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We’re at a stage in our lives when it’s always baby season so we’ve had to develop a system of gift-giving that won’t break the bank and will actually be welcomed by the expecting family. Everyone gifts blankets, and having five extra blankets is always good given the unlimited fluids that a tiny infant can produce, but there’s still a limit to how many blankets you want.
Now, books? There is no limit on the books you can give. From the decades-old classics to the fresh new stories, there’s such a wonderful variety of stories and art to share.
The Perfect Book Gifts for Baby Showers
Owly: Tiny Tales
Black and white images are great for newborn eyes and there is simply nothing cuter than Owly and his forest friends for Baby to gaze upon. These are wordless books and good from the earliest days until they’re grown enough to construct narratives on their own.
Indestructibles: Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Every newborn’s library should have at least one Indestructibles book to grip, pull, chew, and drool on without having to send the book to the book hospital. We were so grateful when we discovered these.
Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book
The narrative in this book is so catching that it sticks with you for months! It is so fun to see kids make reference to a book they read in the past and see that they’ve encoded memories.
The Pout-Pout Fish
The pout-pout fish isn’t the most subtle of metaphors but it does the job and gently teaches kids about choosing to be kind and how that can affect others.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Small Hoku
Especially cute for sea-faring canoe paddlers, this Hawaiian twist on the classic Twinkle Twinkle Little Star takes baby paddlers on an imaginary water adventure before bed.
Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses
This adorable book doesn’t spend much time on constructing a story but the kisses theme carries the readers through with a very light introduction to beginning Spanish vocabulary. It’s an excellent starter if you’re easing into bilingualism in your home.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This is a classic that’s captivated kids with the colorful foods and counting for years.
We came to Goodnight Moon late but the magic of this book has staying power even if kids weren’t weaned on the story.
Noodles for Baby
A lyrical food fest, both the art and narration for this book is adorable and on point. Cases in point, see: the cat. The floor. The toes.
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes/Cabeza, Hombros, Piernas,
The popular song “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” is rewritten in Spanish for children to easily learn anatomical vocabulary to a catchy and familiar tune.
Quiero a mi Mama Porque (I Love my Mommy Because)
Mother and baby pairings are as cuddly and loving between humans as they are between kittens, otters, kangaroos, and so many more animals. As a bonus, the Spanish in this book is emphasized over the English, encouraging young readers to focus on that language over the English.
Curious George at the Zoo: A Touch and Feel Book
A younger board book and touch and feel version of Curious George lulls infants to engage with the book itself, feeling the textures of each animal’s skin, hide, or hair.
Little Owl’s Night
Stories about nocturnal animal life are always fun for little ones who wonder what fun they’re missing out on while they sleep. In this book, Little Owl learns about diurnal life.
Down at the Beach
Sung to the “Wheels on the Bus”, this book takes little ones out to the beaches of Hawaii and all the fun things they can grow into doing as they get big enough to build and dig in the sand, or splash and paddle in the water.
My First Bilingual Book–Animals
This is an easy primer in basic Italian featuring animals with bright colors and clear text – making it easy for little ones to identify dogs or cani, and kitties or gatti.
The Going-To-Bed Book
This is a bit of hope for the new parents and new baby – may they have a child who is enthused about going to bed and sleeps through the night.
Good Dog, Carl
A classic series about a Very Good Dog named Carl starts with this wordless story about Carl and his methods of childcare. We still enjoy narrating the story as told in the art and giggling over the sillier choices.
Slippers in Hawaii
Growing up on the West Coast, the ubiquity of flip flops (as we typically referred to them in California) nearly matches that of Hawaii’s. This darling book takes you through Hawaii life in slippers.
How to Find a Fox
Nilah’s protagonist’s quest to find a fox is charming in and of itself, and gently shows kids that they shouldn’t give up when they are frustrated or their efforts haven’t yet borne fruit.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
This is a sweet book that encourages children to reach boldly, to consider others kindly, and to express themselves creatively without fear. The gatefold is a touch fragile but it’s our favorite part of the book.
New babies are tiny little sponges – it’s amazing how quickly they absorb the lessons in books with engaging stories or art, or memorize their favorite passages. Share your favorite childhood reader with us!