You might think the details of your baby’s everyday life would make for a boring book. You’d be very, very wrong! Every baby needs books that let him look at images of other babies, and shows him how they go through their days. These picks are as dependable as they are adorable. I might even call them foolproof, because they’re about babies’ favorite subject — themselves.
‘B Is for Baby,’ by Atinuke. Illustrated by Angela Brooksbank.
Who needs the whole alphabet, when one letter can tell a story as entertaining as this one? Set in a lively West African village and adding a new “B” word with each page, the story follows the baby’s brother as he sets out on his bicycle to visit Baba — grandpa — in his bungalow. Little do they know the baby is stowed away in a basket of bananas, making for a funny, happy reunion.
‘Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Faces,’ by Jane Wattenberg
This board book seems so simple: no words, just photos of babies displaying all kinds of emotions. But babies enjoy gazing at other babies’ faces, and looking at a range of expressions and moods gives them useful emotional information, too. The cheerful colored and patterned backgrounds add even more visual interest, and there’s a bonus in the sturdy accordion-style pages, which let you stand the fully opened book upright for even longer viewing sessions.
‘Clap Hands,’ by Helen Oxenbury
The plump, smiling babies in this board book may make you want to snuggle up with them. Your baby will be happy to watch them dance, spin, eat, bang a pot and do all the other loud, messy, hilarious things babies do. Every detail in this and Oxenbury’s other board books for babies and toddlers adds real-life interest, from pants sliding down to a shock of hair sticking out just so.
‘Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?’ by Karen Katz
This lift-the-flap board book adds a peekaboo element to the “game” of naming all the parts of a baby. Babies love to explore their bodies, and Katz’s sweetly detailed illustrations make each baby seem somehow both larger than life and adorably tiny.
‘Everywhere Babies,’ by Susan Meyers. Illustrated by Marla Frazee.
They crawl, they laugh, they eat, they nap. They’re chubby, they’re thin, they’re bundled up or wearing diapers. The pages of this satisfying book are filled top to bottom with clever illustrations of all kinds of babies in their natural environments, along with the grown-ups who help take care of them. Catchy rhythms and rhymes make it a read-aloud book to return to over and over.
‘You Are New,’ by Lucy Knisley
This delightful, assured debut children’s book from the acclaimed graphic novelist Knisley explains a baby’s world to her (“You can fit in tiny spots/You get carried quite a lot”) while also preparing her for adventures and challenges ahead (“You might not know just what to do …/That’s O.K. when you are new”). But it’s the art that makes it a true standout — the sweet-looking babies who crawl and traipse through these pages have a refreshing hint of comics-style edge.
‘Busy Babies,’ by Amy Schwartz
Building blocks, removing socks, with their mamas, in pajamas — almost anything you can picture an infant or toddler getting up to makes an appearance in this casually rhyming book. The result is an exquisitely illustrated catalog of baby life, featuring families of all backgrounds. S