25 Best Board Books for Babies and Toddlers You’ll Love to Read Over and Over

Babies love books; sure they may treat them as toys or food at first, but a love of reading will come.
Babies love books; sure they may treat them as toys or food at first, but a love of reading will come.
2/27/24 - By Vanessa Leigh

Board books for babies are the perfect way to spend time together and foster a lifelong love of books and reading. From classic tales to brand-new reads, there are so many incredible board books that babies can gnaw on, play with, flip through, have read to them, and one day even read!

Sweet, silly, profane, profound, inclusive, and interactive—these are our tried and true recommendations for the best board books to read with your baby.

For more tips on building a fabulous home library check out lists of our favorite banned kids' books, bedtime stories for kids, and even 100 Books Every Kid Should Read. They're all in our Best Kids' Books Guide.


What Is a Board Book?

A board book is a smaller, sturdy version of a picture book. The pages are printed on hard paperboard, that withstand the rough play of babies discovering what a book is and how to use it. While they might like to gnaw on the paperboard, babies will be fascinated by the colorful pictures and stories that these first board books present.

I love You Stink face Best Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
I Love You, Stinky Face is a personal favorite.

Best Board Book Versions of Classic Books

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Of course our best board book list starts with the great Goodnight Moon! As the little bunny says goodnight to all of the familiar things in the room, you and your little one can do the same.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

How do you choose just one Eric Carle board book? Well, you don't have to! After you've gotten through the four strawberries, the ice cream cone, the sausage, and the cupcake that the hungry caterpillar devours, you can also devour other Eric Carle favorites like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

This Caldecott Medal-winning classic is a perfect board book to add to your child's shelf. Join Peter and marvel in winter's first snow, as your baby experiences this book for the first time.

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

This sweet board book with an unforgettable title tells the story of a mother's unconditional love. No matter how stinky or slimy or messy a little one may become, a parent's love always remains. 

Raffi Songs Board Book Set by Raffi

Baby Beluga, Down by the Bay, Wheels on the Bus. These are must-haves for your baby's board book collection. Strum up your guitar, get your singing voice ready... or ask Alexa to have Raffi sing along to these beautifully illustrated board books that will keep his legend living on for generations.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Another story about a parent and child's unconditional love for one another, this one will leave you wanting to cuddle and maybe cry.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.

It's the perfect introduction to the alphabet, and babies adore the bright colors and simple pictures.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

In the tradition of Guess How Much I Love You and I Love You, Stinky Face, this classic is about how they'll always be our babies and we will love them forever, unconditionally. It's a message kids and parents never tire of, with good reason.

Pat the Bunny: Best Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt is a forever favorite!

Best Interactive Board Books for Babies

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

This timeless baby book technically comes with a spiral binding, but the pages are fairly durable. It's a touch-and-feel book that lets babies experience different textures, like patting a bunny's soft fur or feeling daddy's scratchy beard.

Where's Spot? by Eric Hill

Play hide and peek with Spot the Puppy in this lift-the-flap board book. You may find that your book is so well-loved that the interactive flaps have had to be taped back on... multiple times!

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Another adorable lift-the-flap board book to add to your child's library is Dear Zoo. Your little one can learn all about different zoo animals and their characteristics by reading about which one makes a good pet.

Peek-a Who? by Nina Laden

A simple rhyming board book that you can read over and over again. Your baby can look in the mirror on the final page to peek at "you."

Melissa & Doug's Old McDonald's Farm

These Poke a Dot board books by Melissa & Doug are so much fun to read and enjoy. On the larger size, these sturdy board books have plastic dots that little ones (and adults) can poke in and out as the story goes along.

But Not the Hippopotamus: Best Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton

Best Humorous Board Books for Babies

Where's Brian's Bottom? by Rob Jones

Brian the long, sausage dog is so long that he's lost his bottom. This amusing board book pulls out to over 6 feet of hilarity. Help Brian find his bottom as you help your baby learn about different animals and places in a home.

But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton

Just like the Eric Carle books, Sandra Boynton's board books for babies are essential for your little one's library. It's so hard to choose just one, but start with this one! This quirky board book has a surprise ending.

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

Pout-Pout Fish has an incredible rhyme and story that will be playing over and over in your family's minds for years to come. 

Don't Push the Button! by Bill Cotter

The ultimate book for toddlers to enjoy. Don't do it, don't press the button! Oh, the giggles that will ensue as your child thinks that he or she is "getting away" with something as they do the opposite of what Larry says.

The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith

This hilarious board book comes with built-in sound speakers, so you can read and listen to the tune. Hee-haw with the silly donkey over and over again.

Oops! by David Shannon

If you've got a curious tot that can't resist getting into everything, there's a lot of No! in their future. No, David! is sure to be a hit in a year or two, but this Diaper David book is a great introduction to the wonderful world of David Shannon.

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss

This is the perfect Dr. Seuss starter book, as the silly sounds the animals make are so fun for them to hear as you read it aloud.

Brown Sugar Baby : Best Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
Brown Sugar Baby by Kevin Lewis

More Favorite Board Books That Parents Love, Too

Brown Sugar Baby by Kevin Lewis

Seeing yourself in a book is important for all kids, even babies. Maybe especially babies. This lyrical poem of a book is a fun read-aloud for babies and parents.

Quantum Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie

Everyone can raise a baby genius with this guide to quantum physics for babies. Or better yet, buy the whole STEM-focused board book set that also includes Rocket Science for Babies, General Relativity for Babies, and Newtonian Physics for Babies.

Where Do You Poop? by Agnese Baruzzi

Ah, the age-old question. Kids and adults alike enjoy this potty-training humor. Lift the flaps to reveal where each animal does its business.

Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice by Brooke Jorden

It's never too early to introduce your baby to Jane Austin's magic. This board book has exquisite pictures and interactive pieces that help bring the classic tale to life for little ones. If Jane isn't your jam, you can also get Lit for Little Hands editions of Peter Pan, Anne of Green Gables, Les Misérables, and more.

Urban Babies Wear Black by Michelle Sinclair Colman

If you're raising a city kid, this one will make you feel right at home. Yes, you're still cool—and your baby will be, too! There are also Foodie Babies Wear Bibs, Rocker Babies Wear Jeans, and other entries in the series, depending on the kind of kid you're raising.

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