Baby & Toddler

8 Baby Shower Books That Won’t Get Returned

by Janssen Bradshaw

baby shower books
Photo credit: Cristin Stickles/McNally Jackson Books

There’s nothing I like giving as a baby shower gift more than a stack of beautiful picture books. Books are gifts that can be used for years and passed down indefinitely (provided they don’t get thrown up on!).

But picking the right book for a baby shower can be tricky. You don’t want to pick something obscure that they’ll never read, but you also don’t want to be giving the fourth copy of a too-popular baby book.

These eight books tread the fine line between classic and cool and are sure to be welcome at any baby shower.

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

    by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

    This book had the feeling of a classic the moment it was published. It features babies from all over the world, born in very different kinds of places, with different hair and skin colors, but all with something in common: ten little fingers and ten little toes.

  • The House in the Night

    by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes

    This is a perfect book to go along with perennial baby shower favorite Goodnight Moon. It has the same sleepy, rhythmic feel and is ideal for bedtime. It’s also done in beautiful scratchboard in black, white, and yellow, which makes for a stunning look.

  • All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep

    by Crescent Dragonwagon, illustrated by David McPhail

    This book is the trifecta of early picture books — an alphabet book, an animal book, and a bedtime story. It’s not overly long, the illustrations are lovely, and it was the book of choice at bedtime in our house for many, many months.

  • Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes

    by Salley Mavor

    Nursery rhyme books are a dime a dozen, but this one is a real gem. Not only is it packed with nursery rhymes (both familiar and more obscure), each illustration is a hand-felted scene. You could spend hours poring over the gorgeous details.

  • Piggies

    by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood

    This book is beautifully detailed, and so fun, with highly individual piggies dancing on fat little baby hands — at the beach, in the bathtub, on a snow day. I love the easy rhythm of this book and all the fun extra details that make it no chore at all to read over and over again.

  • “More More More,” Said the Baby

    by Vera B. Williams

    I remember this Caldecott Honor book from when I was a child. It’s so enthusiastically loving and fun as each adult interacts with their little charge, throwing the baby in the air or tickling their feet, prompting the baby to beg for “more, more, more.” It’s just perfect for a new parent.

  • Blueberries for Sal

    by Robert McCloskey

    Everyone knows Make Way for Ducklings, but I’m equally enamored with this lesser-known title by the same author about a little girl and her mother who go out to pick blueberries. Sal wanders off and then gets mixed up with a baby bear and the baby bear’s mother who also get separated on Blueberry Hill. It’s so sweet, funny, and perfect for reading aloud.

  • Babies

    by Gyo Fujikawa

    I learned about this sweet book from my mother-in-law, and it’s a delight. Babies love to look at other babies and there is no shortage of darling babies to look at in this charming board book.