Skip to content

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Announces 2022 Best Books for Babies List

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

Every year, new data emerges that supports the critical importance of reading to babies and introducing children to early literacy activities that help them be ready to read. It’s never too early to start sharing books with your baby, as clinicians have found that when caregivers read and speak to babies, the speech and language parts of their brains are stimulated and nurtured in development.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) is releasing their 2022 Best Books for Babies list, a nationally recognized guide to assist parents, teachers and caregivers in selecting quality materials to share with babies aged birth to 18 months.

“One of the most essential things any adult can do when engaging with a baby is to speak a melody of words to them,” said Cynthia Battle, one of CLP’s Best Books for Babies selection committee members, Trying Together consultant and founder of Taarifa Readers and Storytellers. “Whether listening to songs, nursery rhymes or books, babies learn that different sounds create words. Sharing Best Books for Babies titles — or using them to begin an in-home library for your child — are great ways to encourage their future love of language and reading.”

A panel of librarians and child development experts select the yearly titles based on the books’ ability to promote linguistic, social-emotional, cognitive and visual development for young learners. The committee shared the following reading tips to accompany this year’s list:

  • Books with simple black against white pictures are easiest for babies aged birth to 6 months old. Young babies also like patterns and pictures of people’s faces.
  • Babies explore their world through touch and taste. Share sturdy books that offer different textures and sensations.
  • Babies learn through repetition. Read stories over and over again.
  • Young children are wiggly! Share books when your child is relaxed but still alert.
  • Share new words every day! Point to pictures on the page as you describe them. Make connections to things you see and experience in real life too.
  • Children learn from everything they experience. Talk, sing, read, write and play every day.

“There are so many ways to approach reading with your baby, and parents can explore new methods of playing and engaging with their babies as they continue to embark on various story and sensory experiences in their reading routines,” said Lisa Dennis, coordinator of children’s collections at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. “You don’t have to be an excellent reader or speaker to teach your child about the importance of reading — you just have to be committed to encouraging and nurturing their imagination.”

2022 Best Books for Babies

Baby, Sleepy Baby by Atinuke; Illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
(Candlewick Press)
An interracial family cuddles a beaming baby in this charming baby book.


City Baby by Laurie Elmquist; Illustrated by Ashley Barron
Colorful collages and simple phrases celebrate everyday experiences.


Farm Lullaby by Karen Jameson; Illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
Playful rhymes and pleasingly old-fashioned illustrations show a variety of farm animals as they prepare for sleep.


Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton
(Candlewick Press)
Bright colors and cleverly designed pages make the pictures in this board book pop.


If You’re Happy and You Know It! and Pop a Little Pancake! Illustrated by Annie Kubler and Sarah Dellow
(Child’s Play)
A diverse group of children act out these two play songs; musical notation is included on the back.


Jungle Night by Sandra Boynton
Sleepy rhymes give way to a (loud) surprise in this humorous animal-filled board book.


Leo Loves Daddy and Leo Loves Mommy by Anna McQuinn; Illustrated by Ruth Hearson
Leo is a smiling, energetic baby who enjoys spending time with his father and mother.


My Heart Beats by Rina Singh
Color photographs show babies and their caregivers with accompanying text that describes the sound of a heartbeat in a variety of languages.


The Night Is Deep and Wide by Gillian Sze; Illustrated by Sue Todd
Crisp black and white illustrations with splashes of color accompany a soothing poem to create a cozy bedtime read.


We All Play by Julie Flett
(Greystone Kids)
Stunning artwork shows animals and children at play in a picture book that can be enjoyed by babies and will remain engaging as children grow.


The 2022 list, along with earlier lists can also be found online at

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Best Books for Babies initiative is intended to encourage reading beginning at birth and recognize publishers who create excellent books for the very youngest listeners. Throughout the year, the Library will collaborate with local organizations to provide Best Books for Babies book bundles to families with children aged birth through 18 months.


About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - To Engage our Community in Literacy and Learning

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.


site logo

What would you like to find?