We all know reading to babies from a young age is important but finding the perfect baby book that keeps both your attention and theirs can be tough.
Picked out by six real mums, we promise that this lot are the best stories around and are the perfect accompaniment to the bedtime routine. They also all come with the promise of standing the test of strength against tiny hands and won’t end up ripped to bits after the first sentence.
1. Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg: £5.99, waterstones.com
Follow a day through the eyes of a baby, from the time he wakes up to the time he falls asleep in his cot at night. Children love the rhyme and rhythm while parents will appreciate the book’s beautiful illustrations. The story is set during the Second World War. A classic.
2. That’s Not My Teddy: £6.99, usborne.com
Younger babies in particular will adore all the different materials, especially the fluffy ones, used in this board book. There’s loads in the series that substitutes teddy for my tiger, bunny, fairy and dragon.
3. Tiny Love Where Do I Live?: £10.95, johnlewis.com
A fantastic first book. It’s made of fabric so it’s suitable for the tiniest babies, and the ring fits most prams and cribs. Interactive features include crinkly textures, peek-a-boo characters and a mirror.
4. The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: £4.66, ocado.com
A much-loved classic, the board book version of this is ideal for curious hands that want to explore. The original story is the same but the pages feature little holes that babies love to poke their fingers through. The only problem is that they’ll want to read it on repeat.
5. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell: £4, amazon.co.uk
Our favourite lift-the-flap book, this explores what might happen if you wrote to a zoo asking for a pet. Spoiler alert – some of the animals aren’t exactly suitable. This is a fun introduction to animals and their characteristics, and its repetitive nature means that even the youngest readers will be able to engage with it.
6. Lamaze Peek-a-Boo Forest Soft Book: £7.99, lamazetoys.co.uk
The pictures are adorable and babies will love the different textures and “finding” the hidden animals under the flaps. And because it’s fabric you can pop it in the wash if it gets sticky.
7. VTech Musical Rhymes Book: £14.99, amazon.co.uk
Children love nursery rhymes and this interactive electronic book features tunes to sing along with. Plus there’s no ripping through these pages as they’re made of wipe-clean plastic.
8. Ten Little Fingers And Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury: £4.99, amazon.co.uk
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, known for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, this beautiful book tells the story of different babies around the world with one thing in common – ten little fingers and ten little toes. The gentle rhyming means it’s ideal for reading aloud. Warning: it will be much-requested.
9. Babyplay Bumble Bee Soft Book: £9.95, mamasandpapas.com
The black-and-white colour patterns in this make it perfect for even the newest eyes. As with anything from M&P, it’s beautifully put together and made from soft fabric. Plus, it clips on to just about any buggy and so can be enjoyed on the go.
10. Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill: £5.99, amazon.co.uk
Another story that lots of parents will have fond memories of – children are invited to lift the flaps to uncover where Spot is hiding. It’s just the right length to hold the attention spans of little children, and there’s a wonderful ending to look forward to.
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