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Baby & Toddler

Lights, Action, Babies! 10 Board Books Starring Babies

by Patricia J. Murphy

board-books-staring-babies
Photo credit: Westend61/Getty Images

Babies, babies, babies! Is there anything more precious than a baby? I can’t think of a single thing that compares to a sweet baby’s face. And I’m not the only one. Babies love looking at themselves, too. They squeal in delight whenever they see their reflection in a mirror. And the only thing they adore as much as their own face is seeing other babies — especially in books!

Experts say this fascination with faces is natural, healthy, and helpful for a baby’s development. Looking at and identifying another baby’s facial features (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc.) can boost their vocabulary. Mimicking facial expressions in the mirror or photographs can help babies develop visual tracking and learn about emotions. Research also shows that reading books together can foster familial bonding, language development, and a lifelong love of books and reading.

For some valuable baby “face time,” I’ve pulled together a list of board books starring oodles of beautiful babies’ faces.

  • Baby Feminists

    by Libby Babbott-Klein, illustrated by Jessica Walker

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    This mini-manifesto offers “flashbacks” of famous female feminists (like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai) as babies and toddlers! While its interactive flaps help readers discover the baby feminists, the book’s inspiring and empowering words will encourage future generations to create a gender-friendly world. Pair it with Baby Feminists Too for a double dose of much-needed feminism. The world can never have too much!

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  • Baby's Best Friend

    by Suzanne Curley

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    What’s better than a board book with babies? A board book with babies and puppies, of course! Luckily for us, that’s what Baby’s Best Friend delivers. Once your little reader gets their paws on this book, it will be non-stop tail wagging over this baby and puppy love fest. You’ll have a blast identifying babies and puppies, counting them, and reading the simple rhyming text.

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  • B is for Baby

    by Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank

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    B is for Baby is not your average alphabet book! This brilliant board book from the team behind Baby Goes to Market is a mashup between the traditional Thanksgiving song Over the River and Through the Wood and an alphabet book that only uses the letter B.

    The story begins with a big brother riding his bicycle along the bumpy road to Baba’s house. But when he arrives at his destination, he discovers a beautiful, brown, bouncy, and beaded surprise. If that’s not enough, the exceptional alliteration and mixed-media illustrations serve up a feast for the ears and eyes. You and your baby will want to read it on repeat.

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  • When the Babies Came to Stay

    by Christine McDonnell, illustrated by Jeanette Bradley

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    When four mysterious babies arrive on an island, the brave librarian takes them home and raises them with the help of her neighbors. Together, they learn about what makes an inclusive family and community. The story’s loving tale and whimsical illustrations will touch your heart and soul. Future readings (and re-readings) can spark conversations about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

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  • Baby Builders

    by Elissa Haden Guest, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

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    As we all learned from Field of Dreams, “If you can build it, they will come.” Well, in Baby Builders, if you dress babies in droopy diapers and hard hats, they can turn blueprints into the playhouse of their dreams! The story’s cheerful rhyming text, detailed illustrations, and diverse baby builders will encourage tiny readers to dream big and reach for the stars. Just keep the kids close when you’re near construction sites after reading this one!

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  • #baby

    by Michael Joosten

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    Prepare for a cuteness overload! Reminiscent of a new parent’s Instagram or Twitter feed, this heart-melting board book combines baby pictures and popular hashtags to tell a sweet and funny story from a baby’s point of view. Each page is cuter than the last, and each baby oozes with personality. The clever hashtag captions add just the right amount of humor and silliness. It’s perfect for social media savvy parents and the babies who #lovethem.

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  • Baby Faces Peekaboo!

    by DK

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    Baby Faces Peekaboo! is jam-packed with chunky cherubs—along with interactive elements, like mirrors, touchable patches, and flaps to lift. Enhance this peek-a-boo book by using the photos to point out babies’ facial features, mimic expressions, and identify emotions. It’s never too early to talk about feelings with your baby!

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  • Hey, Baby!

    by Andrea Pippins

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    From the creator of I Love My Hair, Hey, Baby! is a behind-the-scenes look at a day in a baby’s life. The brilliant design, black and white colors, photos, doodles, and engaging narrative depict the familiar sequence of a baby’s daily activities. In addition, readers get introduced to objects related to these activities and common emotions experienced throughout the day. It’s an excellent book to identify faces and objects, mimic expressions, discuss feelings, and reflect on your busy days!

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  • Baby Happy Baby Sad

    by Leslie Patricelli

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    Relatable text and vibrant illustrations introduce tiny readers to the concepts of “happy” and “sad.” Filled with sweet faces expressing both emotions, this book teaches babies that “happy” can turn into “sad” — and vice versa. This book also allows babies to explore these opposite emotions in a positive and comforting way.

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  • Global Baby Playtime

    by The Global Fund for Children

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    Babies “go global” in this unique board book by the Global Fund for Children. This gorgeous book uses photos of babies in diverse cultures to celebrate their number one job: PLAY! While the babies’ surroundings and play appear different, the joy they experience looks the same. Part of the proceeds from the book’s sales go back to the fund. For more details about the Global Fund for Children, visit https://globalfundforchildren.org/about-us/

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