Books in lieu of cards
for your baby shower

More and more, baby shower hosts are asking guests to bring and sign baby books instead of cards. The cost of most baby books is the same, or in some cases less than the cost of a greeting card for the occasion. And what happens to the cards? In the best case, the Mom spends hours gluing cards into the baby’s album where they may or may not ever be seen again. But, realistically, a lot of cards are read and later tossed, the carefully chosen words of love lost to the world.

Books instead of cards is a lovely new tradition that gets rid of that conundrum. Books are one of the most important things that children need. A child that grows up in a house with books is far more likely to go to college than a child that has none. By exchanging cards for books, guests fill the baby’s shelves with books before he even comes into the world, brightening his future right from the start. What better way for infants to learn language than by hearing some of the best literature in the world read aloud.

Books not cards registry

We have created an awesome free tool that allows the Mom to set up a ‘list’ of books she would love her bub to have and to cherish in the years to come. Simply sign up for your own free registry below, and Mom to be can add her own books to her list. If some of the attendees have purchased their own they can also be added to the list too, helping to prevent people from buying Mom the same book twice! Just share your registry with all the people you want to attend your shower it’s that simple.

Get Started

  1. Sign up, it's free, once you register you will be taken to your new book registry Go to your registry.
  2. Add We'll automatically add the most popular kids books to your registry to save you time, you can remove the ones you dont want and add ones you do.
  3. Share your book registry with friends and family - you can share it on facebook or by email. Once a book is bought, the registry will show that the book has bought so that no one else buys it.
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Great books you can add to your registry

Once you have made the awesome decision to sign up for our free baby book registry, we wanted to go one step further in helping you get started by giving you an extensive list of the best books to add to your very own wish list. A great place to start is with your own childhood. Think back to when you began reading or if you can, as far back as being read to. What books did you love the most? Which ones had you reading them over and over again? If some books pop to mind, then be sure to make those the first ones to add to your list for your own bub. If you are struggling then simply read on!

Board Books

Board books are great to use with babies and toddlers for a wide range of reasons. First of all, they are smaller than full-sized picture books. This makes it easy to hold the book in one hand and the newborn in the other arm. In addition, the thick, heavy pages are easy to turn with one hand. It makes it easy to begin reading to your baby right from the very beginning.

As your newborn grows and becomes a more active baby, board books are a wonderful way to add interest to tummy time. Open board books stand easily and encourage your little one to raise his head and look at the pictures. If you see your child losing interest in one picture, simply turn the page and there is a new image for your child to explore. If you offer books to your baby that you have already read, you are giving her the chance to explore the pictures at her own pace and helping her to make the connections between the story and the images.

Toddlers need board books. The small size is perfect for their little hands and arms. Let’s face it, a full-sized picture book is hard for a toddler to even hold closed, much less to open and explore. Then there is the fact that toddler fine motor skills are iffy at best. The paper pages of most picture books can become casualties of their over-eager actions. It is the rare family that doesn’t have to tape a favorite picture book back together from time to time. But board books are sturdier, a great way to transition eager little hands to be careful with books.

Finally, most picture books are 32 pages, but board books vary. Some are 32 pages, while others have shorter versions of the same story. So, you may only be reading 14 or 16 pages. It is worthwhile to keep this in mind when reading to a tired child or trying to distract a little one with a short attention span.

There are a wide range of great board books out there, but if you are looking at suggestions, here are a couple of great suggestions:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This book is available as both a board book and a traditional picture book. The board book is slightly shorter, with only 26 pages to the traditional 32. But one of the reasons this is such a popular board book is because of the drilled holes in the pages. One hole on the first page turns into two holes on the next pages. The holes continue to multiply until the caterpillar eats his way through an entire fairground of junk food. Not only does this give the book it’s novel appearance, but the holes are also the perfect size for little fingers. The truth is, holes drilled in heavy, cardboard pages will last longer than holes in paper.

Goodnight Moon Board Book by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon

This book is a lovely way to calm a child down and prepare for sleep. It starts out with fairly complex sentences and gets simpler and quieter as the book goes forward. As the words change, so do the illustrations. The pictures show lots of movement and action as the child prepares for bed and kittens play on the floor in a busy two-page spread. As the book progresses, the pictures become more and more focused on small items, quieting the reader and the listener.

Dear Zoo Board Book By Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo

This board book uses flaps to encourage the child to explore different animals along with the narrator. In the book, the narrator is looking for the perfect pet, so the local zoo sends him a variety of animals to try out, but they are all wrong and he sends them back. Each animal comes in a different shaped box and young readers can lift a flap to see the entire animal.

Classic picture books

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This rollicking, rhyming alphabet book will have you and your child dancing along to the beat. When the little lowercase letters decide to see how many can climb to the top of a coconut tree, mayhem results. It’s up to the “adult” uppercase letters to help them up and get things straightened around again.

Guess How Much I Love You

That special love between a father and son is explored in this picture book. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare try to outdo each other with descriptions of how much each loves the other.

The Runaway Bunny

Any child can tell you that the best part of Hide and seek is when you are found. That feeling of being wanted and searched for is explored as a baby bunny discusses all the different ways he will run away from his mother. But each time, Mama Bunny is ready with a solution of her own.

On the Night You Were Born

Explore the wonder and the magic of new life in the touching book. Together, parents and children can discover how the world was forever changed the moment each of us joined the planet. This book is destined to be read again and again.


Follow the adventures of a little bear that just wants to find a forever home. Corduroy feel that no one that visits the toy store wants him because he has lost the button off his overalls so he goes on a quest to make everything right.

The Snowy Day

Explore the first snow of the season with Peter as he goes through his neighborhood on a snowy Day.

The Cat in the Hat

When two children are left at home on a rainy day, a madcap Cat arrives to wreak havoc. A book that almost every family must have.

Strega Nona

When Strega Nona goes visiting, she leaves Big Anthony in charge of her magic pot. When he just wants to make a little lunch, he ends up covering the town in pasta. Will Strega Nona get back in time to fix things?

Tikki Tikki Tembo

As a first child, Tikki Tikki Tembo gets the best of everything, including a great long name. But when he falls in the well, his long name gets him into trouble, much to the concern of his little brother, Chang.

Science books

With eclipses and equinoxes, this year has been chock full of scientific discoveries for you and your child. Encourage the scientist to be with some of these books that explore the natural world.

Hello World: Weather

In Hello World: Weather, author/illustrator Jill McDonald explores the seasons through a child’s eyes. She shows the different ways weather can affect a child’s life from how it feels outside to what type of clothing is appropriate. While she doesn’t go much into the how’s and why’s of weather, she does explore the seasons. For a toddler, who may only remember one winter or summer, this is ground-breaking knowledge. McDonald’s bright, cheery pictures encourage your child to point to proper choices for each season, launching her into the book.

The Sun and the Moon

In this easy reader book, Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano explores how the sun and moon interact with the earth. She shows how the pair cause a bright, full moon, or darkness in the middle of the day during an eclipse. The text is easy enough for early readers to sound out, while additional information gives parents and children additional info and even experiments to try and observations to make. It was recommended by Brightly as the best book for children’s astronomy in 2017.

There’s No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System

In this fun and fanciful book, the Cat in the Hat takes children on a tour of the solar system. You will see your favorite characters from the classic book. Thing One, Thing Two, Sally and her brother and even the fish go with the cat as he explores the solar system and adjacent constellations. The book even gives children easy memory devices to remember the names and order of the planet. The newer, revised version removes Pluto.


Meteor the Mouse wants to go into space more than anything else in Mark Kelly’s book. He trains alongside real-life astronauts hoping to be picked to go into space. When the day comes, Meteor is both thrilled and honored to be one of the few and the proud. At first, he feels too small to do anything on the giant space shuttle. But when disaster strikes, he finds out that it is his size that can save the day. The story is based on the real-life mice in Endeavor’s shuttle mission.

Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum

Science isn’t all boring beakers and stellar stars. Sometimes people invent something is just plain fun. That’s the case in Meghan McCarthy’s book about the invention of Bubble Gum. It follows the adventures of Walter Diemer’s experiments to create Double Bubble by Fleer. Walter didn’t just invent bubble gum, but he also perfected the process of blowing giant bubbles. The book is filled with bright illustrations and includes a short biography of Diemer as well as his awesome invention.


Tim Lichtenheld explores the life of a small cumulus cloud. Cloudette is smaller than all the other clouds in the sky. She rarely joins them as they water crops or make raging rivers flow or other “Important cloud things.” But one night she started to wonder what she could do that was important. But she is just not right for any job in town. When a big storm blows her far away from home, she sees a pond that needs some of her water. She puffs herself up until she saves the day with her rain. In the process of telling the story, Lichtenheld explores different cloud types, cold fronts and storms.

From Seed to Plant

Gail Gibbons explores the plant life cycle in her book From Seed to Plant. The calming illustrations show how flowers provide seeds for the next generation. Starting with pollination, Gibbons shows seed development and explores different types of seeds and how they move from one area to another. After people, animals or even the wind plant the seed, the tiny plant inside sprouts when conditions are right. This book shows in simple language how plants germinate all over the world. Diagrams show children parts of flowers and seeds, giving them a clearer understanding of the wonderful world of plants.

Flip, Float, Fly. Seeds on the Move

A great companion to From Seed to Plant, this book by Joann Early Macken explores how seeds move from one place to another in a variety of ways. Using simpler language that Gibbon’s longer text. However, Flip, Float Fly shows a wide range of seeds from dandelions to locust seed pods to coconuts. She shows not just how they move, but how they germinate when they reach the right place to grow. Simple illustrations show how time passes and shows the child seasons as well as beautiful plants.

Water Dance

Thomas Locker explores the water cycle in his picture book Water Dance. His poetry explains different forms that water takes at different times throughout the world. Starting with rain, he illustrates each form water takes in nature with a lovely oil painting. Water becomes, streams, rivers, mist, clouds, thunderheads and even the ocean. Each time the water becomes something strong and violent, Locker shows how water also becomes something soft, gentle and ephemeral.

Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering

In this book by Ruth Spiro, children can explore the world of aerospace engineering at their own level. It starts with a child looking at a bird. The author explains how a bird’s wing works to help the bird fly. She then goes on to explain the difference between a bird and an airplane. Finally, she explains how a rocket can go places that an airplane can’t go. Th simple line drawings illustrate concepts that even a child can follow. The bird, not only illustrates flight, but also goes on an imaginary space flight, still tweeting on its way. This book is a great way to explore the why’s and how’s of flight.

Chapter books

It’s easy to think that young children should only look at picture books, but that’s not true. Even children as young as four can carry the basic plot of a story from day to day. Reading chapter books to your child is a great way to encourage them to think about story and predict what might happen next. A great way to integrate longer books is to read a chapter, or even two, to your youngster just before naptime or bed. This is when your child is beginning to relax and can be a great alternative to tablets or tv.

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

This isn’t your typical fairy tale book, or chapter book. Instead it is a series of spoofs of classic tales such as Cinderumpilstiltskin and Little Red Running Shorts. The stories are funny to both children and adults, so everyone enjoys story time. Each story is its own little chapter with many pictures, making this the perfect transition from picture books to chapter books.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Another fun transitional book is Shel Silverstein’s book of poetry. This features children and adults who face strange circumstances with often hilarious results. Dentists work on crocodile teeth. One little girl refuses to take the garbage out until she becomes lost in the trash. You and your child will laugh out loud to the rhythm and rhyme of Silverstein’s poetry.

Frog and Toad are Friends

In this series of five short stories, Frog and Toad explore their world and their friendship. They deal with things that many children suffer such as worry over clothing, waiting for a friend, or trying to write a letter or make up a story. The simple illustrations go along with each story, helping the child to expand his, or her imagination.

The Secret Garden

This book follows the adventures of Mary Lennox, an orphan who has grown up in India, as she adjusts to living in an English manor house. There are many mysteries in the house, including the sound of crying in the night and a secret garden that hides behind a brick wall and a locked door. When she discovers her cousin, hidden away just like the garden, Mary takes matters into her own hands not knowing, or caring, whether it will destroy her uncle or heal the entire household.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This world-famous book is a staple of many schools. While Harry faces some threats that might frighten some younger listeners, the world Rowling creates draws listeners of all ages. In the first book of the series, Harry discovers that he is a wizard and begins his education at the magical school of Hogwarts. There he discovers that Lord Voldemort, the evil force behind his parent’s death, is still plotting to take over the wizarding world. With the help of his new friends, Ron and Hermione, he stops Lord Voldemort from taking shape and threatening the world again.

Pippi Longstocking

Who doesn’t love a book about a 9-year-old who lives on her own and is so strong she can pick up a horse. Her mother is dead and her father is a sea captain who has been captured by distant natives and made king of their island nation. She completely turns the lives of Tommy and Annika, her new neighbors, upside down. The short chapters are great for younger children.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

The first book of the Narnian Chronicles follows the adventures of four children, two brothers and their two sisters, who have been evacuated from London during WWII. The youngest, Lucy, hides in a big old wardrobe and finds another country inside. The land is called Narnia and it’s ruled by a witch who keeps the land in a perpetual state of winter. With the help of her brothers and sister and a talking lion named Aslan, the family frees the land. There is some peril, but a safe read for younger children.


Matilda is a brilliant little girl who goes completely unappreciated in her family. She has raised herself, taught herself how to read, and is clearly the adult in a family of nitwits. When she finally goes to a school run by a cruel headmistress, she uses magic to save her beloved teacher and find her own place in the world. The only danger or cruelty in this book is of the wildly fantastic type, such as when the headmistress throws children like a shotput, making this a fun book for even younger listeners.

The Hobbit

Not to be confused with the movie trilogy, the book was clearly written for younger listeners. Tolkien himself wrote the book from stories that he told his own young sons at bedtime. The book follows Bilbo Baggins as he becomes the unlikely hero of a quest for adventure. Like Narnia, the peril is largely fantastic, so it excites rather than frightens young listeners. However, because the chapters are longer, consider reading this to children seven and older.

The Bridge to Terebithia

Jess Aarons doesn’t always feel as though he fits in. He is one of the smallest in his class. He loves to draw, and neither his art, nor his imagination is appreciated in his struggling family. Everything changes when Leslie Burke moves in nearby. Together, they explore the woods that separate their homes and create the imaginary world of Terebithia. This gives Jess a whole new view of the world and his own possibilities. But when tragedy strikes, Jess has to learn to keep his imagination alive without Leslie to help him. Many parents tend to avoid this gem of a book, since it deals with the death of a child and a friend. But reading this book with your child can open up the lines of communication and help both of you learn to talk about tough topics.