Birth to One Year

This page lists books to read to children or for them to read to themselves. For books about children and childraising, see Education.

In addition to the books listed here, an excellent source of both book lists and information about children's evolving need for books is Babies Need Books.


  • 1, 2, 3 by Tana Hoban. Clear photographs illustrating quantities from one to ten. Part of the brilliance of this book is the rightness with which the items are chosen: one birthday cake, two shoes, three ABC blocks, four orange quarters, five fingers, six eggs in a carton ... ten little toes.
  • Animal Families. Bright pictures of animals, grouped into families.
  • Food, First Words. Familiar food items, pictured and named.
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, author; Clement Hurd, artist. Gentle poetry saying goodnight to many things at the end of a day.
  • Kitchen, First Words. Familiar kitchen items, pictured and named.
  • Kitten, Touch and Feel. Photographs of kittens with textured insets: soft, rough, smooth, hard and scratchy.
  • L'Imagier en Anglais by Père Castor. 488 clear images of objects from a child's world, each labeled.
  • Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton. A cheerful and silly rhyme about animal sounds.
  • My First Animal Board Book by Rachel Wordley, editor. Animal babies and adults, categorized, photographed and appearing against a clear, white background for maximum interest, minimal distraction.
  • Of Colors and Things by Tana Hoban. Photographs of simple, attractive objects, grouped by color.
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle. Simple pictures illustrate a rhyme about listening to animal noises.
  • Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe by Tana Hoban. Bright, clear pictures of familiar objects against an empty background help children conceptualize both entities and colors.
  • Shapes by Jan Pienkowski. Simple shapes such as circles, squares and triangles, are clearly drawn and appear as parts of familiar and interesting objects.
  • Sweet Dreams, Spot by Eric Hill. Spot finally goes to sleep.
  • The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, text; Jan Brett, art. This silly but romantic poem is illustrated by clear, lush, tropical pictures, setting the story perhaps in Bermuda. The paintings give a lot of detail to fascinate; the rhyme is delightful and introduces the sounds of language.
  • Trucks by Byron Barton. Trucks work hard. Plenty of opportunity for noises.

Audio Recordings

  • Mozart for Babies. Mozart, scored simply for babies.
  • Suzuki School. Several CDs or tapes, performing simple Suzuki arrangements of tunes.
  • Teach Me by Judy Mahoney. A series of language-exposure recordings for children. These feature dialog and children's songs, in a gentle, easy-to-listen-to style.


  • Baby Einstein by Julie Aigner-Clark, et al.. Bright, cheerful, slow-moving images with a soundtrack of music and songs in several languages. The images provides simple material appropriate for an infant learning to perceive, while the exposure to the languages helps a child develop the ability to hear the sounds necessary to later speak those languages.
  • Baby Mozart by Julie Aigner-Clark, et al.. Cheerful, slow-moving images and classical music with simple scoring. Develops focus and attention.
  • Baby's First Impressions. An educational video series for young children, with titles such as Food Fun, Colors etc.
  • So Smart. A video series for babies, with titles such as All About Shapes, All About Colors, etc.