I read somewhere recently that teaching a child to love books is more important than teaching a child to read.
If they love books, the reading and learning will follow.
Starting from birth we can foster a love of reading and give children the best possible start in life. Even newborn babies love to be read to.
The lists below include some of the best children’s books of all time – suitable from birth and enjoyable to read aloud. Many of these I remember reading to my baby brother when I was about 10 years old! Good books really are timeless.
My favourite books for new babies
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The most iconic board book with its caterpillar bitten pages.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by the same author is also very good, with its simple colourful illustrations and repetition in verse.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
A classic bedtime story. Babies absolutely love this book. The practice of saying goodnight to things around the room seems to work well as part of bedtime routine.
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
The best lift-the-flap book. And there’s a whole range of Spot books. We’ve got about half a dozen and bub absolutely loves them, especially Spot Loves Bedtime which we read every night.
A random Little Golden Book we picked up and this story is a winner!
Sleepy Kiwi by Katherine Quin
A striking black and white bedtime story for new babies.
Best books for children
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Loveable confused Pooh and other gorgeous characters. Beautiful childhood stories first published in 1920s. Some say the English is better for learning from in books published before 1930.
Just Go to Bed by Mercer Mayer
The range of ‘little critter’ books are awesome for pre-schoolers.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Timeless tales from Mr McGregor’s garden. One of the best-selling books of all time (not just children’s books but all books – over 45 million copies!)
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
All of her titles are great, also check out Room on the Broom.
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Fun to read with good repetition.
Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr
One of my all-time favourite books from when I was young. Also love The Tiger Who Came to Tea by the same author.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss
And of course, The Cat in the Hat, Greens Eggs and Ham and many more. Older children will love these books, and the rhymes just roll off the tongue fun for parents.
Great for building vocabulary. Kids will pore over these pages for hours.
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
A sweet story about a little train with a whole of lot of optimism and determination.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Originally published in 1963, this is another all-time classic story.
I’ve also recently discovered Chris Ferrie‘s science books for babies. I love them! And I can’t wait to read his new one: There Was a Black Hole that Swallowed the Universe