Raising a reader

Types of books for newborns to toddlers

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

I love reading books. It takes me to another world and the best way to relax for me. When Penguin was born I wanted him to enjoy reading just like I do. But I was clueless about how to do it. Like any other parent, I was confused yet curious about introducing books to my baby. Initially, I thought around 2-3 years he would be grown up enough to understand the pictures and words. And just like everything else my child, Penguin gave me the answer pretty early. And later I learned what types of books. Universe conspired!

If you have read my pregnancy diaries then you might know I used to stay with my parents for the first few months. My Maa has the habit of reading a newspaper every afternoon. Coincidentally, 3 months Penguin used to have tummy time or play around the same time. When my Maa would try a page Penguin would get attracted and try turning/crawling towards her. Failing impressive every time. One fine day he managed to grasp the paper, tried feeling-exploring it and tearing it at places. Before I could rescue the newspaper, it was all over him. That day I decided to introduce him to books immediately.

Penguin scored his first book from a book fair. It was a paperback edition with bright pictures and few words. I tried reading it aloud for him. And boy, he was engrossed. It became out tummy time book. Along with that I tired reciting poems and rhymes for him and he enjoyed all babbling along with me. Soon, my notebooks were ripped apart and I had searched for options other than paperbacks. I was surprised to know the types of books available.

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My research landed me with a whole bunch of book options for infants and toddlers. Apparently, infants are curious little human with exploration mode always tuned on. So, parents can expose them to various kinds of books. I learned this hard way. So, those of you who are new parents or wish to introduce books to their young kids and are clueless about what to get, this post is your clue to that.

Here is the list and links (India) for different kind of books which can be introduced to babies and toddlers.

Books are compartmentalized based on content and look-and-feel

Based on look and feel, the various types of books are the following.

  • Black and White/ Contrast

According to studies, babies can differentiate between dark and light before birth. So, getting a black and white book makes sense. A baby’s color perception is limited to contrasting colors. Choose a book with bold simple images, maybe with patterns and describe to the baby.

Few options available in Amazon are –

Black & White by Tana Hoban

Picture: Amazon.in

Black on White by Tana Hoban

Picture: Amazon.in

Little Baby Books: Outdoors by Bloomsbury

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Cloth books

Our curious little humans love putting everything in their grasp straight to the mouth. Right? So, getting a cloth book which can be cleaned easily and taken back to chewing business. Bonus point: There are pictures. So, again point and talk.

  • Textured

Though most babies would make teether out of board books. That’s parenting folks 😉. Yet, with repetition and interesting textured books babies would like to check out the book themselves. Kids are too young to understand a story but let them explore. Allow kids to rub, pet, scratch, sniff and see themselves in mirrors. Let them interact with the world and learn gradually.

  • Touch and feel –

The very hungry caterpillar (Touch and feel playbook) by Eric Carle

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Puppet

Peppa Pig: Play with Peppa hand puppet by Ladybird

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Sparkles

Brum -Brum -brrr goes the tuk-tuk by Kamlesh Mohindra

Picture: Firstcry.com
  • Mirror

Funny faces: A look and laugh mirror board book by Mojca Pat-a-Cake

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Flap

Flap books are fun. They are like little mystery books where secrets are hidden underneath the flap. Kids would lift the flap and discover joy. There is a sad part with flap books when the snooping kids tear the flaps and treasure is out. Babies do keep parents alert. Try saving flaps, if you can. The lift-the-flap books are must-haves.

Dear zoo: A lift the flap book by Rod Campbell

Picture: Amazon.com
  • Pop-ups

Pop-up books bring out your inner child. It is tempting to pull, squeeze and grab. It makes a simple story magical for kids as simple illustrations get uplift.

Pop-up dinosaurs: A pop-up book to get your jaws into by Roger Piddy

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Pull the tab

Pulling out a tab and get a new picture is entertaining for kids. The picture is hidden and the pulling tab brings out the star. It is quite engaging.

Pull the tab Farm by DK

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Sound books

Books for infants and toddlers are already adorable and if it got sound along – bingo. The sound attracts kids and are likely to get engrossed in pushing those chunky buttons repeatedly.

Peppa pig: Peppa’s super noisy sound book by Ladybird

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Bath time/ waterproof

Take books with you to the bathtub. These floating books are a fun addition to bath toys.

Submarine world

Picture: Amazon.in

Further, the types of books can be categorized based on content as

  • Picture/Wordless

These books primarily have pictures with few or no words. It is upon the reader to weave a story or describe the page. It is an ideal book to start for young readers with whom you can play points and identify. The book mentioned in sparkle textured above, Brum-Brum-brrr goes the tuk-tuk by Kamlesh Mohindra is a good example.

  • Rhymes, songs and storybooks

When you read/sing out loud for baby, they show their likeness or attention by throwing hands and legs on-air or making noise. So, get goofy, act crazy and interact with kid as you read those classic rhymes or a story.

Nursery rhymes by Parragon

Picture: Amazon.in

The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Themed

Few books are created around a theme as alphabets, numbers, fruits, color or animals. It makes it easier for the young reader to classify and associate with similar kinds of things.

Little learning library by Eric Carle

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Question and Answer

These books pop the question and give the reader find an answer within the book. Repeat similar questions when you are a different situation and you would be amazed at how your kids respond.

Where is baby’s belly button? By Karen Katz

Picture: Amazon.in
  • Puzzle

You can find 2 or more pieces jigsaw puzzles or stick magnets/stickers on pages of these book. Encourage kids to solve them.

Peppa Pig: Marvellous Magnet book by Ladybird

Picture: Amazon.in

If you are planning to get all types of books and give the best to your baby. Take a breath there. Take one step at a time. Get any one book, cuddle your baby and have fun together.

In case, you got the books but don’t know how to start. I got you covered. Check my next part of “Raising A Reader series”. This was part 1.

Happy reading!


41 thoughts on “Types of books for newborns to toddlers”

  1. My little one is glued to her dose of Peppa Pig series. I love how toddlers deal with textured books. I really like the list you have created here

  2. A very informative post. I too began reading to my elder son when he was 3 months. But havnt been able to do so with the younger one. Lets see, who among these two will turn out to be a reader 😉


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