One Book a Month for Baby’s First Year

It’s true.

There’s a switch that flips when you become a Grandma.

Baby toys, clothes and books jump into my shopping cart now that I had no problem resisting before.

In a lot of ways, grand parenting feels familiar, too. Like starting over again at the beginning of parenting. But, this time around there’s the advantage of experience, perspective and being well-rested.

How to Grandma long distance

My first grand baby, Caroline, is about to turn one.

She lives nearby and we get a lot of time with her.

My grandson far away is still sleeping and kicking inside his mama.

I’ve been brainstorming ways to “Grandma” long distance.

Since I spent the last ten years of my life as a bookseller, sending books seems like the logical solution.

I’m intrigued and inspired by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Project.  It started out in her home county, but it’s grown across her home state, and across the country. Every month every child ages 0-5 receives a book in the mail addressed to them.

I can do that.

“Books are delicious”

Besides pulling from my years at the bookstore, I got some good picks from Sarah Mackenzie of the Read Aloud Revival.

She says when we’re reading to babies, we’re helping them associate books with delight and affection.

“Books are delicious” Anyone who interacts with books and babies knows that’s true.

But not all baby books work for baby’s first year. So, I whittled down my list, looking for books that would be visually, orally and tactically appealing to the youngest audience, just waking up to the world.

I also kept in mind that baby books have to please two audiences, the adult and the baby. These top picks win with both.

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Who’s Knees Are These?

By Jabari Asim

Even before babies interact much with the world, a rhyme can captivate.

This one is fun to read.

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Llama Llama Red Pajama

by Anna Dewdney

Another rhyming board book that pleasing both to the eye and the ear.

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Taggies Thank You Prayer


A cloth book that is as much fun to play with as it is to read.

Soft, fuzzy cover.

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Look Look

by Peter Linenthal


A black and white and red board book for babies who are just beginning to focus their visual attention.

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Peek a Who?

by Nina Laden


Simple, fast paced book for babies who are beginning to interact and notice things. Nice surprise at the end.

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Indestructibles Baby Peekaboo

by Kate Merritt


All the indestructibles books are made from incredible rip proof material that babies can’t damage.

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Touch and Feel Baby Animals


Good tactile stimulation. And who can resist baby animals?

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Good Night Moon

by Margaret Wise Brown


The classic board book that has entertained generations.

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Dear Zoo

By Rod Campbell

Another classic, this one with flaps to lift up, that will delight and entertain.

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Who says Quack?


Babies love animals and learning the sounds they make.

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Yummy Yucky

by Leslie Patricelli

Everything goes into baby’s mouth, even things that shouldn’t be there. A humorous look at what’s good and what’s not.

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The Pudgy Book of Mother Goose

Illustrated by Richard Walz


Small, easy to hold board book that contains classic Mother Goose rhymes.

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  1. Who’s Knees Are These?
  2. Llama Llama Red Pajama
  3. Taggies Thank You Prayer
  4. Look Look
  5. Peek a Who?
  6. Indestructibles Baby Peekaboo
  7. Touch and Feel Baby Animals
  8. Good Night Moon
  9. Dear Zoo
  10. Who says Quack?
  11. Yummy Yucky
  12. Chunky Mother Goose

That’s my list for baby’s first year!

What are your top picks for the youngest readers?

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4 thoughts on “One Book a Month for Baby’s First Year

  1. Elena Wiggins

    I love Dear Zoo! I have not heard of some of these books so I will have to check our library for them! I have a 3 week old (first child!) and a ton of books I am excited to read to him. A favorite of mine is Goodnight Gorilla! I also love the Goodnight books about certain cities. I grew up in Oregon but now live in Texas so I want our baby to eventually know about his mama’s Pacific NW roots so Goodnight Oregon and Goodnight San Antonio are fun ones too

    Reply
    1. Beth Post author

      I’m so glad you stopped by, Elena! While I was writing this post, I thought about you and your new baby. I know his library will be full of great books!

      Goodnight, Gorilla is a favorite of mine, too. I’m thinking I’ll include it in the list for Baby’s second year, since there’s so much humor there the little ones miss.

      Reply

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