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Books make great gifts! But what book to give? When shopping for babies and toddlers it’s good to give books that are not only a great read but also fun and unique in some way — it just makes them seem a little more “gifty,” and exciting to open.
Here are my top picks (right now anyway, my list is always changing) for best books for gifts for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. These are a mix of books we’ve received as gifts, books we’ve purchased, and books that I have on my wishlist. What are your favorites?
Give the gift of music with Ditty Bird Interactive Music Books. There’s a whole series of these — I always prefer Classical Music (a mom can only take so many nursery rhymes) but there’s also Noisy Farm Animals, Children’s Songs, Musical Instrument Sounds, and (of course) Nursery Rhymes. Check it out here.
Yes, that’s right. Let’s get those littles started early! Seriously though, this book teaches real quantum computing concepts on a baby level (although I learned something reading it too), with a tongue-in-cheek approach and simple illustrations. Sure to get a laugh as a gift, and provide real entertainment and education at reading time afterwards. I totally bought this for my little’s girl 1st birthday! Check it out here.
These are very substantial board books with bright colors and glittery, textured “trails” that kids trace with their fingers. We have the Follow the Trail: Trucks book and it talks about where different types of trucks go — the digger to the construction site, the recovery truck to the repair garage, etc. My 4 year old still loves this one, and we’ve had it since he was 2 I think. They also have a cute one for Bugs, Baby Animals, Farm, Dinosaurs, and more. See the complete list here.
Isn’t he just the cutest thing ever?! I’m a sucker for cute illustrations but this book also has wonderful messages about inclusion, feelings, and connecting colors to feelings for better expression. And it includes sticker sheets as well for making your own scribble people. Check it out here.
This is a sweet story about a bunny learning the colors of the rainbow from his outdoor friends — ladybug knows about red, grasshopper knows about green, etc. And each time you turn the page a new ribbon of color appears, slowly forming a complete rainbow. A uniquely visual and tactile way to learn and practice colors. Check it out here.
This one is memorable for its fun story, rich illustrations and complete lack of written words. It’s a picture book, so if you want to read it aloud you’ll need to narrate it yourself. That being said there’s a great deal of detail, and my 4 year old loves tracking the pink balloon through all the scenes, as it slowly floats off into the light of the moon. Charming and richly colored, this has always been one of my personal favorites to “read.” And although it’s less durable I highly recommend the hardcover version as more of the scenes (and the balloon!) can be seen on the larger paper pages. Check it out here.
My son received this one when he was 1 years old and although the flaps have taken a beating (that’s a rough age for flapping flaps too hard) this is a surprisingly sturdy book and now, at 4 1/2, it’s still a regular bedtime favorite. Features 14 Bible stories, 40 flaps to flip, and a larger size at about 8″ square. Check it out here.
Visually appealing as well as uniquely tactile, Ten Little Ladybugs is a lesson in counting (and excitement) as you get closer and closer to the end and find out what happened to all the ladybugs, one by one. Check it out here.
Can a book for littles be suspenseful? You bet it can. My 4 year old was on the edge of his seat for our first read through. Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 is a fun lesson in suspense, mystery, and magical whimsy. Fairies, goblins, suspicious boxes… and of course Door 32 make this one an exciting adventure (with a happy ending!). Check it out here.
We got a Halloween version of this from my Grandma a couple years ago and it still gets pulled out for fun every time Zeplin notices we have Cheerios in the house. They’re quick to read and uniquely interactive as a snack-time activity! Check out the Animal Play Book here as well as the original, and one for Christmas.
Dr Seuss Oh the Places You’ll Go!
Can’t go wrong with a classic like Dr. Seuss, and this one combines the whimsical rhymes you expect with messages of success, adventure, and excitement. This is one of those books that often becomes a keepsake, long into adulthood. Check it out here.
My son loves seek and find books. He got his first when he was about one year old and had fun watching me find everything, and then once he started getting the idea he got such a kick out of doing it himself. There are all kinds of seek and find books but I like this one for it’s sweet illustrations. Check it out here.
What are some of your favorite books to give as gifts?