Hello World and Other High Contrast Board Books

At Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, we are dedicated to promoting the idea that learning begins at birth. Reading out loud to your baby is a great way to support developing language skills, not to mention it can be a wonderful way to bond. But some books are tailor made for how a baby’s vision typically develops: high contrast board books. When babies are born, they can only see closeup faces and shapes, as well as bright lights. But around three to four months of age, they can see high contrast images and patterns. Red is the first color that babies can generally see.

High contrast board books provide images that have a high degree of difference between the lightest and darkest objects, such as a black silhouette of a cat on a white page. This makes it easier for a baby to focus on a shape or pattern, so that they can become familiar with the image. Plus, the sturdy board book form supports young children who will want to handle, touch, and, yes, possibly even chew on the book, which all contribute to how a baby learns about the world around them. By the time a child is one year of age, their vision is typically fully developed. Take a look at these titles that are perfect for introducing children to a lifelong love of reading.

For more information on vision development in infants visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.

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 If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.    

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This booklist was created in support of BUZZWORD PGH to encourage imagination, investigation, creation, and reflection. Available to families throughout Allegheny County, BUZZWORD PGH engages young children and their families as they discover the words that are all around them.

Black White

White illustrations against a black background, alternating with black illustrations against a white background, create high-contrast shapes that will engage your baby and allow you to explore together.

Hello, World!

In this black-and-white high-contrast board book, babies can encounter nature and see a smiling sun, a cheerful flower, a happy bee, and a sleepy ladybug. 

The Night is Deep and Wide

This poetic lullaby encourages young readers to rest their heads and be soothed to sleep.

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on Hoopla.

One Red Button

A wordless board book that follows the journey of one red button as it falls off a jacket and transforms into a doorknob and many other things along the way. 

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on Hoopla.

Up Cat, Down Cat

A long, white cat and a short, black cat play with a toy mouse until one cat is awake and the other is asleep, in a board book introducing the concepts of opposites.