Best Read-Alouds for Babies

It can be challenging to find books for babies that work well in Lapsit. These books need to promote interaction between the child and the caregiver, contain eye-catching & simplistic illustrations, focus on concrete themes that babies can relate to, and most of all, be short. Here are some books that have worked well for me in Lapsit:

Freight Train by Donald Crews – I love the choice of simple colors in this classic book. Plus, a transportation theme is a cinch to do for babies.Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox – This is a cute rhyming book that moms love, and kids do too. The book has plenty of repetition that is great for little ones. We have multiple copies of this title so that each child & caregiver can read a copy together while I read the master copy up front.

The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell – This is another cute title that works well for a transportation theme. I encourage the adults to help make the noises that each page mentions.

Time for Bed by Mem Fox – This book makes me feel sleepy just reading it! This would work perfectly for a bedtime theme or for an animal theme, as every page spread shows a baby animal with its mother as it gets ready to say goodnight.

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle – A great active book that will have the babies and grownups up & moving! Encourage the adults and babies to do each activity that the animals do in the book.

In My FlowerIn My Flower by Sara Gillingham – Any title in this series is a great choice! I love that every title in this series has a familiar refrain; the animal , and it ends with that animal with their family. Each book has a felt animal attached to the center of the book, with an opening for you to place your finger in. This is sure to capture the attention of babies.

Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora – This cheerful story shares the tale of an African-American child who spies different objects in his everyday life, such as his mommy and puppy. This author/illustator has also written several engaging books for older children that use traditional folk tales, like Princess and the Pea or Cinderella, and retells the story using African landscapes and other cultural elements.

This is the Farmer by Nancy Tafuri – Seriously, anything by this author is a gold mine for Lapsit. With just a few words on every page, you’ll retain the interest of the babies and likely make it through an entire story before the little ones wiggle away! I always ask adults to make the animal noises that correspond to each page.

Peek-A-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti – Like with any pop-up book, the element of surprise in this title is sure to excite even thePeek-a-Moo littlest audience members. Each spread begins with “Guess who? Peek-a-…..” and after lifting the flap, the animal is revealed along with the corresponding noise it makes. This can be made even more interactive by asking the grownup to cover the baby’s eyes until the flap is lifted. Although this book is only available as a picture book, you can try “Peek-a-Zoo” Nina Laden by for a similar title in the sturdy board book format.

Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli – The books by these authors are a fun perspective on opposites. This one can be good for a mealtime theme. I ask adults to make faces for each type of food, a happy face for yummy foods and a grossed-out face for the  yucky foods.

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker – A colorful rendetion of the popular rhyme “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”. Each page has an item which you can choose to count with the audience. Promoting math and traditional nursery rhymes? A win-win.

I Kissed the BabyI Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy – A cute story that naturally lends itself to interaction between the caregiver and child, with an activity that they can do on each page. “I tickled the baby. Did you tickle the baby?”, etc. The illustrations are mostly black & white, which is an added bonus if you have very little babies in attendance, as they will find the high-contrast illustrations especially appealing.

Where is Baby’s Belly Button? By Karen Katz – Another amazing author that is worth her weight in gold. This is a perfect choice for a theme about body parts. This book contains lift the flaps which have parents and babies looking for each of baby’s body parts.

Bathing by Liesbet Slegers – Choose from any of these author’s books, and you’re sure to find a Lapsit gem. This particular book is a great choice for a Bathtime theme, and it contains simple sentences about the ways in which a child gets ready for bath. The childlike illustrations are inviting and fun.

This Little Chick by John Lawrence – You can never have too many barnyard tales! This story focuses on a little chick who goes around the farm and visits several different animals. One page reads, “this little chick from over the way/ went to skip with the lambs one day, and what do you think they heard him say?”. Encourage caregivers and babies to mimic the animal noises as you read. Pair this with “When Cows Get Up in the Morning” by Hugh Hanley for a storytime filled with animal sounds.

What are some of your favorite stories to read in Lapsit? Let me know if I’ve missed anything!

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