Reading is fun for all ages. And while many parents spend a lot of time reading to their babies they may wonder if there’s any real benefit to it. The answer from experts across the board is a resounding YES!
According to the Cleveland Clinic, reading to babies can boost vocabulary and reading skills for years to come. And reading to your baby from the start results in long-term benefits including cognitive, language and social skills. It’s not just important to read to young children – it is critical to their brain development and future success in school. And according to Reach Out & Read, 90% of brain development takes place from birth to three years of age.
Tips for Reading with Baby (The Academy of Pediatrics):
- Read everyday
- Read with emotion
- Pick sturdy books
- Plan a special reading time
- Ask questions and talk about feelings as the child grows
Watch this video to learn more about the importance of reading to babies:
7 Good Reasons to Read to Your Baby and Toddler
- It helps you bond with your baby.
- It boosts brain development.
- It supports basic speaking skills.
- It increases their vocabulary.
- It supports lasting literacy skills.
- It teaches them about the world around them.
- It helps to shape social and emotional development.
Okay, now that you know how important it is to read to young children you may be wondering what you should read to them? Always pick age appropriate books. For example, for babies select colorful, sturdy books that feature lots of pictures or illustrations. Board books are especially great starter books for babies and toddlers. Best of all, we have a ton of them at all of our Library locations. Picture books are also great for babies and toddlers, because the colorful illustrations help bring stories to life.
If you’re looking for some great books to read to your child, check out the books below. Some of them are from our 101 Picture Book Challenge, which is designed to provide all children with a strong foundation of words, reading and stories to build literacy. We picked 101 of our favorite picture books and we want you to read them, too. Our list includes classics, new titles and everything in between.
10 Picture Books to Read to Young Children
These books are perfect for babies and toddlers:
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
- Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
- Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins
- Sweet Dreams Lullaby by Betsy Snyder
- Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
- Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr
- I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont
- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
*Note: For a larger view of the picture books listed above – simply select the cover image.
Articles and Resources for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers of Young Children
13 Things Babies Learn When We Read with Them
When Should I Start Reading to My Baby?
The Magic of Reading Aloud to Babies: New Research Shows Even Infants Benefit from Books and Reading
The Benefits of Reading to Your Newborn
Bedtime Stories for Young Brains
Reading Books to Babies
For Baby’s Brain to Benefit, Read the Right Books at the Right Time
The Benefits of Reading to Children: From Prenatal to Adolescence
Reading Aloud to Young Children Has Benefits for Behavior and Attention
Building Baby’s First Library: 25 Must-Have Books
Ready to Read
101 Picture Book Challenge