Rebby’s 20 Best Baby Books to Gift to New (and Expecting) Parents
Have you ever been invited to a baby shower and struggled to come up with a gift? Probably not, since the vast majority of today’s parents-to-be curate a very specific and well-researched list of items they want most. Convenient? Very. Personal? Not so much.
A great way to get the best of both worlds is to keep your well-thought-out registry, while also requesting that each guest bring a children’s book, signed with a little note and their name. In the moment, the books might not seem as exciting as the bassinet that rocks automatically in 7 different ways, but be assured that years down the line, that bassinet will be a distant memory, while you will always remember those special books from your closest family and friends as you read them to your child each night.
Here are our top 20 picks for children’s books to give to new (and expecting) parents; including a few classics, as well as other modern day stories that are sure to be forever favourites. To celebrate Black History Month, we also want to underline the first four books written by very talented Black writers.
1. Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison
A beautifully illustrated board book sharing eighteen trailblazing black women in history. A wonderful bedtime story to inspire big dreams.
2. We all Belong by Nathalie Goss
A captivatingly written book focused on celebrating our differences and instilling empathy and respect across with a diverse and inclusive group of characters.
3. One Love by Cedella Marley
A board book based on the famous Bob Marley song, bringing it to life in beautiful colours for a new generation. Children will be delighted to be able to both read and sing along.
4. I am Enough by Grace Byers
Written by activist and actress Grace Byers, this lyrical story teaches children about loving who they are, respecting others, and being kind to one another.
5. Frederico and All His Families by Mili Hernandez
Frederico the Cat visits all the families he loves in his neighbourhood. A fun, bright and colourful book showcasing the unconditional love in families of all different forms, celebrating diversity and inclusion.
6. A Little Spot of Love by Diane Alber
What is Love? How do we show love? This is a tough question for little ones! A Little Spot of Love is a fun and captivating introduction to Diane Alber’s series on teaching children all about their feelings and emotions, including love, kindness, anger and many more!
7. We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp
A beautiful lyrical book by Indigenous author Richard Van Camp that captures the wonder and love of new parents for their new baby.
8. Corduroy by Don Freeman
This classic children’s book has been loved for decades and shares the tale of a bear searching for his lost button. Children love following his search, while also being reminded that we deserve to be loved unconditionally, despite our imperfections.
A bestseller for a baby girl or boy to celebrate who they are, both inside and out. A powerful letter to children that they hold a valuable place in the world.
10. Love you, Baby by Amy Pixton
While babies and kids love storytime, unfortunately they aren’t always the most gentle with their books. This is why creator Amy Pixton developed the series, “Indestructibles”. A rip-proof, drool-proof, chew-proof, non-toxic and 100% washable book! Love you, Baby is a wonderful story of how to show a baby you love them.
11. I Love You Because You’re You by Liza Baker
A sturdy padded-cover book that tells the story of a parent’s unconditional love for their child, regardless of how they feel or what they do.
12. The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
A bestselling picture book for parents, teachers and everyone in a child’s life to help cope with separation anxiety, grief and loss.
13. Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton
Can your children’s book collection be complete without a Sandra Boynton Book? Happy Hippo, Angry Duck is the perfect story to introduce your little ones to a wide range of emotions using clever animals.
14. Should I share my ice cream? By Mo Willems
A funny and captivating book to introduce your child to the wonderful Elephant and Piggie collection by Mo Willems. Should I Share My Ice Cream illustrates the challenges of doing the right thing.
15. The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
A book that will resonate with people of all ages about how to best comfort and be there for someone in your life when they need you.
16. Busy Betty by Reese Witherspoon
Written by actress Reese Witherspoon, Busy Betty tells the tale of a little girl with a big heart who learns to celebrate everything that makes her unique as she realises that anything is possible.
17. It’s OK to be Different by Sharon Purtill
Every child is unique, whether they are big or small, short or tall, like to swim, dance, sing or bike. Perhaps they have a special need or disability, or have a different ethnic background. Maybe they wear glasses, talk differently or require a wheelchair to get around. The truth is that all children are different and their individuality should be celebrated! This inspiring and brightly illustrated rhyming picture book does just that.
18. Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz
This wonderfully colourful board book comes in 3 different versions to show different babies’ perspectives. This one is written from the perspective of a male baby, recognizing that it’s good to be in touch with your feelings and that feminism is for everyone!
19. Wish by Matthew Cordell
Wish is a beautiful board book with captivating illustrations that tells the tale of two elephant parents who faced unexpected challenges when wanting to have a baby. Both touching and uplifting.
20. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
A longtime classic children’s book about unchecked altruism, giving without the need to receive. A great story for any age to learn about love and acceptance.
Enjoy our unique and fun list of our top reads and don’t worry, we have lots of ways to organize all the books you and your little one will be getting for months and years to come.
Kathryn is a mom of two boys, ages 9 months and 3 years old, from Toronto. She is a teacher and social worker, specializing in learning exceptionalities during childhood and adolescence and is a certified sleep consultant and recognizes the importance of a unique approach for every family. She is also fur mom to her 8-year old corgi, Buddy, a trained therapy dog.