4 Types of Essential Board Books for Your Baby's Library

Learn how to get your little one engaged with books from the start.

By Jodie Rodriguez and Scholastic Parents Staff
Jan 30, 2020



baby board books

Jan 30, 2020

A well-stocked library is a great beginning for your baby's early learning. Here are four kinds of books to include, and practical tips for using those books.

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1. Basic Concepts Books

Try these board books for introducing basic learning concepts and developing language.

ABCs and Vocabulary

Scholastic Early Learners: Noisy Touch and Lift Trucks is an interactive way to teach your baby or toddler common sounds and encourage language development. Flaps reveal entertaining sounds, and tabs and touch-and-feels develop hand-eye coordination. 

Peppa's First 100 Words is your ultimate tool for exposing your little one to language! Bright, vivid illustrations of words like "kite," "duck," and "frog" will captivate your child, all while Peppa and George guide them through the book. 


Count My Cupcakes 1, 2, 3 by Joyce Wan features rhymes that count down from five cupcakes to one, and back again. Squishy touch-and-feel cupcakes help make this board book a sensory delight for your baby. 


My Rainbow Surprise by Amy E. Sklansky is a magical book bursting with shiny colors and eye-catching illustrations your baby will love. It comes in the shape of an actual rainbow, perfect for your baby's little hands to hold and carry around. 


Scholastic Early Learners: My First Book of Shapes is an interactive board book designed for hands-on learning! Each page introduces a new shape and its characteristics, and the book also shows kids where those shapes appear in the real world. 


With 64 different animals to find, your little one will have a blast searching for chickens on a farm and fish in the ocean in Amazing Animals: A Spin and Spot Book by Liz Charlesworth., an interactive board book that introduces your baby to the entire animal kingdom.

As you read, be sure to stop and point to objects in the illustrations. Name the object or describe the color, shape, or number of objects on the page. In time, your child will eventually start to name the items too.

2. Rhythm, Rhyming, or Repeated Text Books

Reading aloud to children helps them absorb sounds and language. Listening to a loved one reading a book fills their language tank. Add these rhyming and rhythm titles to your library shelf!

Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jayne Church provides a spin on the classic "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" with a heartwarming rhyming story featuring adorable illustrations.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, also by Caroline Jayne Church, brings the classic lullaby to life with this dazzling board book. It even features a foil cover that sparkles on the darkest of nights! 

If there's a line in the book that's repeated several times, look at your baby so she can see your mouth as you say it.

3. Song Books

It's delightful to your baby's ears to hear your voice singing — and chances are you will entice some baby babbling along the way.

The Wheels on the Truck Go 'Round and 'Round is a curriculum-based Rookie book created with the help of early education experts, and is a sing-songy ode to the big vehicles and machines kids love. 

You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis is a sweetly illustrated book of the classic song you know and love.

You'll find that you'll memorize these songs pretty quickly! Try to sing them without using the book at different times of the day, like at bedtime.

4. Naptime and Bedtime Books

It's important to have a few books that are calming, reassuring, and full of love and kindness right before bedtime. These titles will help you ease your little one into slumber.

Goodnight, Starry Night has a soothing bedtime lullaby written by Amy Guglielmo and Julie Appel. Peek-through pages offer your baby a charming introduction to famous works of art. 

I'm Not Tired!: A Bedtime Routine Book by Marybeth Butler and Janice Behrens helps to teach little dreamers about the importance of bedtime routins and catching z's.

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