One of the best times to read to children is when they’re newborns. Babies learn much when being read to, such as language, attention span, verbal cues, and much more. The following books are all board books unless otherwise indicated. These books are perfect for ages 0 to five. I will group these books according to the publisher.
The following books are published by Chronicle Books:
- Tap! Tap! Tap! Dance! Dance! Dance!, by Herve Tullet, is an oversized book that directly involves the child. The interaction involves following lines and spots with fingers and hands. These lines and spots were created with bright colored paint.
- Some of These are Snails, by Carter Higgins, has much information to learn in this simple yet powerful book. The design is structured with one or a few shapes and colors on each page with a simple text accompanying the visuals. The illustrations were cut and collages from hand-Painted paper and then assembled.
- Let’s Go to Color Camp! Beginning Baby (series), by Nicola Slater, is designed with nine color tabs that effectively teaches colors. The colorful illustrations were digitally rendered.
- My Big Touch-and-Feel Colors Cloth Book, by Marion Billet, is an oversized cloth book rich with color and texture. The tactile learning is richly displayed with smooth and rough textures as well as primary and secondary colors vividly shown throughout. The fabric is non-toxic and machine washable.
- Little Chicks, by Taro Gomi, is a smallish-sized board book about a family of three little chicks excited to run and have an adventure. But throughout the chicks’ explorations the parents are always there for support and love.
The following books are published by Union Square Kids:
- My Little Farm, by Wendy Kendall, is part of a series of smallish-sized crinkly cloth books with a tether ring hooked onto the book. Each page is soft and bright with color.
- Baby’s First Library (series): Opposites, Sea Animals, From Day to Night and Follow Me, Little One!, are four small books by Chiara Piraddi and illustrated with vivid colors by Agnese Baruzzi.
- Whose Feet? (A Mix-and-Match Flip Book), by Sam Williams and brightly illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan, is a fun and funny split-page pictures where children have the ability to create some hilarious looking animals. The text is simple making this a giggling read for little ones. Who’s Ears by the same author and illustrator and follows the same format.
- Duckling, Duckling Peekaboo and Puppy, Puppy Peekaboo, both cleverly illustrated by Grace Habib, features a pull-tab mechanism revealing an adorable animal on every page. The last page showcases a mirror.
- My First Book of Fruit and My First Book of Veggies, both by Fred Walter, has a colorful fruit or vegetable on display on each page showing the inside and outside of each.
- Sparkle! Sparkle! I’m a Unicorn!, by Jo Lodge, has some brightly colored illustrations with interactive tabs to move and enjoy.
- Big Red Fire Truck, by Ken Wilson-Max and wonderfully illustrated by Jo Lodge, recreates a ride in this big truck with raising the ladder, connecting the hose, and putting the fire out, all performed with moveable tabs. Big Silver Spaceship has a similar format and the same author and illustrator.
The following books are published by Candlewick:
- Where’s the Cat?, by Ingela P. Arrhenius, has radiant animals hiding behind felt flaps. Where’s the King is has a similar format.
- Be Happy: A Little Book of Mindfulness, by Maddy Bard and nicely illustrated digitally by Emma Dodd, is rich with the simple blessings of life’s happiness. Each mindfulness is stated simply yet strongly so youngsters can grasp and have a discussion about each page with parents. Some of these include Be Kind, Be Thankful and Be Patient. (This is not a board book.)
- Frog, by Maggie Li, has a die-cut circle all of the way through this smallish-sized book. Frog starts out as a small egg and frog. From there you see it transform into a frog. There is much to learn and enjoy.
- Maisy’s Ambulance and Maisy’s Recycling Truck, both by Lucy Cousins, are smallish books in the shape of a truck. The stories are simple yet teach the purpose of each truck. And the illustrations, as with all of Cousin’s delightful books, are rich with color.
- Follow Me Flo!, by Jarvis, is an adorable story about a father Duck leading his little daughter Flo to Auntie Jenna’s new nest. But when Flo decides to go her own way, trouble ensues. There are directional lessons to learn as well as consequences in the story. And the vibrant illustrations are delightful.
- High Chemistry: Big Science for Tiny Tots, by Jill Esbaum and Wonderlab Group, is a highly educational book with simple concepts for the youngest kiddies to learn while enjoying being read to. The photos of toddlers eating are fun, funny, and sometimes very messy. Each bright open page addresses what is being fed along with some interesting facts.
The following books are published by Simon & Schuster:
- Fifteen Animals! and Hey, Wake Up!, both by Sandra Boynton, have a die cut on the cover and proceed with a simple story featuring the theme of the title. The animal story is a counting exercise and the wake-up story covers morning routines.
- JJ’s Busy Day (Cocomelon), by Maria Le, is an oversized busy book with many things to do, see, and learn on every open page. The cover features a die cut mirrored star that turns into a large mirror for youngsters to see themselves inside. The book will take you through a toddler’s day where there are several flaps to lift throughout. The book ends with nighttime activity.