Top 8 Classic Children’s Books You Should Read to Your Baby in First Year

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

children's books to read to baby

Reading to your baby from the beginning, or from a very young age can benefit them in many ways. It will improve their speech, vision, language, understanding, ability to express, and many more. Books open up a world full of possibilities and give your child a great chance to get imaginative and creative. We present the top 8 classic children’s books you should read to your baby in the first year.

Over the years, we’ve seen many authors foray into the world of children’s books. Many parents like age-old classics when it comes to reading to their children. Have you read any such classics to your baby?

In This Article

List of Top 8 Classic Children’s Books You Should Read to Your Baby

Here are the top 8 children’s books we feel you should read to your baby. The order or the age you read them to is completely your choice. You should remember, each child is unique and so will their taste in stories, and ability to grasp and understand.

1. Corduroy by Don Freeman

Corduroy- children's books to read to baby

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A book published in 1968 that rated among the top even in 2007. The author wrote two books in this series but was alive to publish just one. The Character in the book was loved and accepted by so many that other authors have written sequels to these two books. It is a story about a stuffed toy that finds a home when a little girl comes back to buy it. Children can relate to this as it is common for children to ask for more toys and for parents to refuse them.


The story is about a simple teddy bear – corduroy, in a luxurious toy store. The story goes on about Corduroy exploring the entire store looking for his lost button. The exploration of the shop is illustrated and narrated in a manner any child can relate to. It is easy for a baby to understand and follow till the end, which is always a happy one with a message.

2. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowy Day

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A classic tale about a day in snowy weather. The author transports you to a snowy day and children can picture the snow-clad surroundings with the author’s colorful illustrations and unique artwork. The book has received mixed reviews as it revolves around an African American boy – the first of its kind to use a character of color and a different race in children’s books.


The story is about an African American boy who wakes up to find snow all around him. He then goes out and explores the snow and comes back home with a snowball as a treasure. The boy wakes up to find it all melted but it has snowed again. He ventures out yet again, this time with a friend.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

the very hungry caterpillar

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A world-famous book loved by children both young and old. It has a colorful illustration and simple narration that can help your baby learn to count and the days of the week as well. The author uses a baby’s favorite food items, which makes it easy for them to remember and recollect both the numbers and days.


The story is about a caterpillar and its journey to becoming a butterfly. The author silently highlights how junk food may seem delicious but will make you feel sick. The caterpillar is hungry and keeps eating the entire week and feels sick after eating a lot of junk food and finally turns into a butterfly. Food items, numbers, and days of the week are all strung together in a simple and effective manner.

4. Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey

Curious George

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An interesting series that follows a monkey who is curious like any other child. He is always where he should not be, causing trouble due to his exploration. The words are simple, and the entire story is easy to understand and relate to for a child. It is sure to entertain any child as children love to read about characters that get into trouble like them doing things they are not meant to.


George is a monkey and a very curious one, just like every child. There are different titles in this series and each of them is about George’s adventure in a different place. The story starts with how curious George is and goes on to explain what trouble he causes due to this curiosity. The story always ends on a good note leaving a smile on your child’s face.

5. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Good Night Moon- children's books to read to baby

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A very loved classic for its simple words and illustrations. There is no real story here and no plot. It is just wishing good night before going to bed. For a child, everything around them, in their room or their usual environment is their world. They still don’t understand the difference between living and non-living things. They treat their things like a friend and this book pays attention to this aspect, making this one of the all-time favorite bedtime books.


The story starts with a room and goes on to explain everything in it. The items are all named one after the other in a rhyming manner. Then it is time to wish the room and everything in it a good night. Wishing everything around a good night is a great way to prepare a child to go to bed.

6. Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems

Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus

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The story is in a dialogue format with small dialogue bubbles with simple English and great illustrations. It is an interactive book where the bus driver and the pigeon speak to the reader. Kids will find this interesting as they get to answer the questions asked to the reader.

This book can improve your baby’s vocabulary. Read it aloud to your little one and watch them giggle with glee every time they refuse the pigeon’s pleas.


The story starts with a bus driver leaving the bus and going away for a while but warns the reader to not let the pigeon drive the bus. The story then goes on to tell us about how the pigeon tries to convince the reader to let him drive the bus.

7. Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Make Way For Ducklings

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An informative book that can teach your child about ducks and their habitat. It also talks about interactions between human beings and animals, feeding the imaginations of a child. The ducklings are given rhyming names, which can help your baby learn the sounds and improve vocabulary.


The story starts off with the mother and father ducks hunting for a safe place to stay with their ducklings. The author takes us through various places around Boston as the ducks search for the perfect place to hatch the eggs. The story goes on about how these ducklings hatch, grow up and one fine day enter the human’s territory to move to a new and more suitable home.

8. May I Bring A Friend by Beatrice Schenk De Reginers

May I Bring A Friend

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This is a simple book that tells us about a little boy and his friends. The story is written in stanzas like a poem with rhyming words. It can teach your child the days of the week, about different animals and what they do when they go for a meal.


The story is about a little boy who was invited by the king and queen for tea and how he brings a friend along. This happens, again and again, every time the boy is invited by the king and queen. He brings a different friend each time and they are all animals. The boy politely asks if he can bring a friend, every time he is invited, and the king and queen graciously accept the same.

Classics are universally accepted timeless themes that are loved over the generations. These classics are famous and loved for a reason. Read them to your baby and you will understand why it is an all-time favorite over the years and classified as a classic.


1. What Books Should I Read to My 6 Month Old?

You can read books with rhyming words and good illustrations that will pique your child’s interest. When the story revolves around a character your child can relate to, it makes the book very interesting for them.

2. Will My 5 Month Old Baby Understand Stories?

Yes, if you read it with exaggerated voices, expressions, and elaborate tones. Babies pick on how you read the story rather than the story itself. Your 5-month-old will be able to understand if the story is happy, sad, or scary if you read it that way.

3. Which is the Best Bedtime Story For Babies?

Good night moon is an age-old classic bedtime story where the child learns to bid good night to everyone and everything. There are many other options worth exploring. See which book your child responds to the most.

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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