15 baby books to read to your tiny tot, including classic bedtime stories and new titles

When should you start reading to your child? Many adults assume that children under the age of 1 are too young to start, but that’s a misconception.

According to various studies from Reach Out and Read (ROR), a non-profit organization founded by a group of paediatricians and educators at Boston Medical Center, children enjoy lifelong effects when they are exposed to literacy from birth through the age of 5. At this age where your child is going through rapid mental and physical growth, reading will naturally extend to their social-emotional development: build language and literacy skills: encourage curiosity and imagination: help familiarise them with sound, emotions, and visuals: and most importantly, strengthen the bond you have with your child.

If you’re looking to start reading to your little one, consider this list of books we’ve curated.

1. Dear Zoo

This is a classic favourite among young children and parents alike. Dear Zoo tells about a child who writes to the zoo, looking for a pet. In acknowledgment, they send a selection of animals. With every page, there are crates and cases in the form of flaps where children can lift and look for a suitable pet while learning about different animals. With bright, bold illustrations and catchy lines, this is a book that your child will grow to love! Dear Zoo is an excellent book to include in your child’s growing book collection.

Author: Rod Campbell (Board Book)
Where to buy: Book Depository
Price: S$11.73, Free delivery worldwide

2. Where is Monkey?

toddler-books

This beautifully illustrated book allows you and Junior to play “peek-a-boo” by looking for Monkey. With the help of Where Is Monkey?, invite kiddo to imitate voices, learn prepositions such as “behind”, “on top of”, and “under”, all while you and your child guess where Monkey is. This is a simple book you’ll be able to read again and again.

Author: Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
Where to buy:
Babsy Books (they’re running a promotion where you buy five books and get to purchase subsequent books at just US$3)
Price: S$8

3. The Most Magnificent Thing

Another exceptional addition to your child’s book collection is The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. This book is about a girl and her close companion, her dog. She envisions building the most magnificent thing. However, when things don’t go her way, she gets frustrated. Her dog then advises her to take a walk. She returns calmer, more enthusiastic, and ready to tackle the problem at hand.

Throughout, her emotions are vividly portrayed through the illustrations, verbs, and action words used. Not only does this promote vocabulary development and stimulate children’s imagination, but it also teaches them how to react to these emotions and not to quickly associate making mistakes with giving up. This is a book that children (even adults too) can look back, read, and reflect on.

Author: Ashley Spires (Hard Cover)
Where to buy: Book Depository
Price: S$22.72, Free delivery worldwide

4. Beautiful Oops!

Beautiful Oops! is a best-selling interactive book filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, and various paper engineering styles. It demonstrates to young readers how one can salvage mistakes into something wonderful.

Engaging in these activities helps cultivate children’s creativity, play around with their imagination, and let them view imperfections in a different light rather than be easily discouraged. This is a valuable lesson for children, especially when they begin to understand more when they’re older, and it serves as a timeless reminder for adults too.

Author: Barney Saltzberg (Hard Cover)
Where to buy: Amazon
Price: S$19.97, Free delivery

5. What Makes It Rain?

What makes it rain? Where does wind come from? How does a rainbow form? In this book, young children are introduced to the science behind the natural forces that make up different kinds of weather. What Makes It Rain? is filled with bright and colourful illustrations that engage the children’s mind while providing them with information and answers to specific questions on the weather. This is simply accomplished by lifting the flaps on the pages!

Author: Katie Daynes (Board Book)
Where to buy: Amazon
Price: S$17.97, Free delivery

6. What Are Feelings?

What Are Feelings? is another interactive series from Katie Daynes that explores different emotions in a friendly and approachable manner. In this book, children will find cute animal characters experiencing different emotions and recognise that every emotion is set apart with specific colours.

Interactive flaps are available throughout the book with answers to specific questions and explanations as to why one can feel a certain way. At an age where curiosity is at its peak, young children will find this book interesting as it promotes a healthy approach to the topic.

Author: Katie Daynes (Board Book)
Where to buy: Amazon
Price: S$26.20, Free delivery

7. Look Inside Seas and Ocean

Find out how life is like underwater through this beautifully illustrated book. Look Inside Seas And Oceans allows children to explore the deepest, darkest areas underwater while providing them with facts and figures on the abundance of life forms living there. The combination of vibrant illustrations and just the right amount of flaps available makes learning more enjoyable for children.

This book also comes with Usborne Quicklinks that will direct you to recommended websites if you are curious to learn more about life beyond the sea and the ocean.

Author: Megan Cullis (Hard Cover)
Where to buy: Amazon
Price: S$17.38, Free delivery

8. Giraffes Can’t Dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe who wants nothing more than to join in and dance with other animals at the Jungle Dance. It is challenging for him to do so with his crooked knees and thin legs. One day, an unexpected friend left him some encouraging words, and Gerald returns, finally able to dance (and in his own unique way too).

In this book, young children will find the rhythmic text and bold, colourful illustrations mesmerising as it vividly captures various expressions and fluid dance movements. It also provides a teaching moment for your little one as it encourages the discussion on the harmful effects that comes with teasing others and how one should learn to embrace their individuality.

Author: Giles Andreae (Board Book)
Where to buy: Book Depository
Price: S$12.89, Free delivery worldwide

9. I Love You To The Moon And Back

I Love You To The Moon And Back is a sweet rhyming book about a bear and her cub. They spend the whole day together — splashing in the water, climbing mountains, and watching the night sky. The bears show their love for each other by touching noses, playing catch, and lots of hugging!

To summarise, this book successfully captures a parent’s love for their child and the joy they feel from spending time together. Similar to the narrative, reading aloud with your young ones is an alternative way to show them your affection. We’re sure they can feel it too!

Author: Amelia Hepworth, Board Book
Where to buy: Amazon
Price: S$13.68, Free Delivery

10. The Worrysaurus

Worrysaurus has planned a special picnic on such a beautiful day. However, it’s not long before he starts to worry about all the wrong things that can happen. The Worrysaurus is a positive and reassuring tale of an anxious dinosaur as he learns to deal with his worries and let go of his fears. Young children will learn to empathise with Worrysaurus and understand that feeling anxious or worried is completely normal, with nothing to be ashamed of.

Author: Rachel Bright, Hard Cover
Where to buy: Book Depository
Price: S$26.99, Free Delivery worldwide

11. The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside is another moving piece by Rachel Bright. It tells the story of a shy little mouse who is determined to learn how to roar like a lion. The mouse musters its courage and approaches a lion. However, there is a hilarious turn of event!

This book teaches young and adult readers alike an important lesson on self-esteem and confidence, and that no matter who you are, there is a mouse and lion in all of us.

Author: Rachel Bright, Hard Cover
Where to buy: Amazon
Price: S$13.39

12. Alfie And Bet’s ABC

Join Alfie and Bet on their journey to pick their favourite letter from the alphabet and learn about the letters of the alphabet along the way. Alfie and Bet’s ABC is an interactive book filled with pop-ups and bold, colourful illustrations that will motivate young children to learn the alphabet and words associated with the specific letters.

Author: Patricia Hegarty, Hard Cover
Where to buy: Book Depository
Price: S$21.24, Free Delivery worldwide

13. I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back is an easy-read picture book of a bear losing his hat and going out of his way to look for it. Tag along on this visual journey where he asks about his hat’s whereabout to the animals he crossed paths with. You’re in for a mischievous twist!

Klassen uses minimal illustration and dialogue text in his book to emphasise the tale’s quirkiness and humour. Not only does this engage young readers, but it is also a delightful read for adults.

Author: Jon Klassen (Board Book)
Where to buy: Amazon
Price: S$13.48, Free delivery

14. The Wonderful Things You Will Be

The Wonderful Thing You Will Be is every parent’s message to their child, accompanied by whimsical illustrations, rhyme, and humour. The book encourages young children to embrace being adventurous, creative, kind, loving, and many other wholesome character traits.

No matter who they grow up to be, this book affirms a parent’s unchanging love for their child. There are powerful and uplifting messages here for young children to discover, adults included too!

Author: Emily Winfield Martin, Hard Cover
Where to buy: Book Depository
Price: S$23.87, Free Delivery worldwide

15. You Matter

You Matter is an enchanting picture book paired with bright illustrations. It offers young children various perspectives of the world and invites them to engage with it in a new way. Children are constantly reminded about the importance of their existence and how everything that makes them who they are matters. This book appeals not only to children but to people of all ages with its heart-warming messages.

Author: Christian Robinson, Hard Cover
Where to buy: Book Depository
Price: S$27.81, Free Delivery worldwide

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