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50 Best books for a new baby: Perfect gifts for new mums

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The best books for a new baby are fun to read (endlessly!) and encourage some good bonding time! Perfect for a newborn bedtime routine and with great illustrations, this list of North Shore Mums’ best baby books are a must-have for the home library (or to gift a new mum!).


Best books for a new baby

‘What books should I read to my newborn?’

As babies develop, they enjoy all kinds of baby books – from oversized board books (board books are great for chewing on!), and short board books through to lift-the-flap books and picture books. Here are some great books to start reading with your newborn – and they’re books parents will love too.

Disclosure: This article features affiliate links to Booktopia, which means that this website will get a small commission if you buy a book after clicking on one of those links. These commissions help North Shore Mums remain a free website for our readers so we don’t need to charge a subscription to view our articles.

1. Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell

Rod Campbell’s classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo has been a firm favorite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982, making it a definite pick as one of the best books for a new baby.

In the story, a child writes to the zoo for a pet. The zoo send a series of unsuitable pets, revealed behind flaps in the form of crates and packing cases. The lift-the-flap book reveals a different animal under each section of the story. Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent—a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant!

With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain, and a whole host of favorite animals, this chunky board book is a must for every child’s bookshelf. Buy online.

baby books

2. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

Wondering ‘What books should I read to a newborn?’ Goodnight Moon is a timeless classic that will be loved for years. It tells the story of a young bunny, who before going to sleep, says goodnight to everything in his room.

You can purchase this sweet book for your home library here. This is a great first baby book and copies are available as traditional hardcover books, or as an oversized board book.

Goodnight Moon storybook

3. My Sunbeam Baby by Emma Quay

This is a delicious-to-read book from the cherished author and illustrator of award-winning picture books, Emma Quay. The illustrations are absolutely vibrant and show babies as lollipops in a jar, kites in the sky and apples falling from a tree. The musical language and beautiful artwork make this one of the new releases that will be part of your family for years to come. You can see Emma’s books here.

best baby books first year

4. Baby Bedtime, Mem Fox

Possum Magic is the classic Mem Fox, but this gentle tale of an elephant at bedtime is a lovely choice for a book for a newborn baby, especially as a timeless classic that is part of a bedtime routine.

A lullaby to babies everywhere, Baby Bedtime is a lyrical tribute to the love inspired by the little people in our lives and the enchanting read-aloud story combines the talents of Australia’s premier picture-book writer, Mem Fox and acclaimed illustrator Emma Quay, creator of sweet books like Rudie Nudie and Not a Cloud in the Sky.

baby books newborns

5. Kissed by the Moon, Allison Lester

Part poem, part lullaby, this gentle story celebrates a baby’s wonder at our beautiful world. In the story, a baby enjoys fond wishes for a restful night. From much-loved Australian Children’s Laureate Alison Lester comes a timeless book to share and to treasure, and one of best books for a new baby.


Best Books for Baby

Veronica asked in our Facebook group:

Favourite hard cover book for children?!? (It’s going to be signed by everyone at a baby shower). Even the classics are escaping me!

Looking for the perfect book to buy for a baby? There are hundreds of wonderful books to choose from, but this almost makes the choice even harder. When this question ‘what’s the best book for a baby?’ was asked in our community, lots of brilliant book ideas were shared. These baby books were the most popular!

‘Ten Little Finger and Ten Little Toes’, by Mem Fox

‘An absolutely gorgeous book to read with a new baby, and you can tickle those fingers and toes as you go, which makes for lovely memories. My kids asked for it long after they were babies and now won’t let me pass it on!’ – Felicity

‘Kissed by the Moon’, by Alison Lester!

‘Such a beautiful book to read to a baby and even a toddler. My 4 year old still loves it. It’s full of beautiful well wishes from a mother to her child’ – Sylvie

‘I was given it for my 2nd by my boss at the time and it’s totally lovely’. – Josana

‘Where is the Green Sheep?’, by Mem Fox

‘You can buy the gift box with the actual green sheep toy. It’s a big hit still with my preteen kid’ – Adriana

‘Love You Forever’, by Robert Munsch

‘This book doesn’t seem to be as well known but it’s the most beautiful book. If you’re a Friends fan it’s the book Joey does a dramatic reading of for Emma’s first birthday after he forgets to buy a present’. – Brooke

Ultimate list of 50 most suggested books by North Shore Mums:

  1. Baby Bedtime by Mem Fox
  2. Bilby Moon by Margaret Spurling
  3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
  4. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
  5. Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg
  6. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  7. Guess How Much I Love You  by Sam McBratney
  8. Gumnut Babies ABC  by May Gibbs
  9. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
  10. How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens
  11. I Just Couldn’t Wait to Meet You by Kate Richie
  12. I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth
  13. Imagine by Alison Lester
  14. In My Room  by Jo Witek
  15. Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester
  16. Koala Lou by Mem Fox
  17. Love Makes a Family  by Sophie Beer
  18. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
  19. Magic Beach by Alison Lester
  20. My Sunbeam Baby by Emma Quay
  21. No Matter What by Debi Gliori
  22. Noni the Pony by Alison Lester
  23. Oh, Baby, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss
  24. On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
  25. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
  26. Peepo! by Janet Ahlberg, Allan Ahlberg
  27. Peter Rabbit: Nursery Rhyme Time  by Beatrix Potter
  28. Pig the Pug Big Collection  by Aaron Blabey
  29. Piglet and Mama by Margaret Wild
  30. Possum Magic by Mem Fox
  31. Room on the Broom  by Julia Donaldson
  32. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
  33. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  34. The Gruffalo  by Julia Donaldson
  35. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  36. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  37. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  38. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
  39. The Tiger who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
  40. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams      
  41. The Very Cranky Bear by Nicholas Bland
  42. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  43. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
  44. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Pam Adams
  45. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  46. Where Is The Green Sheep?  by Mem Fox
  47. Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
  48. Wherever You Are  by Nancy Tillman
  49. Who Sank the Boat?  by Pamela Allen
  50. You and Me, Together by Anna Pignataro
  51. You Are Special by Max Lucado

More on newborns and parenting:

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