Baby Gift Ideas: Favorite Children’s Books

There’s been a baby boom in my family lately, and more are on the way!  We published a great article about throwing  a book baby shower last year.  I’ve always loved giving books as baby gifts because they’ll be enjoyed for years and even handed down from generation to generation.  That’s more than you can say for frilly outfit or a pack of disposable diapers.

When my niece was born over two years ago, I picked out a few of my childhood favorites to add to her library: Where the Wild Things Are, Little House in the Big Woods, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.  Now she has a little sister who needs to start a collection of her own.

I also have a new little second cousin, once removed.  I’m pretty sure they have all the clothing and gear they could ever want, so I’ll probably get him some books, too.

What are your favorite children’s books?  Did you save any of your own childhood favorites to read to your kids?  What should I get my new niece and second cousin, once removed?  (Note: If you are the parent of the aforementioned bundles of joy, please stop reading  lest you spoil the wonderful surprise you are about to receive. . . .)

This post is a part of the Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival.  Head on over to We are THAT Family for more WFMW ideas!


  1. I did a post on this not long ago!

    My list is here and it includes some of my favorites (“Home for a Bunny” is one!)

  2. I love children’s books! Harold and the Purple Crayon, Wiliam’s Doll, and The Story of Little Babaji are all selections my three preschoolers have recently fallen in love with – and so have I!


  3. Oh I love children’s books….in fact, I think I have a disease that involves buying them. LOL

    I love the idea of a Book Baby Shower… neat!

    We just did a little book report (we homeschool) on Where the Wild Things Are

    My daughter is just starting to read independently and she loves the Henry and Mudge Series.

    Here are some really great stories…..they are not as popular, but totally worth grabbing from your library. (all with awesome messages) they might be better for a little bit older children, like 4-5 and up

    The Mountain who loved a bird (Eric Carle does the illustrations)
    We love Eric Carle so anything by him is great……Papa give me the Moon and Dream Snow are great stories too.

    The Tale of Three Trees is perfect for this Easter Season
    Crippled Lamb (Max Lucado) perfect for Christmas Season

    The Mitten (Jan Brett)

    Old Turtle

    Kissing Hand

    The Giving Tree (shel silverstein……..get out the tissues!)

    The girl who loved Horses

    Hello, Goodbye Window…..

    those are just the ones I am looking at in our favorite bin….

    have a great day~

  4. Oh, where to begin? Books, how I love thee.

    Here are a few of my faves:
    I Love You Forever
    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
    Jesse Bear books
    The original Thomas the Tank Engine stories
    Miss Rumphius
    The Ox-Cart Man

    Really, I could go on forever! I love, love, love children’s books!

  5. Good Night Moon is and was always my favorite. We also love Good Night Gorilla.

  6. Mamasimpson says

    In the night kitchen
    Napping house
    Pete’s a pizza
    Owl and the pussycat
    Penguin dreams
    Robots (staake)
    I could go on and on and on…….I believe reading is one of the best things you can do with your child. We always give books as birthday presents.

  7. I was devastated when while away at college my mom gave away my Sweet Pickles series and my Berenstein Bears books. So no passing on has taken place. But we’ve inherited a wonderful library from my older niece and nephew.

    My absolute favorite book as a child was called Best Time of Day. Brown Bear, Brown Bear was another favorite. These are my classics. Some of my favorites as a parent are mentioned in the article my name links to.

  8. Somebody and the Three Blairs is one of my favorites. And Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Those were among my favorites when I was a kid; I was a pretty big fan. And anything by Mike Thaler, whom I had the thrilling experience of meeting in person. He wrote the Teacher from the Black Lagoon series. His Happily Ever After series, though, was also great; Hansel and Pretzel, Cinderella Bigfoot, Schmoe White and the Seven Dorfs… good stuff right there! Maybe I should do my own post about kids books, lol! Sorry to blog at you! 😉

  9. My favorite is Munro Leaf’s Ferdinand. It’s the story of a bull who prefers to sit quietly and smell the flowers instead of fighting. While Leaf never claimed to have political goals in writing it, the story resonates for me as a good example of teaching non-violence to very small children.

  10. I would recommend The velveteen rabbit. I still have mine as a kid. I can’t wait to read it to my own kids soon enough. I was in A.C. Moore Crafts and they have the book in their $1 section.

  11. Q loves The Stinky Cheese Man, and we also like the Duck and Goose books by Tad Hill.

  12. eric carl books and the pat the bunny (cat, etc) series are my favorites

  13. When I was very little, my favorite book was “Make Way for Ducklings.” I was thrilled to find it and read it to my kids, too! A little bit older and I really loved “A Little Princess” by Frances Hodges Burnett. My kids loved all the Richard Scarry books. My oldest loved Mike Mulligan and his Steamshovel. And if you can find it, “Oscar Otter” by Nathaniel Benchley. You recognize the last name–Nathaniel’s grandson (or son?) is the one who wrote “Jaws.” But Oscar’s funny, not scary. My son used to call the book “Oska Oska.”
    A very old book full of wonderful poems is “Now We Are Six” by A.A. Milne of Winnie-the-Pooh fame.

  14. Guess How Much I Love You is a favourite baby shower gift
    The Giving Tree is usually my standard birthday gift
    The Lorax
    The Peace Book by Todd Parr – really any of Todd’s books are great!

  15. The Napping House
    Each Peach Pear Plum
    The Wedding Procession of the Ragdoll and the BroomHandle and Who was In it (This is out of print now I think but if you can find it at your library to read it’s a good one!)
    Ten Little Ladybugs (this is a new book that my daughter (8mos) LOVES! The ladybugs are raised off the pages and it has realy bright pictures)
    Paddington Bear

  16. When I was pregnant with my son, I had two baby showers (different sets of friends) and I requested a book shower for one of them. It was great–I got books for a variety of ages, so even though my son is almost 3 there are still some we haven’t cracked open yet but I am looking forward to reading with him.

    My favorites as a child were “Where The Wild Things Are” (it’s why I named my son Max) and “Frederick” by Leo Lionni, about a mouse who’s a poet. Most of the books I have saved from childhood are for slightly older (elementary-school-age) kids so we haven’t gotten into those yet.

    My son has different favorites every couple of weeks but the ones I’ve enjoyed reading with him most so far are:

    – Sylvia Long’s “Hush Little Baby”
    – “The Seals on the Bus”
    – Eric Carle’s “From Head to Toe” (encourages movement/imitation)
    – several of the Sandra Boynton books, though those are hit-or-miss.

  17. Wow, thanks for all these replies so far! You are reminding me of so many good books. Audrey loves Goodnight Gorilla, Hush Little Baby (the Sylvia Long book AND a great one by Marla Frazee she is obsessed with), the Napping House, Eric Carle books, and many others you’ve mentioned.

    Also, I started remembering some of my old childhood favorites. (Like Erika, I was devastated when my dad threw out–or maybe donated–all of my beloved children’s books! What was he thinking?!) I loved all the Little Bear books. I also had a book I’ve been trying to replace for years. Unfortunately I can’t remember the title or author, but it was about a little girl who looked like a boy and liked to do “boy” things like work with tools. Then she meets a girly girl who becomes her friend, and . . . well, I don’t remember what happens after that. That’s why I need to find this book again!

  18. We are big fans of the Sandra Boynton books here! Cute illustrations and rhymes

  19. I really like Sandra Boynton, too. “Everywhere Babies” and “Hush Little Baby” are popular over here. “Hush Little Baby” is the familiar lullaby with nature scenes replacing the things to give the baby.

    I didn’t like “Giving Tree”, which seems to be a popular one for little kids. The tree gives and gives and the little boy takes without ever once saying thank you or showing any kind of appreciation. In the end, he cuts the tree down and she still gives him a place to sit. I don’t feel like it is a great message for kids – just keep taking without showing appreciation or giving anything back. I’m getting upset thinking about it!

  20. Many of my favorites have already been mentioned. I love Margaret Wise Brown–Goodnight Moon has been the first fave of both my boys. Also loved & by her: Big Red Barn, Runaway Bunny, My World and Two Little Trains

    Owl Moon, Sleepyhead and This Little Light of Mine. Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond, Blueberries for Sal, Hug, The Little Engine That Could

    the Little Critter series, along with Berenstain Bears, are great for introducing dentist, doctor, etc.

    There are so many! I love to give books as birthday gifts, and all my siblings are delighting in sharing our childhood favorites with my sons and neice.

  21. where the wild things are, is a great classic book. I adored it when I was young and my daughter really likes it when I read this book.

    Shel Silverstein also writes cute, silly, books… there is a book of poetry that he writes (I don’t recall the name); that’s my daughter’s favorite book.

  22. wow what a interesting post , its really helpful for us
    and i saw this post on aol ill pop back to your site later tomorrow

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