Best Books to Give at a Baby Shower: The Librarians’ List

Best Books to Give at a Baby Shower

When you’re invited to a baby shower, the prospect of giving a gift can be daunting ($$$$), but it doesn’t have to be! You see, you can give the perfect gift ever without having to spend a ton of money — GIVE BOOKS! Reading to baby from the moment they’re born has outstanding benefits not only for their developing brains, but it’s also a great excuse for some parent-child bonding time.

I asked a few librarian friends and the community of youth librarians on Storytime Underground to share their favorite book/books they give at a baby shower and this post is a compilation of their responses.  So, whether you’re looking for a book for a baby shower or are starting a library for a wee little one, this list is full of books for babies recommended by the people that live and breathe storytime, preach early literacy, and make it their business to know kids’ books. The majority of the books listed are available in a board book format (sturdy, no-rip pages, perfect for baby chewing), which also happens to be less expensive too. If a favorite of yours isn’t on this list, please leave the title in the comments below!

favorite picture books for baby shower

The most librarian-recommended children’s books for baby:

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Meme Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rahmann
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Peek-A-Who? by Nina Laden
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli
Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett
Black and White by Tana Hoban
Little You by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Julie Flett
The Napping House by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood
Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek
Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Alberg, illustrated by Janet Ahlberg
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Schustak, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
Time for Bed by Mem Fox, illustrated by Jane Dyer
Indestructibles collection by Amy Pixton and Kate Merritt including Mama and Baby!, Old McDonald Had a FarmBaby Faces, Baby Babble, Jungle Rumble


favorite authors baby books

Favorite baby book authors and illustrators:

Sandra Boyton
Eric Carle
Caroline Jayne Church
Debbie Dewdney
Meme Fox
Emily Gravett
Tana Hoban
Petr Horacek
Alison Jay
Karen Katz
Annie Kubler
Leslie Patricelli
Paola Opal
Margaret Miller
Richard Scarry
Dr. Seuss
Audrey and Dan Wood


baby books with baby faces

Babies love to look at photographs of other baby faces. Here are a few great books featuring baby faces:

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
Peek-A-Boo! by Roberta Grobel Intrater
What’s On My Head? By Margaret Miller
Motown Baby Love Series by Charles R. Smith: My Girl Sugar Pie Honey BunchHow Sweet It is to Be Loved by YouAin’t No Mountain High Enough
Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Faces by Jane Wattenberg


touch and feel baby books

Sensory experiences are stimulating and fun for babies:

Usborne Touchy-Feely Board Books by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells: That’s Not My Dinosaur…That’s Not My Train…That’s Not My Lion…
Heads by Matthew Van Fleet
Tails by Matthew Van Fleet
Bright Baby Touch and Feel by Roger Priddy: Colors, Shapes, Numbers
Animals by DK Publishing


animal board books

Favorite books featuring animals:

Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman
Piggies by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Dan Wood
Peek-a- Zoo! by Nina Laden
Do Cows Meow by Salina Yoon
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Felicia Bond
I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry
The Babies and Doggies Book by John Schindel and Molly Woodward
My Big Animal Board Book by Roger Priddy
I Went Walking by Sue Williams


funny baby books

Silly books for baby and parent:

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon and Miguel Ordonez
Five Stinky Socks by Jim Benton
Where’s My Fnurgle by Jim Benton
Toot by Leslie Patricelli
Baby Mix Me a Drink (Baby Be of Use) by Lisa Brown
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton


art books for baby

Books featuring art and creativity:

Beautiful Oops by Sarney Saltzberg
Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
Little Blue, Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Mini Masters series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober: In the Garden with Van GoghA Magical Day with MatisseQuiet Time with Cassatt
Andy Warhol’s Colors by Susan Goldman Rubin


baby books to sing to

These books prompt song! So many benefits of singing to baby:

What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, illustrated by Tim Hopgood
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler
You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis, Caroline Jayne Church
Five Little Ducks by Annie Kubler and Penny Ives
The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
Down by the Bay by Raffi, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Sign and Sing Along: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Annie Kubler


interactive books for baby

Whimsical books that have an interactive component:

Press Here by Herve Tullet
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Game of Finger Worms By Herve Tullet
Game of Light by Herve Tullet
Wiggle! By Taro Gomi
Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi


unique books for baby

Not your typical board book. These are visually appealing, unique favorites that make you rethink your average baby book:

DC SUPER HEROES: My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg
A White Butterfly by Laurie Cohen and Barbara Ortelli
My Lucky Little Dragon by Joyce Wan
Are You My Mommy? By Joyce Wann
It’s a Little Book by Lane Smith
Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope by Jack Wang and Homan Wang
Vadar’s Little Princess by Jeffery Brown
Board books by Michelle Sinclair Colman, illustrated by Nathalie Dion: Eco Babies Wear Green, Foodie Babies Wear Bibs, Urban Babies Wear Black, Rocker Babies Wear Jeans
Baby Lit Books by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver: Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the BaskervillesPride & Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick
Cozy Classics by Jack Wang and Holman Wang: Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, War and Peace


best books to give a baby

Books that are a hit with babies & toddlers and are different than most books people typically give (e.g. books by Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle):

Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells
Dinosaur Roar! by Henrietta Stickland and Paul Stickland
10 Minutes till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Llama Hoppity Hop by Anna Dewdney
More More More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
Gossie by Olivier Dunrea
Good Night!: A Peek-a-Boo Book by Benoit Marchon
Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses by Jen Areana, illustrated by Bianca Gomez


sentimental baby books

Books that make you go, “Awwwwwwwwwww”:

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram
Always by Emma Dodd
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin



board book gift sets

The Eric Carle Gift Set
Helen Oxenbury Baby Love Set
Boynton’s Greatest Hits
Big Box of Boynton


books I give at a baby shower

My go-to baby shower gift is:  a touch & feel sensory book, a book featuring baby faces, and a book that my own kids enjoyed as babies. These were a few of my girls’ favorite board books:

Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson and Julie Morstad
The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
I Like It When.. by Mary Murphy
Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis


A big thank you to all the librarians that provided suggestions for this list. I hope this baby shower gift guide helps you find the the perfect book for the little one in your life. Happy bookgiving!



21 Responses to “Best Books to Give at a Baby Shower: The Librarians’ List”

  1. Danielle says:

    So many of our favorites on this list! We love giving books as gifts! I would add Hippos Go Bezerk by Sandra Boynton and Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers!

    • Rebecca says:

      Thank you, Danielle! Those are wonderful titles! Sandra Boynton was by far the most mentioned author. I adore EVERYWHERE BABIES, especially Marla Frazee’s illustrations. Such a great book. Thanks again!

  2. Laura says:

    I LOVE this list! I give books for every baby shower I’m invited too and am always looking for new titles. I love Leslie Patricelli and Sandra Boynton. Thanks for the great suggestions!

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks Laura! It was fun to compile all the responses. How can you go wrong with Leslie Patricelli or Sandra Boynton? For the win for sure!

  3. This is a fabulous list and it includes so many books that babies will love! Did you know that the benefits of reading aloud also apply to babies during the last trimester? Of course you did!
    Establishing a story-time routine before baby is born allows parents to practice reading aloud to a captive audience! Also, reading aloud to babies both before and after birth promotes family bonding, language development and cognitive growth just to name a few of the amazing benefits.
    This topic will be featured in our upcoming post (Oct. 9) for the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) blog and we hope you’ll check it out. We’d also love it if you’d take a look at our own award winning and research supported Belly Books and consider possibly adding it to your list. Belly Books are designed just for an expectant mom to read to her baby during the last trimester and then to her newborn. We have found that families who begin a story-time routine before baby is born tend to continue this practice throughout the child’s early years. We’ve been blogging about the benefits of prenatal story-time for years and we hope you’ll check us out at thereadingwomb.wordpress.com and also belly-books.com. Thanks for all that you do to spread the word about the importance of early literacy! We love your blog!

  4. Ros Mylroie says:

    and for Mom Debra Frasier ‘s On The Day You Were Born. A beautiful book for mom and child to share.

  5. Toni Yuly says:

    I love this list and at the risk of being totally shamlessly self promoting, I would like to add my own EARLY BIRD board book to the list…again, thanks for the great list!

  6. Man, you forgot The Everything Book. I tell you folks are always telling me they bought it for shower gift. I forgive you for the oversight. Lol, Denise

  7. Joyce Wan says:

    So honored to be included on this amazing list. Thanks so much! Librarians rule! XO

  8. Sydni says:

    My new favorite children’s book is called “What A Wonderful World” (based off the song) by Bob Thiele & George David Weiss, featuring beautiful illustrations by Tim Hopgood


Check out what others are saying...
  1. By The Book Baby Shower

    […] evening after the kids go to sleep. And I will be sure to check out your post o […]

  2. Gotlo Blog says:

    Peek A Boo Baby Shower

    […] r blog and am excited to read more this evening after the kids go to sleep. And […]

  3. Shower Baby With The Best This

    […] Susan. I just looked up your blog and am excited to read more this evening afte […]

Leave A Comment