Bring a book instead of a card

Cards get thrown away but the magic of a book lasts forever. Ask friends and family to bring books instead of cards to your baby shower

More and more new moms are asking for baby shower books. It makes sense if you think about it. Of all the things you may do with your child, reading may have the most profound and lasting effects. Babies who learn language through hearing books tend to have larger vocabularies and learn other languages easier. Older children learn to love the security of curling up with a caregiver and a good book. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents who read to their infants give them an academic boost for years to come.

Benefits of Books for Babies

You don’t have to wait until the baby is born to start reading to your child. You can begin reading to your child while you are still pregnant. That’s right, babies can hear books read through the womb. Research has determined that babies hear and prefer words that their mother speak while in the womb. It gives new meaning to the term “mother tongue.” In addition, setting aside time to read is a good way to encourage a pregnant mom to sit down and relax every day. So, just reading to your baby can have wonderful results to both mother and child.

Bring a Book Baby Shower

There are a variety of ways to add to your baby’s library. You can have a book request baby shower. Instead of providing your guests with a registry full of clothes and toys, give them a registry filled with some of your favorite books. Don’t limit the books to “baby” books. Instead add those classics that you loved as a child. You can include picture books that you can read now and will read as your child grows big enough to sit in your lap or curl up next to you on the sofa. You may also want to add longer chapter books to the list. Your baby is just learning words. Before birth and for the first few months, your baby won’t even know that the pictures go along with the words. Instead he will take his cues from the tone of your voice. So, it doesn’t matter if you read picture books or longer novels. Just be sure to choose books that you really enjoy. Your enthusiasm will teach your baby more about a love of books than anything else.

There are a variety of ways to invite guests to a book themed baby shower. You can create a “bring a book” baby shower inserts for your birth announcements. You can print up a bring a book baby shower invitation, with cute book accents framing your information. You can design invitations that look like a picture book with the baby’s name as the title and you and your partner as writer and illustrator. You can also use one of these cute baby shower book poems:

Baby shower book poems

Whether it’s brand new, or a cherished classic
Help [name] fill {his or her} shelves. That would be fantastic!

Book are the thing that will make {name} clever
So bring a book [he or she] will treasure forever and ever.

Don’t just stop at the invitations, carry the book theme throughout the day with these “bring a book” baby shower ideas. Use a journal instead of the traditional baby shower sign in book. Have veteran moms add their best advice when they sign in to create a one-of-a-kind baby shower advice book. Cut thrift store children’s books or copy illustrations from your favorites on a color copier. Use the artwork to create a banner. Use the larger letters from a variety of alphabet books to write the child, or mother’s name on the banner. Serve book themed treats such as green eggs and ham or ask your local baker to decorate cupcakes with the covers of your favorite children’s books. Get plates and napkins that feature pigeon, or the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are. Use your imagination, but most of all, have fun!

Even if you don’t want a full book themed baby shower, there are other ways to build up your baby’s library.

Bring a Book Instead of a Card

Yup, you heard that right, lots of moms ask their guest in lieu of a card, bring a book. It makes sense if you think about it. A single high-quality baby shower card can cost as much seven or eight dollars. And what does the new mom do with the cards? Sure, she can put them in a baby book, but they will just gather dust for years until the baby is old enough to read the album. For the same price, you can pick up one or even two board books. Additionally, you can ask your guests to sign the book so that you and the child will remember their gift for years to come.

One of the benefits of this option is that guests can still feel comfortable with bringing other needed baby items, without additional cost. However, some moms get a little uncomfortable, wondering if guests will think that they are actually asking for two gifts. That’s where sharing the baby shower book message is so important. You can add a “please bring a book instead of a card” insert to your more traditional baby shower invitations. You can add one of these little book instead of card poems:

Book instead of card poems

I know it can be very hard
To pass up all those baby cards
They may be cute, they may be clever,
But a cherished book will last forever.
Sign a book instead of a card.

A pretty gift card just isn’t a must.
It stays in an album all covered in dust.
But by signing a book, we’ll remember and share
Your cherished gift even when you’re not there.

Whether it’s Seuss or Captain Hook,
Instead of a card bring your favorite book.

What is most important is that you let your guests know that the book is instead of a card and at the guests own discretion.

Baby Shower Book Requests

So, you have worked your way through all the baby shower ideas, book request wordings and found the perfect book baby shower invitations. So how do you let your guests know which books you need? You can add books to your baby shower gift registry, or you can even fill out baby book shower gift registry listing all the books you want your child to have. Like baby item registries, these are simple to fill out online and give your guests the comfort of knowing what you need for the new addition. The link can be added to digital cards or printed on book themed baby shower invitations or “bring a book instead of a card” printable.

Baby book registry

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.

This is a lovely new tradition 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.

An added bonus that we at Baby Shower Easy thought would be an awesome tool for the Mom to use was our Book Registry – this allows the Mom to set up her own ‘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 and 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.

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  • Sign Up, it's free, once you register you will be taken to your new book registry.
  • 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.
  • 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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So, you want books instead of cards for your baby, but you don’t know how to ask friends and family politely

We’ve done the hard work for you, we have found the most creative ways to ask friends and family books instead of cards for your baby.


One small request we hope it’s not hard please bring a book instead of a card. It doesn’t matter if it’s old or new. Either way your book will remind the baby of you. Please sign and write a message on the inside cover.


Please bring a book instead of a card mommy and daddy wish to read each and every night before they kiss their baby and turn off the light Thank you for helping baby’s library grow. We really appreciate it, just so you know.


Please Bring a Book Although cards a nice, they’re read once or twice, A book is a treasure, for ever and ever. So instead of a card, to be put aside, Please give baby a book, with your name inside. Do no spend too much, it does not need to be new, any old book in good shape will do.


Books for Baby
One small request and we hope it’s not too hard. Please bring a book instead of a card. Your book will be cherished, well loved, or brand new, but please don’t feel obligated, we will leave it up to you.


One small request that won’t be too hard. Please bring a book instead of a card. Whether Cat in the Hat or Old Mother Hubbard, you can sign the book with your thoughts in the cover. Your book will be cherished, well loved or brand new, but please don’t feel obliged, we will leave it up to.


From Peter Rabbit to Mother Goose Goodnight Moon and Dr. Seuss Curious George and Winnie the Pooh The little Engine that Could, too. In lieu of a card, please bring your favorite childhood classic, Let’s build a library for ____ that will be fantastic!


A card is something very nice, But maybe read only once or twice. So instead, think of sharing a book you see And mommy and daddy will read it to me. Please sign your name and add a note too, So I know this storybook was from you. I'm tiny now, just a sweet little tot But someday I'll thank you with all my heart


Cards are nice but books are too. I have a favor to ask of you. Instead of a card that mommy will read one time, would u bring me a book to read and rhyme? Please write your name on the front page, so I will remember you even as I age. Thankyou so much for all of your love you see, I'll be thinking of you when mommy reads to me!


Instead of a card,we have a request Please bring a book The baby will enjoy that the best! We can read your note each night before bed and enjoy your sentiment for all the years ahead!

Books instead of cards inserts

Parents are now wanting to fill their child’s library up rather than their toy box. New parents particularly, love to research and exhaust all possibilities of helping to raise a bright, articulate child into the world and what better way to start than by asking their attendees to bring their baby a new book rather than a card.

As the host of the Mom’s baby shower it is your responsibility to ensure that all guests are given the heads up, per say. You don’t want a heavily pregnant family member or friend to be left disappointed when it comes time to open her baby shower gifts. Asking the sticky question around gifts can be a daunting task for anyone.

Books instead of cards are a no-brainer, depending on the book, they cost around the same amount, but a card is read once and thrown away at some point. A book, on the other hand, is cherished forever! Here at Baby Shower Easy we know all too well how uncomfortable it can be to ask guests, for any kind of gift, but this ask is worth it, so we have made it a little bit easier for you. When sending out your Mom’s shower invitations why not slip in our, Books for Baby insert. It makes asking for books super easy and hassle free, for you as the host, and for Mom too. They come in lots of different, beautiful designs and can match your invitations too! We also have a online baby book registry that will help make sure your guests don't buy the same books as each other.

Pink Floral books for baby insert

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Floral books for baby insert

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Gum Tree Baby books for baby insert

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Blue Watercolor Floral books for baby insert

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Mom & Baby books for baby insert

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Baby Animals books for baby insert

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Tropical Safari books for baby insert

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Little Monsters books for baby insert

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Bohemian baby books for baby insert

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Babys Breath books for baby insert

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Forest Watercolor books for baby insert

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Yellow Floral books for baby insert

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Baby Bunny Girl books for baby insert

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Baby Bunny Boy books for baby insert

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Books you can add to your baby books not cards book 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!

The best board books for bub

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 – Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book by Eric Carle

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.

The caterpillar is born on Sunday on the very first page and every day he eats a little bit more. As the caterpillar eats his way through the story, the pages get bigger, mirroring the caterpillar’s growth. There are also more holes. The book explores the concepts of numbers and days of the week. It also looks at growth and change as the caterpillar grows larger and becomes hungrier with each passing page. The size of the caterpillar grows There is a twist at the end that adults will see coming from miles away, but is a magical experience for toddlers. The caterpillar becomes a butterfly. It’s a totally unexpected to young minds and many children will want to read the book over and over again.

Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon Board Book by Margaret Wise Brown

This classic book is offered in a board book version. The heavier version is identical to the hardback version except that it lacks a title page. Instead, the board book begins on the back side of the cover. This really isn’t a deal-breaker for most toddlers.

The story starts slowly, describing the contents of a child’s room in great detail, just like a child notices her room. Everything from the mittens to the balloon to the pictures on the wall are all described with a loving tone that lets the reader know that this is the child’s normal room. The nurturing feel of the book is further illustrated by the fact that the child is never alone. Instead, there is an “old woman” who rocks and quietly knits as the child prepares to sleep, occasionally whispering “hush.” After everything is listed, the child goes through and bids each beloved part of the room goodnight. It ends with a picture of the child and the kittens sound asleep.

There are two very good reasons why this book is a classic. First of all, the 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.

Secondly, the book is a rhyme, this makes it easy to predict what will come next. In fact, after a few readings, you may find that your child will be saying the lines along with you.

Dear Zoo – Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo Board Book By Rod Campbell

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.

The one drawback to this book is that it’s really designed for either infants, where the adult lifts the flap, or preschoolers that can control their little hands. The doors are printed on heavy paper, but it’s far too easy for toddler hands to tear the flaps and ruin the book.

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.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

When a little caterpillar hatches, he discovers he is very hungry. Every day he eats a little more until he overeats at a carnival. The surprise at the end is a magical transformation for any toddler. The holes the caterpillar eats are drilled from page to page and are the perfect size for a toddler’s finger.

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?

10. 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.

The Best Science Books For Bub

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

Hello World: Weather Book

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

The Sun and the Moon Book

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

Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum Book

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

From Seed to Plant Book

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

Flip, Float, Fly. Seeds on the Move ook

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

Water Dance Book

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.

The Best Chapter Books For Bub

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 chapter book by Jon Scieszka & Mike Ferrari

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales Chapter Book by Jon Scieszka & Mike Ferrari

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 chapter book by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends Chapter Book by Shel Silverstein

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 chapter book by Arnold Lobel

Frog and Toad are Friends Chapter Book by Arnold Lobel

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 chapter book by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden Chapter Book by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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 chapter book by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Chapter Book by J. K. Rowling

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 chapter book by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking chapter book by Astrid Lindgren

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 chapter book by C. S. Lewis

= The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe chapter book by C. S. Lewis

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 chapter book by Roald Dahl

Matilda chapter book by Roald Dahl

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 chapter book by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit chapter book by J. R. R. Tolkien

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 chapter book by Katherine Paterson

The Bridge to Terebithia chapter book by Katherine Paterson

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.

The Best Sight Word Books for your baby

Sight words are an important stepping stone for reading fluency. Once your child has mastered even a couple of the words, he will want to use those new words to read a story. That’s where sight word books come in handy. Early sight word books may contain pictures designed to help your child decode the nouns. These are some of the first books that your child can read either solo or with just a little help. The good news is that there are a wide range of easy reader books available. There are stories with talking cats, and nonfiction books that can enlarge your child’s world. Because, children tend to go through these books rapidly, we have a longer than normal list.

BOB Books Sight Words by Lynn Maslen Kertell

BOB Books Sight Words by Lynn Maslen Kertell

This is a series of boxed books designed to help children read short stories that are totally written in sight words. There are 10 books in the set and each book adds a two or three new sight words to enlarge your child’s sight word vocabulary.

Pete The Cat, Play Ball by James Dean

Pete The Cat, Play Ball by James Dean

This book is part of the Peat the Cat early reading series. In the book, Pete tries his hand at playing ball. It doesn’t quite go according to plan. But in true Pete the Cat tradition, Pete doesn’t let his early failures get him down. Instead, he just keeps on trying. Not only will this book help your child decode new words, but it’s a great reminder that frustration doesn’t need to get Pete, or your child down.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

When Sally and Dick are bored and home alone, a cat walks in the door and turns their world upside down. He not only plays games they have never considered, but he brings two little monsters called Thing One and Thing Two. All the while, the family’s fish is terrified and warns the children that they should not let this strange cat in the house. This classic book is longer than many early reader books. It is comprised almost entirely from sight words and uses rhymes and repetition to help emerging readers decode the words in the story.

Gabe the Dog Who Sniffs Out Danger by Thea Feldman

Gabe the Dog Who Sniffs Out Danger by Thea Feldman

This nonfiction book explores the everyday world of Gabe, an American Humane Association Award-winning dog who works for the American Military. Children read about how he was trained to sniff out danger and keep people safe.

National Geographic Readers: Koalas by Laura Marsh

National Geographic Readers: Koalas by Laura Marsh

In this book, children learn about koalas in their natural habitat. It follows the animals from birth, exploring their habits, food sources, threats and even how they relate to each other. The book is filled with photographs of the adorable creatures. The frequent illustrations help the child decode the text, making it a great book to start your child’s nonfiction library.

Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain

These clever bears ride bikes. But the longer the book goes on, the more bears are on bikes. This book not only gives your child a sense of reading, but also helps to teach numbers, all with a a sense of humor.

Are You my Mother by P.D. Eastman

Are You my Mother by P.D. Eastman

This is the story of a little bird who is looking for its mother. It meets a cat, at dog and finally a steam shovel all in its search for Mommy. The refrain is repeated so often that even the youngest listener will know when to shout it out.

Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

Spot isn’t just any dog. He doesn’t have just any spot. He can make his spots to wonderful magical things and believes that he is so special he belongs in the zoo. But the children he talks to have another idea. This book uses repetition and rhyming words to help emerging readers.

Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

Another classic book that uses few words and is almost entirely written in sight words. This book shows several dogs as they travel from here to there in tiny one and two-page vignettes. The entire book culminates in a huge dog party in a tree. Eastman uses repetition and rhyme to help children decode words and remember sight words.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

This rhyming picture book explores the trials of a long-suffering creature that does not want to try Green Eggs and Ham. Sam, a smaller creature, does his best to offer every conceivable option to encourage the attempt. As the book goes on, the creature’s temper grows and grows until he is shouting at Sam. But Sam persist until he tries the food and decides it’s not bad. The hilarious situations that these creatures get into hide the fact that it’s really about something every child can identify with: trying new and unusual food.

My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems

My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems

In this book, an elephant names Gerald is sad. His best friend, a pig named Piggie is determined to cheer him up. He tries several different ways, and ultimately discovers that a good friend is the fastest way to a smile. This book uses repetition and simple sight words, but you may still need to help your emerging reader decode some of the names.

At the Beach by Alexa Andrews

At the Beach by Alexa Andrews

This nonfiction pairs clear photographs with sight words to give emergent readers a good reading experience. It explores nature and families in both human and animals.

Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

This is the first book of an entire series of books starring Biscuit the puppy. In this book, Biscuit needs to go to bed, but he stalls. He wants a snack, then a story, then his special blanket. Children reading the story will be able to relate to the little dog’s attempt to put off bedtime, and so will their parents! The words are simple and the illustrations help the young reader decode any special nouns such as the dog’s name. But once your reader gets that word down, the entire series is open to your child.

Some Classic Children's Books

If a book lasts fifty or even seventy-five years, it must be because it’s just a wonderful book. Right? Well, sometimes, that’s true. Let’s face it, when parents or even grandparents have wonderful memories of the book, they want to share it with the next generation. Most of the time, it works. While the adult may have to explain certain aspects of life that are different today. (“No, Anne and Diana never took a selfie. They didn’t have cell phones.”) Then there are those books that have become classic children’s movies and families want to read the original. Never forget that modern directors often change a book before bringing it to either the big or the little screen. We’ll look at three books and discuss how well they have aged. Then you can decide if they are right for you and your family.

Make Way for Ducklings bby Robert McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings bby Robert McCloskey

Since it won the Caldecott Medal in 1942, the book had been continuously in print and sold more than two million copies. The book follows the adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard as they look for the perfect place to build a nest and raise their brood of ducklings. They fly over Boston and enjoy time in the Public Garden Lagoon until a bicyclist almost runs over Mr. Mallard and Mrs. Mallard decides that it is just too busy a place to hatch eggs. So, they find a quiet island in the Charles River and Mrs. Mallard lays her eggs and tends them. Mr. Mallard goes off to explore Boston, while Mrs. Mallard tends the eggs. The two promise to meet in the Public Garden. When the ducklings are old enough to make the journey, Mrs. Mallard leads her brood through Boston, much to the delight of the residents. The book ends with the family reunited in the Public Garden Lagoon.

The book is significantly longer than most picture books of today, coming in at 72 pages. But, like many modern picture books, McCloskey uses short phrases to pace the book. Children and adults alike will worry, along with Mrs. Mallard when a bicycle threatens Mr. Mallard and swell with pride when everyone admires the ducklings.

While the gender roles may feel a little dated, and the cars and fashion in the pictures are definitely from another time, the story and illustrations hold up to modern standards and audiences.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

With the recent reboot of the book on Netflix, the books are getting new life. And the books have already had a long and happy life. Originally published in 1908, the book has been translated into 36 languages and sold more than fifty million copies. So what is the book about?

Anne (spelled with an e because the owner of that name feels it’s more elegant,) is an orphan in a rural part of Canada. She has spent her childhood passed from house to house, caring for younger children. She has had so little care that the adult in charge of her has left her alone at the train station when the train arrives early and Matthew Cuthbert is not there to meet her. When he does arrive, he is dismayed to discover that she is a girl, because he and his sister had agreed to take in a boy to help him around the farm.

When Anne discovers this mix-up, she is heartbroken. When Marilla Cuthbert tries to fix the situation, she sees other adults all to ready to turn Anne into a household drudge and decides to keep the girl. This begins Anne’s education of what it means to be part of a family and a community. Anne fails as much as she succeeds, in fact, in many escapades, it’s hard to tell whether the result is a success or failure.

This is probably why the book has endured when many other “orphan” books haven’t lasted. Modern readers can identify with Anne’s desire to set herself apart. They can laugh right along with Anne when she messes up and cheer when she tries again.

However, some children, especially children who have been through the foster care process or have been adopted, may identify too much with Anne. Her early childhood is, quite frankly, abusive. While adopted children were not valued in the early part of the 1900’s, that is not the case now. So allow this book to spark conversations about families and adoption while it entertains.

Curious George by H. A. Rey

Curious George  by H. A. Rey

Parents who have watched the popular PBS series may think the books are the same.

They aren’t.

The book has been in print continuously since its introduction in 1940. In the first book of this series, a curious little monkey named George finds a big yellow hat in the middle of the jungle. The Man in the yellow Hat captures George and takes him on an ocean journey to a large city. During this time, George tries to behave like a person, but causes a wide range of problems from falling in the ocean to calling the fire department. After a series of adventures, he ends up in the zoo.

The first thing modern parents will notice about the book is that it’s far thicker than most children’s picture books. It is 64 pages to the usual 32. To hide the higher word count, each page uses a lot of white space and smaller pictures.

What really sets it apart from modern picture books is the role of George. He isn’t really an animal, because he thinks like a child. But he isn’t really treated like a child either, because they put him in jail, and then in the zoo. Because of this ambivalence, many parents and teachers alike have objected to the treatment of George in the book.

The fact is, this is one book that just doesn’t hold up to modern standards. Today we would never celebrate the poaching of a wild animal. Authors would never have both the parent figure (the Man in the Yellow Hat) and the child figure, (George) smoking a pipe. And finally, incarcerating the curious little monkey in the zoo would not be the happy ending of a modern tale.

Books for winter baby showers

While there are lots of great Baby books out there, there are many that are perfect for winter. When thinking about choosing a book, don’t limit yourself to board books or even picture books. Many very young children love to hear stories read to them.

The Mitten

This Jan Brett classic has been beloved by generations of children and adults alike. A staple in many elementary schools it combines a fun story with basic concepts such as size and sharing. In the book, a young boy named Nicki drops his brand-new mitten that his grandmother has knitted for him. The mitten lies in the snow until a mole finds it and crawls inside to stay warm. Other animals join him, each one growing in size, until a bear squeezes in with all the rest. But when a tiny mouse tries to push his way in, the mitten rebels and all the animals are scattered. When Nicki finds his mitten in the light of a new day, he wonders why it’s so much bigger than it was the day before. The illustrations are the kind of beauty that only Jan Brett can create. While most of the page is taken up with the animal shenanigans, Brett uses the sides of each page to tell a parallel story of Nicki and his grandmother’s hard work.

The Snowy Day

This book, by Jack, Ezra Keats, has mesmerized audiences since 1962. The book’s simple illustrations show Peter as he explores his world on a snowy day. His normal neighborhood has been transformed by the blanket of snow, offering new challenges, such as snow falling from trees, as well as new opportunities for play, such as sledding and making snow angels. In the end, he warms up, goes to bed and wakes to a new day filled with fresh snow. This story remains a groundbreaking classic for more than fifty years.

Over and Under the Snow

Kate Messner encourages budding scientists to explore the world of nature in this fun picture book. While everything appears peaceful and serene in the forest on a cold winters day, under the snow there is a lot happening. Animals, both small and large are eating, hibernating, and otherwise living their lives unseen by the average person. Messner explores a wide range of wildlife from bears to bullfrogs to bunnies. She looks at how each animal survives the cold winter months without heat and warmth and, in some cases, with no available food. But in the end, she shows how they emerge when the world warms.

The Snowman

Sometimes, there are no words to express the wonder of snow. Raymond Briggs explores these emotions with his wordless picture book. Through the pictures, the “reader” sees how a young boy builds a snowman in his yard. That night, when he goes to bed, the snowman comes to visit while he sleeps and takes the boy on a magical adventure. Together, they travel to a world where snow people live and play. In the end, the boy recognizes where his new friend belongs. The beauty of this book is that as soon as the child can turn the pages, she can “read” the story to herself.

Winter Dance

Marion Dane Bauer explores the world of winter through the eyes of a fox that isn’t quite sure how to get ready for winter. He talks with other animals that describe how they are preparing and tell him that he should do the same. But none of their plans feels quite right for Fox. Finally, he meets another fox that teaches him the right way to be ready for the winter. This gentle book helps kids realize that different animals, and people, do things their own way.

Red and Lulu

Matt Tavares explores the unstoppable power of love in his winter story about a pair of cardinals, Red and Lulu. They live in a beautiful evergreen on a country farm. They have their warm and cozy nest and their stored food and seeds. They love their home, especially in the middle of winter when the people gather around and sing. All that changes one winter day when their tree is taken. Red and Lulu are separated for the first time and Red has to find out where they have taken the tree and his beloved Lulu. When they are finally reunited in Rockefeller Center, the birds hear many more people singing to their beautiful tree.


No list of books for baby would be complete without at least one touch-and-feel book. Thankfully, Roger Priddy has created a lovely, interactive book for the littlest readers, or touchers. In the book, babies can explore the feel of sparkly snowflakes, soft scarves and scratchy forests. The board book version is tough enough for toddlers, but safe enough for babies.

Baby Shower Book Registry

Now that you know how to ask, you’ll need a way to manage which books are bought so that friends and family don’t buy 20 copies Charlie and the chocolate factory. We have created a book registry, just for baby showers like yours.

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