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Best Books for Babies 2016

Babies love books.

Cuddling up with a caregiver, looking at pictures and listening to the rhythm of words, whether they understand them or not, can be comforting, exciting or just plain fun.

And librarians love lists.

That’s one reason why a number of child development experts and advocates for early literacy have gotten together annually for the last 17 years to identify the Best Books for Babies published in the previous year.

Titles selected have to meet certain criteria of course, but the real test of a best book is whether the baby’s grown-ups are willing to read and re-read it over and over (which is actually really good for young listeners).

Not every book will suit every reader and listener, but the titles on this year’s list offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy rhymes, interact with flaps and textures or look forward to fun everyday experiences.

For babies who have big brothers or sisters, try Doreen Cronin’s Smick!


Simple words, rhyming phrases and goofy energy make it a fun read for the whole family.

Art loving parents will be pleased to see Big Bear, Little Chair by Lizi Boyd on the list.

big bear

Sophisticated black and white artwork with red accents accompanies a three part catalog of quirky combinations of animals, objects and settings.

To really fascinate your audience, though, you’ll want to share Maya Ajmera’s Global Baby Bedtimes – because babies just love looking at photos of other babies.

global baby

Prefer something a bit more rowdy? Check out the numerous titles on the list that encourage making loud noises.  And don’t forget to check out past titles too.

Lisa is the Coordinator of Children’s Collections at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She’s the lucky person who gets to pick out all of the cool stuff for kids that the Carnegie has to offer. Although she understands the importance of technology and selects e-books and audios along with books, movies, music and more, she remains cheerfully low-tech in her off time.

Best Books for Babies 2016

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