While I love the public library very much, there is something truly special about having your own family library: books that you can come back to, time and time again. Here is a great place to start — a short list of books that are my must-haves for a baby's first year.
1. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt. The original touch and feel book, with different actions on every page.
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I don't believe there's a baby in the world doesn't like poking their fingers through the little holes in this book. I thoroughly recommend getting the board book edition so it doesn't get too worn out!
3. Where's Spot? by Eric Hill. Still the best lift-the-flap book, in my opinion. "Where is that Spot? He hasn't eaten his supper!"...and now we get to look through the house to try to find him!
4. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. "I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet, and they sent me...", so the book goes. The zoo sends animal after animal looking for the perfect pet to send. Another lift-the-flap classic.
5. Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox. Uh-oh, the green sheep has gone missing. This book is packed with loads of cute sheep doing cool things like exploring outer space or flying out of a cannon.
6. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. A bedtime wind-down. Goodnight Moon has been around so long, and is so loved, that not having it listed here would be like a best movies list without Casablanca.
7. We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. When reading, don't forget to act out each of the pages ("swish swash", "squelch squelch", "tip-toe tip-toe" etc) for extra fun!
8. And last, but definitely not least: you should not forget to buy (or fish out from storage) whatever your favorite book was as a child. For me it was A.A. Milne's When We Were Very Young. It might be some time until your little one can read the book you choose, but it can take pride of place on the family library shelf for now.
Have I missed anything? Share your suggestions for your must-have baby books below!
(Images: as linked above)