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Choosing Books For Your Child: Babies

Tips for choosing age-appropriate books for your child

Birth to 12 months – Infants

  • Since your baby’s vision is fuzzy choose books that have large simple black and white images or pictures in bright colors set against a contrasting background.
  • Books should be durable! Pick books made of stiff cardboard, cloth, or soft vinyl, so they are water-proof, tear-resistant, and chew-proof.
  • Stimulate your baby’s senses by choosing tactile books that have different textures, scents, and sounds.
  • Wordless picture books filled with new and familiar objects will give your baby something to look at.
  • Oral language is important for early literacy; books with a single word and a corresponding picture will expose her to sounds and help her learn that pictures have meanings.
  • When choosing a book with words, simple sentences, like nursery rhymes, are best!

Reading tip! It takes several months for your baby’s visual system to fully develop, during that time it is best to keep books 8-10 inches away because she can’t fully focus on images further or closer than that.

Here are a few books to get you started:

  • Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
  • Belly Button Book by Sandy Boynton
  • Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe by Tana Hoban
  • Fuzzy Bee and Friends by Roger Priddy
  • Hip Hop by Catherine Hnatov
  • Baby Says by John Steptoe
  • Animal Kisses by Barney Saltzberg

For more reading lists visit the following websites:

International Reading Association – Choices Reading Lists

Reading Rockets – Recommended Books for Kids

American Library Association Children’s Book Council Joint Committee – Books to Grow On (Ages 0-3yrs)

Reading is Fundamental – Books Lists

The National Education Associations – 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read

James Patterson’s Read Kiddo Read

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