Curated by Kristen Dickson | @hellokristendickson

We read a lot of picture books in our house. My girls are four and five (almost six!), so we’ve had the pleasure of rolling through a fair number of titles together the last few years. I also became an aunt for the first time last year! So I’ve had gift books and board books and color books and shape books on my mind again—and with Mother’s Day approaching, I thought it would be fun to put together a big list of recommended books for Baby’s First Library, in case you have a friend who’s expecting (or maybe you’re expecting yourself!) These titles range from trusty classics to artsy board books to gorgeous nature guides to emotional tear-jerkers, and everything in between. As always we are so grateful to our friends at Gathre; their mats always make for the coziest, most perfect reading spaces. 

And now—here are some of our favorite books for baby’s first library!  


Two Hands to Love You by Diane Adams and Paige Keiser 
Love Is by Diane Adams and Claire Keane 
How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams and Christopher Silas Neal
The Monsters on the Bus by Sarah Albee and Joe Ewers
One More Hug by Megan Alexander and Hiroe Nakata 
Mr. Bear’s ABC by Virginie Aracil (also Mr. Bear’s Colors, Mr. Bear’s Little Numbers, Mr. Bear’s Little Shapes
Main Street Magic by Ingela P. Arrenius (also Animals, A Forest’s Seasons and so many more)
Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch
Up in the Tree by Margaret Atwood 
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (also The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, and their Shape trilogy)
Just Because by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault
All the Ways To Be Smart by Davina Bell 
The Madeline books by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Elsa Beskow Alphabet Book by Elsa Beskow (also Children of the Forest, The Flowers’ Festival, Around the Year and so many more)
Paddington by Michael Bond
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton (also Dinosaur Dance, But Not the Hippopotamus and so many more) 
The Mitten by Jan Brett (also The Hat and so many more) 
The Clifford books by Norman Bridwell
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (also Katy and the Big Snow and The Little House)
Made for Me by Zack Bush and Gregorio de Lauretis 
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell 
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Eric Carle (also From Head to Toe, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and so many more)
Goodnight, Rainbow Cats by Barbara Castro Urio 
Fruits in Suits by Jared Chapman (also Vegetables in Underwear)
You Belong Here by M.H. Clark and Isabelle Arsenault 
Alphabetics by Patrick Concepcion and Traci Concepcion
Animals Hide and Sneak by Bastien Contraire (also Vehicles Hide and Sneak and Food Hide and Sneak
The Big Book of Giant Animals (The Little Book of Tiny Animals) by Francesca Costanti 
I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi and Kristyna Litten
Love by Matt de la Pena and Loren Long
Jamberry by Bruce Degen 
When I Am Big by Maria Dek (also A Walk in the Forest)
The TouchThinkLearn books (ABC, 123, Colors, Shapes) by Xavier Deneux 
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna 
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson and Sharon King-Chai
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (also The Snail and the Whale and Room on the Broom)
Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss (also Oh, All the Places You’ll Go and so many more)
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld (also Mighty, Mighty, Construction Site and many more)
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman (also Go, Dog, Go! and many more)
Tomorrow Most Likely by Dave Eggers and Lane Smith 
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert (also Eating the Alphabet and many more)
Home by Carson Ellis 
The Olivia books by Ian Falconer 
This Is Baby by Jimmy Fallon and Miguel Ordonez (also Everything Is Mama and Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA)
The Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld 
If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano and Loren Long 
Just In Case You Want to Fly by Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson 
When’s My Birthday? by Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson 
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
Cordoroy by Don Freeman 
These Colors Are Bananas by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin 
My First Book of Patterns by Bobby George and June George
Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham 
A Walk Through the Woods by Louise Greig and Helen Musselwhite
I’ll Love You Forever by Owen Hart and Sean Julian 


Don’t Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton (also Little Owl Lost and several more)
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes (also Kitten’s First Full Moon, Waiting, and many more)
Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill 
Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind by Jessica Hische (also Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave
In Every House on Every Street by Jess Hitchman and Lili La Baleine
The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes (also Wild and several more)
The Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes and Sarah Massani 
The Flora books by Molly Idle 
Nonni’s Moon by Julia Inserro and Lucy Smith 
Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby 
Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers (also How to Catch A Star and so many more)
Yum Yummy Yuck by Amanda Jane Jones and Cree Lane Jones 
All Kinds of Planes by Carl Johanson (also All Kinds of Cars)
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (also We Found A Hat and This Is Not My Hat)
You Are New by Lucy Knisley 
Flock by Gemma Koomen 
One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses (also Opposite Things, Counting Things, and One Hundred Things to Spot)
I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb and Suzie Mason (also You Are My Happy)
Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler (also The Digger and the Flower)
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden and Melissa Castrillon 
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Cars Go by Steve Light (also Trucks Go, Boats Go, Trains Go, Diggers Go)
A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni (also The Alphabet Tree, Frederik, Inch by Inch, Swimmy, and so many more)
A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin 
The Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel (also Giant John, Mouse Soup, Owl at Home and so many more)
Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski
Mamasaurus by Stephan Lomp (also Papasaurus) 
Little Tree by Loren Long
Things To Do by Elaine Magliaro and Catia Chien 
Nature’s Day by Kay Maguire and Danielle Kroll
Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr and Teagan White 
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and Lois Ehlert
Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson (Also Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star)
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (also Make Way for Ducklings and One Morning in Maine)


I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore 
Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds
The Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne
Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinska
My Wild Family by Laurent Moreau
Today by Julie Morstad 
Bruno Munari’s ABC by Bruno Munari (also Bruno Munari’s Zoo) 
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond 
Miles of Smiles by Karen Kaufman Orloff and Luciano Lozano
Pantone: Colors by Pantone and Helen Dardik 
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn 
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins and Eric Gurney 
Birds & Other Animals with Pablo Picasso by Pablo Picasso (also Blue & Other Colors with Henri Matisse
We’re Going On a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld 
Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal (also Dear Boy)
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church 
It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler and Roger Bollen 
I Am a Bunny by Richard Scarry (also Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, and The Best Word Book, and so many more)
The Little Blue Truck books by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 
Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein (also The Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and many more) 
Love, Z by Jessie Sima (also Not Quite Narwhal and Harriet Gets Carried Away)
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina 
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Where’s the Baby? by Britta Teckentrup (also Under the Same Sky, Moon, Tree, and many more)
The Eloise books by Kay Thompson 
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman (also I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love and so many more) 
Press Here by Herve Tullet (plus an entire series of art games books for kids)
What Does Baby Want? by Tupera Tupera (also Polar Bear’s Underwear and several more)
When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner and Kimberley Barnes
A to Z Menagerie by Suzy Ultman (also Tiny Farm and Tiny Town)
The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers (also The Story of the Butterfly Children, The Story of the Wind Children and many more)
T Is For Tiger by Laura Watkins
A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel (also They All Saw A Cat)
A Hug Is For Holding Me by Lisa Wheeler and Lisk Feng
Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White (also Counting with Barefoot Critters)
If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker 
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (also Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and many more)
I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas
Botanicum: Welcome to the Museum by Kathy Willis and Katie Scott (also Animalium, Dinosaurium and many more)
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin (also Dream Animals, Day Dreamers, and Littlest Family’s Big Day)
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd (also Goodnight, Moon and so many more)
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff
Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won (also Hooray for Books! and Hooray for Today!)
The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (also The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear)
When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller and Eliza Wheeler (also Wherever You Go)
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham (also Harry by the Sea and No Roses for Harry)


Hopefully you found a title or two that piques your interest! And let me know if you have any favorites not included here—we’re always looking for new recommendations. Reach out to me on Instagram at @hellokristendickson!