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Board Books That Every New Parent Should Have

By December 5, 2017May 13th, 2021The Kerlan Blog

A Baker’s Dozen Board Books For a New Baby

Board books for babies. It is never too early to read aloud. For professional resources from the American Library Association (ALA) and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) go to Every Child Ready To Read.
What do we want? Rhythm, Rhyme, and Repetition.
Do you know about Reach Out and Read?

Reach Out and Read a national nonprofit which promotes early literacy through doctors and nurses who provide primary care to young children at nearly 5,000 clinics, health centers, hospitals, and doctor’s offices in all 50 states.   

These are my go-tos for my new parent gift basket:
Board Book by Boynton, Title Moo, Baa, La La La

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton


Sandra Boynton is a genius. Seriously, where is her MacArthur Fellowship? She gets babies. She gets humor. She brings song and joy to every nursery.





Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell, pictures by Ken Wilson-Max

Rhythm and repetition are what make this Charlotte Zolotow honor title an outstanding read-aloud. 






I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy

 I Kissed the Baby! is my go to for deceptively simple and simply perfect. The repetition of the phrase sprouts giggles in tediously fraught situations like waiting in line to board an airplane that the parents will be endlessly grateful to the giver.



Dear Zoo by Rod Cambell


Baby’s first lift-the-flap and absurd tale. Fits the bill for the parent who might find the books a little tediously concrete.





Time For Bed by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer

Dare I say, baby’s first good night book? Let’s face it. Someone will give the parents Good Night, Moon and if not there will be plenty of time for that. By the author of Reading Magic is a soothing read aloud paired with Jane Dyer’s delicious watercolors.







Global Babies by The Global Fund For Children

We know that babies love to look at babies. These crisp photographs will delight parents and newborns with a window to babies around the world.






Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Marla Frazee

It is the juicy language and diversity of babies and their daily lives that make this one a perfect first read aloud.
“Every day, everywhere, babies are born…Every day, everywhere, babies are carried in backpacks, in front packs, in slings, and in strollers, in car seats, and bike seats, and on Daddy’s shoulders.” 






More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams

Diverse family members experience the joys early childhood in this Caldecott honor winner.

Vera Baker Williams · She holds that baby nose to nose
1990, Gouache Painting, Black Mountain College Collection, Permanent Collection. 2012.07.02.23. Asheville Art Museum









Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora 

What is more fun than a spontaneous game of peekaboo





Cars Go by Steve Light

Vehicles! Everyone needs a book of vehicles! 

The Everything Book by Denise Fleming

 An incredible compendium of concepts for the very young.

Gossie by Olivier Dunrea

 Baby’s first humorous book of friendship.
 And one to grow into-  Baby’s First book of Fairytales.

Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins





And as soon as I finished this list I thought of Tails by Mathew Van Fleet. Baby’s first informational book. 








AND I was just reminded by Kerlan Board member, Gretchen Wronka of the bilingual Ojibwe-English, Cradle Me by Debby Slier published by Star Bright Books.


What are your favorite board books for new babies?

Post them in the comments and I will round them up on Friday for another blog posting.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Mary Brozic says:

    I would also include “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats!

  • Camilla Corcoran says:

    I just gave Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals as a baby gift for one of my very favorite moms that I babysit for, and the whole family LOVES it. The big brother, who’s 5, makes me read it whenever we’re hanging out in the baby’s room, and he is curled up at my shoulder, rapt, by the end — every time. It’s lovely.

    Thanks so much for this list, btw — you reminded me of several board books I still need to get for this particular baby — his mom has officially put me in charge of both her sons’ libraries!

  • Lisa Von Drasek says:

    Rachel Payne, Coordinator, Early Childhood Services Youth and Family Services, Brooklyn Public Library suggests What Does Baby Want,
    A 2017 title sure to tickle the funny bone of any nursing mom.

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