for the child, he/she will do so as well.

DEC 2012 039

Here is a selection of books that I have in my classroom (and at home) which generally fit this criteria:

Real Pictures:

Baby Basics – Animals                                       

Trucks – Bright Baby                                         

Animals – Early Learning Fun                        

Things That Go – Early Learning Fun         

Words – Early Learning Fun                           

Baby Faces Board Book – Smile!                                Grobel Intrater

Families – Babies Everywhere                                     Star Bright Books

Carry Me – Babies Everywhere                                  Star Bright Books

Eating the Rainbow – Babies Everywhere             Star Bright Books

Cuddle – Happy Healthy Baby                        

Move – Happy Healthy Baby                           

Hands Can                                                                   Hudson, Cheryl Willis Bourke

Sizes – DK Flaptastic                                            

Cuddly Animals – DK Touch and Feel          

Christmas – DK Touch and Feel                      

Welcome Song for Baby                                             Richard Van Camp

Wild Animals – Amazing Animals                           Vision St. Publishing

Sea Creatures – Amazing Animals                          Vision St. Publishing

Emergency – Mighty Movers                                    Vision St. Publishing

Diggers and Dumpers – Mighty Movers               Vision St. Publishing

Baby’s First Word Book                                               Nicola Baxter

Maybe My Baby                                                               Irene O’Book

First 100 Things That Go                                             Make Believe Ideas Ltd.

Things That Grow                                                           Snapshot Books

In the Wild – Baby Animals                                        Kingfisher Publications

On the Farm – Baby Animals                                      Kingfisher Publications

Illustrated Pictures:

Bathtime for Twins                                                     Ellen Weiss

Playtime for Twins                                                      Ellen Weiss

Everywhere Babies                                                     Susan Meyers

Mini Masters Artist Series                                       Julie Merberg and Suzanne

Good Night Our World Series                                David J. Adams and Anne Rosen

Big Red Barn                                                                 Margaret Wise Brown

Baby Animals                                                               Gyo Fujikawa

In My Tree (Pond/Den/Ocean/etc)                  Sara Gillingham & Lorena S

Wiggle! March! – Indestructibles                       Kaaren Pixton

Little Helpers                                                               Innovative Kids

Poems to read to the very young                        Eloise Wilkin

How Do I Love You?                                                Marion Dane Bauer

The Garden – First Words                                     Flying Frog Publishing

Food – First Words                                                   Flying Frog Publishing

Baby Beluga                                                                  Raffi

Machines At Work                                                     Byron Barton

Who Lives Here?                                                        Paula Croyle


Look forward to having you add to the list!


Filed under 0-3 Months, 3-6 Months, 6-12 Months, Christie, Language

11 responses to “Books for Babies

  1. christie492

    Here are Carrie’s (and A’s) favourites:
    • Black and White by Tana Hoban (Highly recommend for baby’s first few months of life)
    • “Indestructibles” by Kaaren Pixton.
    • The big RED ball (and the little WHITE kitten) by Christopher Franceschelli.
    • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox.
    • On the Night you Were Born by Nancy Tillman.
    • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
    • Time for Bed by Mem Fox.
    • That’s Not My …. Series (Published by Usborne)
    • Snug as a Bug by Michael Ross (not realistic but lovely rhyme and Andrea loves this book)
    • Hockey Numbers by Matt Napier
    • Welcome, Baby by Barbara Reid.
    • Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers.
    • I Will Hold You ‘Til You Sleep by Linda Zuckerman.
    • Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? by Eric Carle.
    • Green Start Publishers: the five senses, one tree, and (my favourite) in the garden.
    • Beautiful Babies by Karma Wilson
    • Safari Friends by Treesha Runnells
    • Who is Hiding in the Farmyard?
    • Heads by Matthew van Fleet and Tails by Matthew van Fleet
    • Round and Round the Garden is a good finger play book

  2. Thank you for sharing a list of recommended books – very helpful! I was wondering if you could help me with my 2 year old who doesn’t show a lot of interest in books. She was always like that. I love reading and could read 5 books at a time if I had the time (I used to) but I don’t know how to pass on my love for books. Thank you!

    • christie492

      Repetition, repetition, repetition!! Don’t give up…keep on trying to inspire your daughter with books. Make it special. Pick a time in the day that is consistent where you and your daughter have special quality time to read books together (before bed). Set up the books as noted above, with not too many out at one time. Make trips to the library and have her help pick out some books. Just some ideas!!

  3. Ana Fleming

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing list of books with us!
    I was wondering if there is any bookstore/website where you find that the books were more affordable than the others. I would love to build a big library for my baby but I am on a budget! =)

    • In the past I have bought off ebay by finding boxes of random books. I try to choose a box that has many that I like/want and the ones that I don’t want I donate. Don’t forget about your local library! A weekly or bi-weekly trip to the library can be a wonderful outing and doesn’t break the bank. And be sure to emphasize that you would like books as gifts (with some wonderful suggestions). Mostly I’ve just picked up books here and there so it’s not a huge overwhelming cost all at once.

    • christie492

      There is a great store in Kingsgate Mall called Lely’s Books which sells wonderful things. They often have discounted books as well as lots of good toys and instruments for little ones.

  4. I also recommend for you to have a good selection of poetry, finger plays, and songs to sing with your child(ren).

  5. Pingback: Communicating with Your Baby | Montessori Moms

  6. Pingback: Top Ten of 2013 | Montessori Moms

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s