Best Books for Babies

parent reads book to two young children

Created by a panel of local librarians and child development experts, this nationally recognized guide assists parents, teachers and caregivers in selecting quality materials to share with babies age birth to 18 months.

The Best Books for Babies annual booklist began in 2000 as a project of Beginning with Books, a local nonprofit committed to providing literacy and learning to underserved children. Local librarians, educators and children’s literature experts were invited to join in evaluating and recommending titles published in the previous year.

Given Beginning with Books’ focus on reaching families and communities of color, it’s not surprising that selecting inclusive and diverse titles was a goal from the beginning. Indeed, the committee’s criteria includes a specific directive to seek out ‘[d]iverse and authentic representation[s] of race, gender, ability, culture, and family structure.”

Although Beginning with Books closed in 2010, the list lives on, with a number of committee members who have served continuously since that first year. Long standing committee members have been joined more recently by health care professionals, government representatives and other interested individuals.

Staff Picks

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The Best of the Best Books for Babies

Since the turn of this century, a group of Pittsburgh librarians and child development experts have been meeting annually to select a list of books perfect for sharing with the very littlest listeners.  Not all of the titles honored so far are still available. That's partly because children's books can go out of print relatively quickly and partly because we're coming up on the 20th…
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Best Books for Babies 2019

For the twentieth time since 2000, a group of local librarians and child development experts has sorted through the previous year's publications to select and promote the ten Best Books for Babies. The Best Books for Babies project is intended to encourage reading beginning at birth and recognize publishers who create excellent books for the very youngest listeners. The books selected, from sturdy board books…