Best Books for Babies 2021
The Best Books for Babies selection process looked a lot different this year. No surprise, right? But we’re happy to report that we still came up with a list of titles that we believe offer something special to babies and their grown-ups.
With much juggling of schedules (and much appreciated flexibility), our group of local librarians and child development experts met virtually to determine the 2021 Best Books for Babies.
We hope that identifying these books will encourage parents and other caregivers to read to babies beginning at birth. We also want to recognize the publishers who create excellent books for the very youngest listeners.
The books selected, including an innovative fold-out board book, books with fun movable features, stories about young families and familiar songs and rhymes will delight and engage babies age birth through 18 months and the adults who care for them.
Please pick up one (or two!) of these titles soon—or choose books from previous Best Books for Babies lists—and share them with a baby in your life. In addition to spending some cozy time together, you’ll be preparing your baby’s brain to learn and grow.
20 First Words in 20 Languages
Photos of babies and young children illustrate individual words that are translated into 20 different languages on a color-coded moveable wheel.
Baby Up, Baby Down: A First Book of Opposites
Color photographs on bright white backgrounds show babies who are clean and messy, wet and dry, quiet and noisy—and utterly adorable.
Brown Baby Lullaby
A mom and dad enjoy the evening routine with their energetic little one.
Five Little Ducks: First Book of Nursery Games
Simple instructions for caregivers make it easy to play and sing with your baby. A companion title also selected for this year’s Best Books for Babies list is Pat-A-Cake: First Book of Nursery Rhymes.
Hello, My World: A High-Contrast Book
Crisp black and white pictures and cheerful greetings make this brief board book perfect for the very youngest listeners.
Hey Baby! A Baby’s Day in Doodles
Swirling black and white doodles frame candid color photos of a baby engaged in everyday activities.
Maisy’s Construction Site
Bold colors and movable parts make this simple story about friends working together especially appealing.
Tummy Time Friends
This unusual board book unfolds to display photos of smiling babies on both sides.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You!
Using a familiar tune, a mother turns a sometimes-challenging chore into a chance to connect with her baby.
Up Cat Down Cat
Bright colors, rich texture and exaggerated shapes combine to create an attractive board book.