Books for newborns

If you’ve ever attended a baby shower, you know how popular books are as gifts. If you’re looking to go beyond classics — Goodnight Moon, Where’s Spot?Brown Bear and Runaway Bunny — this list of educational, lyrical, visually engaging board books (recommended just for newborns) is for you!

Mother Goose

Folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than 60 treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form, including Hey Diddle, Diddle, Pat-a-Cake, Little Jack Horner and Pussycat, Pussycat — familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations. Though this isn’t available as a board book, go for it anyway: These rhymes — which some say are downright endangered — are every child’s birthright.

Ages 2 and up • $24.99

White on Black

Black silhouetted images on a white background provide high-contrast for an infant’s developing eyes. The more complex the image is (such as the butterfly), the more Baby concentrates. You can even take this one to the hospital. There’s also a White on Black version.

Ages 0 and up • $6.99

Little Poems

Lin Oliver’s collection of original poems celebrates everyday things that enthrall little ones — playing peekaboo, banging pots and pans, splashing at bath time and cuddling at bedtime. Full of contagious rhythm and rhyme, this inviting picture book introduces young children to the sound of poetry.

Ages 3 and up • $7.99

Hello Baby

With an exuberant rhyming text by the master bestselling author Mem Fox and adorable cut-paper illustrations, this book is an irresistible celebration of the joyful connection between parent and child.

Ages 2–4 • $7.99

Ten Nine Eight

This warm and reassuring countdown to the land of dreams is ideal for the most persistent sleep evader. Yes, this book’s a bit advanced for a newborn, but it’s OK to let Baby grow up with this one. You’ll enjoy reading it — and your newborn will listen to (and love) almost anything you read.

Ages 4–8 • $6.99

Karen Ritz of St. Paul is an artist, children’s book illustrator and grandparenting blogger. She chose these books in consultation with children’s literature experts Lee Galda and Rebecca Rapport. Find many more book recommendations at