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10 Books Every Newborn Should Have

10 Books Every Newborn Should Have

Building a first library for your newborn? Here are the ten essential books every baby should have, according to Nameberry's new parents. Or buy all ten for the perfect baby gift for a book lover.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle

Eric Carle's delightfully illustrated books are essentials on every baby's bookshelf, but Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? tops our list. The classic board book teaches colors and animals with a singsongy rhythm and iconic collages.

Little You, by Richard Van Camp

Little You beautifully illustrates the reasons parents love their children — most importantly, because you're you! It was written and illustrated by First Nations authors and is also sold in dual-language editions in multiple Indigenous languages.

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats' classic story of Peter experiencing the wonder of a first snowfall has resonated with children for generations. Parents and grandparents will fondly remember this story — and Peter's famous red snowsuit — from their own childhoods.

Press Here, by Hervé Tullet

Press Here reimagines what an interactive children's book can be. Readers are asked to press buttons, turn the book, and shake it up to discover how the colorful dots will react. Parents and children will get a kick out of this artistic adventure.

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals, by Mo Willems

Mo Willems is one of the most prolific children's book authors of the 21st century. He's the genius behind the widely beloved Pigeon and Elephant & Piggy series. Welcome features Willems' distinctive metacognitive humor that will appeal to parents, all the while teaching your baby what it means to be a person in this world (there are bagels! And also ice cream disasters).

The Family Book, by Todd Parr

The Family Book introduces children to the many different ways a family can be — some families have two parents and some families have one, some families live in a house by themselves, others live with multiple families — as well as universal truths, such as all families are sad when they lose a loved one, and all families can help each other be strong.

Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell

Readers of Dear Zoo have a mission: find the perfect pet. Children lift the flaps to see the animals sent by the zoo, and after going through an elephant, lion, and more, discover the puppy they've been looking for. This cherished book was first published in 1982, and Millennial parents may remember reading it when they were children.

Besos for Baby, by Jen Arena

Everyone wants to kiss the bebé in this book, which introduces Spanish vocabulary words with bright, cheerful illustrations and a sweet storyline. Whether or not your baby will grow up bilingual, Besos for Baby is a charming addition to your bookshelf.

Peekaboo!, by Taro Gomi

Toddlers know Taro Gomi for his classic book Everyone Poops, but newborns are better able to appreciate his board book Peekaboo!, which features animals, a robot, and even a friend. Each page has cut-out eyes, allowing the book to turn into a mask for even more fun.

The Hair Book, by LaTonya Yvette & Amanda Jane Jones

Your newborn may not have any hair yet, but it's never too early to learn about the many shapes and styles hair can take. The Hair Book features a diverse range of hair types including short hair, beard hair, cornrow hair, and hair covered by a hijab. A mirror at the end lets your child find the beauty in their own hair.

See our entire collection of Essential Books for Newborns and our full shop on Bookshop.

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.