Top 8 Best Indian Books to Read For Your Baby in the First Year

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Indian Books to Read For Baby

There are many wonderful authors with very interesting books for kids. If you were to hunt for the perfect books to read to your baby, you will be spoilt for choice. While we have many foreign authors who are world-famous for their style of writing and unique stories, have you tried Indian authors? In this article, we list the top 8 Indian books to read for your baby in the first year.

Reading books from various countries can be a great way to introduce your baby to the lifestyle in other countries. As your baby grows, they will understand how their life is different from that of a child from another country. Children can learn a lot this way.

In This Article

How Are Indian Books Different From International Books?

Indian authors use local life as the muse for their stories. It can be easier for a child growing up in India to relate to. For example, in one of the books mentioned below, the author uses a local language to address a grandmother. Young children relate to such books as they are familiar with the terms and way of life used in the book.

List of Top 8 Best Indian Books to Read For Your Baby

So, where can you start? Here are top 8 Indian books for babies that are fun, interesting, and unique in their own way:

1. Peek-a-Book by Kaori Takahashi

peek a book - Indian Books to Read For Baby

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Peek-a-book is a set of four books curated for toddlers of all ages. These 4 interactive books come in a neat little box, that your baby can carry along anywhere. The book aims at piquing the interest of a toddler by hiding images behind flaps and other places. It helps improve their curiosity, and motor skills and makes learning fun.


The set has 4 books – Birthday Surprise, Boo!, The Tree, and Who’s Hungry. All books make the baby look for images or characters on the pages. It will make your baby concentrate hard and pay attention to all details on the page. It is a simple book that can effectively entertain and keep your toddler occupied for a while.

2. Akkad Bakkad by Shreya Sen

akkad bakkad - Indian Books to Read For Baby

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Filled with colorful numbers, this book is sure to attract babies and young children. The classic Punjabi rhyme now presented with bold and clear numbers can teach your little one numbers, counting, and sounds as the sentences rhyme. This is a board book of the right size for small hands to hold. Even if your baby wants to chew on the book, you need not worry.


The original Punjabi rhyme about numbers going missing is adapted into a story format for young minds. The book aims to introduce numbers and counting to babies.

3. Pooni, Pooni, Where Are You? by Manjula Padmanabhan

Pooni, Pooni, Where Are You

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Kids love to find missing or hidden items. In this book, the author encourages the baby to find the missing cat. With charming illustrations, the book is sure to improve your toddler’s focus and searching abilities. This is one of the books in the Pooni series which revolves around a cat and its adventures.


The story is about Minnie’s cat Pooni. Minnie is unable to find her missing cat and starts searching everywhere for it. Pooni plays hide and seek with Minnie, making it very interesting for the reader. Read it to your baby and watch them shout with glee when Minnie finds Pooni.

4. Maharani the Cow by Christy Shoba Sudhir

Maharani The Cow

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The book uses simple words and colorful illustrations to tell us how the cow affected the traffic and what people tried to do. The various sounds on the street, the antics, and everything else has been depicted with humor and rhyming words. Babies will find this very entertaining and can learn the sounds of the words easily. You can also teach them the names of the vehicles on the road and the sounds they make.


The author tells us in detail, about a daily affair on remote Indian roads. The story is about a cow sitting in the middle of a busy street, disrupting traffic, and how people try to make it move.

5. Gajapathi Kulapathi by Ashok Rajagopalan

Gajapathi Kulapathi -Indian Books to Read For Baby

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This series has 4 books so far. The book gives you an opportunity to read the story with elaborate sounds and actions that can entertain your baby. You will be pleasantly amused by how much your baby will enjoy the book and how quickly they learn certain sounds. Since all the books contain almost the same characters, babies can associate better and feel like they are on a journey with the friendly elephant.


Gajapathi Kulapathi is a friendly elephant loved by all villagers. The author takes us through the elephant’s everyday experiences in a funny manner, which is sure to grasp a baby’s attention and tickle their funny bone. He uses phonetics and colloquial sounds that help your little one relate to the narration. Be it a cold, time for a bath, or a tummy ache, the author narrates the elephant’s experience in a very captivating manner.

6. Tara’s Elephant by C.G. Salamander

tara's elephant

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The author uses regular household spots for the elephant to hide, which makes it easy even for a young baby to understand. This story can teach your baby both names and grammar. Children love to have pets and many parents say no. The way Tara struggles to hide it from her parents will be very entertaining for a baby and also tell them they can’t hide anything from their parents.


This story tells us about a little girl bringing back an elephant from her school trip to the zoo. From being a girl who was forced to go on the trip, she comes back with a pet elephant. She then tries to hide the elephant from her parents and finally gives up. The book highlights the innocence of a little girl who desperately wants a pet.

7. Ammama’s Saree by Niveditha Subramaniam

Ammama’s Saree

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This is a different type of book that you cannot actually read out to your baby. It is a wordless picture book. The entire story is depicted in a series of images. It is also an interactive book where your baby can touch and feel the saree’s texture for a sensorial experience. Young babies love to explore textures and come up with their own stories and this book satiates those needs.


In this story, Ammama (grandmother in a few south Indian languages) weaves magic with her sewing skills when she turns a saree with a hole into multiple other things to be used around the house. Apart from teaching your little one about recycling and upcycling, the story also takes us back to our ancestors’ style of living. They always found new uses for old things and would hardly dispose of their belongings. The story teaches the various possibilities with old fabric instead of just throwing it away.

8. Ammachi’s Glasses by Priya Kuriyan

Ammachi’s Glasses

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When it is just pictures and no words, it opens your baby’s imagination to a big world full of possibilities. You can use this book in many ways. Just give the book to your baby and be pleasantly surprised by their version of the story as it unfolds. This is an apt book for babies who can’t read yet. They can “read” the book themselves without any assistance and feel very grown-up about it.


The story is about Ammachi (grandmother in Malayalam) who wakes up one morning to find her glasses missing. The story captures the rest of her day filled with mishaps due to poor eyesight, in a funny and illustrious manner.

Indian books can be very interesting and relevant to a baby growing up in India. They can understand what the author is narrating and this in turn can help improve their imagination and creativity. Our top 8 Indian books for babies can be an excellent addition to your baby’s collection.


1. Do All Indian Books For Babies Use Local References or Languages?

There are many books in both English and a local language. In most books, the author uses references to the common Indian household. While they are perfectly good in English, the local references make these books very unique and entertaining.

2. Are Indian Books Better Than Foreign Books For Babies?

The country of origin cannot help make one book better than the other. Indian books can be useful and make it easier for a baby to relate to and understand if they live the Indian way. Since the book is similar to their own lives or events around them, a small baby can connect better with the story.

3. Why Should My Baby Read Books By Indian Authors Too?

It is easier for your baby to understand what the author is trying to convey. When your baby can relate, they like the story better and pay more attention to what the author is trying to communicate. This can improve their reading habit and communication skills. They can even pick up the English language more easily as they know what the words mean.

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

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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