Carnegie Library Releases 2017 Best Books for Babies List



Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is pleased to announce the much anticipated 2017 Best Books for Babies list. Created by an esteemed committee of local librarians and child development experts, this creative and carefully vetted list provides parents, teachers and caregivers with book recommendations designed to inspire and stimulate babies ages birth to 18 months.  

For the past 17 years, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) has been involved in the development of the Best Books for Babies list. Currently the list is created in collaboration with two leading advocates for early childhood education – The Fred Rogers Company and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. By reading each book aloud and discussing its merits, the committee of experts decides on the final list based on the language, illustrations, representation and appeal of each book title.

 “Children learn from everything they experience, so it’s never too early to start reading to your baby,” said Lisa Dennis Coordinator of Children’s Collections at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and chair of the committee. “The first few years of life are critical for building learning skills that can last a lifetime, and fostering early literacy is one of the most important things we do at the Library.”

Melissa Riley, a neonatologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, uses the Best Books for Babies list to select books to read to children in the NICU. “Even newborn infants can learn a great deal from what they see and hear in books,” Riley said. “In my department, we try to select books that will not only sound exciting for babies when read out loud but also include cheerful, welcoming illustrations. 

The top ten titles were selected from more than 100 books submitted for consideration by publishers, committee members and local librarians.

The 2017 Best Book for Babies list: 

  • Blocks, by Irene Dickson: A mini-drama about learning to share.
  • Cars Go, by Steve Light: An ode to automobiles and trucks.
  • Clip Clop and Wibble Wobble, by Catherine Hnatov: Two companion books of animal sights and sounds.
  • Counting and Shapes, by Fleur Star: A pair of concept books presented in both Braille and print.
  • Eat, Sleep, Poop, by Alexandra Penfold: A humorous look at baby’s first experiences.  
  • Leo Can Swim, by Anna McQuinn: A young boy’s adventure with his father.
  • Look at You: A collection of adorable photos of babies.
  • One, Two, Three Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie: A snuggly collection of number poems.
  • Sunrise, Moonrise, by Betsy Thompson: A contrast of daytime and nighttime animals.
  • You Are One, by Sara O’Leary: A retrospective on a baby’s first-year milestones.


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is supporting individual achievement and strengthening the power of community. Through the community’s investment, the Library is enhancing the lives of people in the greater Pittsburgh region with dynamic and diverse resources such as creative learning programs for children and teens, job and career assistance for our community's workforce, and free computer and Internet access for all. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh builds community, enables learning, provides access and values people.