Picture books for your baby are must have items on any mommy's list. Many first time mothers spend their time waiting for the arrival of their bundle of joy by setting up the nursery and stocking up on essentials that include books they have loved as children or ones that are popular in the market.
Curating a picture book list is a huge task and I have finally done it! Here are some recommendations for the most interesting picture books I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune of reading. This is, by no means, a definitive list, nor is it the most eclectic one you may come across. But these books have touched me and my kids in more ways than one.
I have left out the obvious ones – Where The Wild Things Are, Madeline, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, No, David!, Elmer, Goodnight Moon, The Giving Tree, Dr Seuss’s, Amelia Bedelia, Olivia, Guess How Much, etc. These are considered classics and must haves for anyone.
For Readers From 0-1 year:
1. That’s Not My Puppy… (by Fiona Wells and Rachel Watt; Usborne):
Shop Here: Rs. 499/-
The fuzz, the texture, the adorable puppy illustrations are all appealing to a child's eyes and fingers. Your child will love touching and feeling the book and is guaranteed to spend precious minutes with this book.
2. I Kissed The Baby! (by Mary Murphy; Candlewick Press):
Shop Here: Rs. 339/-
If you thought only books with bright colours appeal to your baby's eyes, just wait till you read this one to them. Striking bold animals in black and white with a splash of funky yellow at the end, plus dollops of animal fun, and loads of cuddling and tickling and loving and kissing. Your children are going to Love it!
3. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury; HMH Books):
Shop Here: Rs. 566/-
A book as fascinating to an infant as is to a 6-year-old child, there is everything awwwwe-worthy about it. Moms and dads never get enough of kissing and biting their baby’s tiny toes, do they? Continue to read this out (with its gentle soothing rhyme) to her for a few years and she’ll discover an entirely different, deeper world of we-are-born-the-same regardless of our skin colour and other differences.
4. Dinosaur’s Binkit (by Sandra Boynton; Little Simon):
Shop Here: Rs. 513
This was our very first plunge with my 4-month old into the wonderful world of Sandra Boynton and she has left us transfixed since! Fourteen years on, this book still bags the coveted ‘favouritest’ tag in my household. With flaps and blankets to lift and mouths and wardrobes to open, this book about a dino baby losing his ‘binkit’ will keep the little one enthralled. Actually and Sandra Boynton book will do the trick!
5. Oh Dear! (by Rod Campbell; Campbell Books):
Shop Here: Rs. 159/-
My kids used to love the repetitive phrases in the book and lifting all the flaps and eggs in this book.
6. Flutterfly (Niveditha Subramaniam; Tulika):
Shop Here: Rs. 160
Another lovely book where the predominantly black and whites pages have just a splash of bright colour, will fascinate a young reader without fail!
7. Where are Maisy’s Friends? (by Lucy Cousins; Candlewick Press):
Shop Here: Rs. 441/-
This is our most favourite Maisy board book, perhaps because of the adorable animals that continue to show up with each flap lift.
8. The Big Night-Night Book (by Georgie Birkett; Barron’s Educational Series):
Shop Here: Rs. 5551,-
This lovely touch-and-feel board book makes for a perfect bedtime reading for little babies. It is on the lines of Goodnight Moon, though I find this book has a more endearing appeal because of its simpler (and cuter) illustrations, and textures that make it remarkably interactive.
9. Where is My Baby? (by Harriet Feifert and Simms Taback; Blue Apple Books):
Shop Here: Rs. 386/-
Big mama and papa animals looking for their babies throughout the book, and surprise surprise, the babies have names of their own! Totally charming! The flaps are done imaginatively and the colours are simply gorgeous.
10. Is This My Nose? (by Georgie Birkett; Barron’s Educational Series):
Shop Here: Rs. 510/-
Another Birkett favourite. Little babies will love lifting the flaps to explore the concepts of nose, mouth etc. through some big bright illustrations. And the fab mirror at the end is an added treat.
For Readers From 1 year onwards:
1. Boodabim (by Alankrita Jain; Tulika):
Shop Here: Rs. 95
2. Rooster Raga (by Natasha Sharma and Priya Kuriyan; Tulika):
Shop Here: Rs. 150
3. Orange Pear Apple Bear (by Emily Gravett; Mac Millan):
Shop Here: Rs. 217
4. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld; Chronicle Books):
Shop Here: Rs. 831
A must have for any vehicle/truck loving child! It is fun to see the big beasts dropping dead one by one after a hard day’s work, yes, with their blanky and soft toy! Surprisingly soothing, even for a non-truck person like me.
5. No No Yes Yes (by Leslie Patricelli; Candlewick Press):
Shop Here: Rs. 213
Your little one will love love LOVE this adorable book that reinforces all the befuddling concepts of yes’s and no’s with some of the most darling illustrations ever.
6. Goodnight, Gorilla (by Peggy Rathman; Puffin Books):
Shop Here: Rs. 424
A cleverly done fun book with a naughty gorilla and a clueless zoo guard. There are many other animals that pop up through the book. Minimal text keeps the focus firmly on the visuals, which is where the humour comes from anyway.
7. I Went Walking (by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas; HMH Books):
Shop Here: Rs. 464
If you thought predictable is boring, do pick up this fab book. Join the little boy in his walk and the trail of animals that builds up behind him, one animal at a time. My kids used to love the repetition and gentleness in this warm story.
8. The Perfect Hug (by JM Walsh and Judi Abbot; Simon & Schuster):
Shop Here: Rs. 531
Pandas and hugs and loads of brightly illustrated animals make for some unbeatable reading! Especially when it’s a dear little panda in search of that loving squeezy that feels perfect.
9. My Mother’s Sari (by Sandhya Rao and Nina Sabnani; Tulika):
Shop Here: Rs. 135
10. Cockatoos (by Quentin Blake; Little Brown and Company):
Shop Here: Rs. 635