10 Classic Children's Books to Read to Baby

Building baby's first library is one of parenting's many pleasures. We asked Jordan B. Nielsen, a blogger at TheRustyKey.com to share her favorite picks with us.

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Baby's Book Tower

This Baby series of board books have become household favorites for their simple lessons, adorable illustrations and subtle humor that both parents and small children can enjoy, Nielsen said. The tower contains four miniature, block-shaped books that can work for playtime and reading time.

"Whether stacking them up, knocking them down or learning their 'Yummy's' from their 'Yucky's,' little readers will find delight in this collection," Nielsen said.

Baby's Book Tower, $9, amazon.com.

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Puppy Tails

This line of soft books, washable and made from entirely soft materials, is a great way for infants and toddlers to interact with their books, Nielsen said. The books feature bight cartoon illustrations of various animals with fuzzy tails hanging out the side of the book for a baby to pull on.

The books come in a variety of different themes including Kitty Tails, Dino Tails and Farm Tails. "A variety of different textures and tactile sensations will keep your baby stimulated page to page," she said.

Puppy Tails, $17, amazon.com.

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Harold and the Purple Crayon Board Book

Board books are a great way to introduce a child to a classic story from an early age, with adaptations from Goodnight Moon to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie becoming popular board books, Nielsen said. A story about imagination and adventure, Harold and the Purple Crayon has been delighting children and their parents since 1955.

Harold and the Purple Crayon, $7, amazon.com.

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Artist Alexander Girard's whimsical and sophisticated illustrations will help teach your baby their colors while the retro design will fit in perfectly on any coffee table, Nielsen said. The board book's cover, featuring the vintage 1970s illustration "Girls," is sure to please any design aficionado.

Color, $13, amazon.com.

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Charley Harper ABCs

Illustrator and graphic designer Charley Harper uses his signature style to teach little ones their ABCs in this board book that celebrates baby's lesser-known items, like A for Ape, C for Crayfish, H for Hummingbird. This chic, charming book is anything but boring, Nielsen said.

Charley Harper ABCs, $9, amazon.com.

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Press Here

"Like an iPad you don't have to plug in, Press Here guides young readers through an interactive experience of skittering, color changing dots," Nielsen said.
Simple in concept but with a surprisingly clever effect, children will delight in "pressing" the dots on each page (or having you assist) and seeing the effect their movements have throughout the book.

Press Here, $9, amazon.com.

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Oh No, George

Featuring a puppy who—despite his best efforts to behave—has a way of getting into thing while his owner is away, Oh No, George's repeating refrain will help young children feel like they're part of the reading experience, Nielsen said. As George chases a cat, has a slice of cake and rummages through the garbage, you'll have a chance to repeat the books signature line and encourage the whole family to get involved.

Oh No, George, $13, amazon.com.

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal, A Sick Day for Amos McGee tells the story of a zookeeper whose animals decide to take care of him for a change when he comes down with a cold.

"Before the age of two, there may not be a lot that your child will understand of a storyline, but that certainly doesn't mean you can't get them started on books they'll grow into," Nielsen said. "Wonderfully sweet and poignant with soft illustrations, Amos is the perfect addition to an early library."

A Sick Day for Amos McGee, $13, amazon.com.

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Where the Sidewalk Ends

One of the most beloved book of poems since it was first published more than 30 years ago, Where the Sidewalk Ends has become a staple in young libraries for good reason, Nielsen said.

"As with repeating refrains, rhyme is a great tool to engage your child in material that is being read aloud to them," Nielsen said. "With a range of moods and subjects covered, your child will get more and more out of this collection of poetry with every year. The brevity of Silverstein's poems are perfectly suited to short attention spans, as well as bedtime reading."

Where the Sidewalk Ends, $15, amazon.com.

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Counting in the Garden

Help your baby learn their numbers—and appease green thumbs everywhere—with the vibrant flowers, fruits and vegetables in Counting in the Garden. Every other page introduces a new plant or animal until all additions are featured together in an abundant garden.

Counting in the Garden, $14, amazon.com.

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