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Inspiring Books for Your Baby's First Book Shelf

Launch a lifelong love of reading and storytime with these inspirational book picks for beginner bookworms.

Dana Holmes

 Rawpixel / Getty Images

Rawpixel / Getty Images

“In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf …” begins Eric Carle’s beloved book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. How many books do you remember the beginnings of? Chances are you have a few favorites memorized because they get read again and again, and that’s great! Becoming a lifelong bookworm begins as soon as you read a baby their very first book. These books make a great "starter kit" for your family’s library. Each has a unique set of vocabulary, beautiful images, and easy to read text, and they’ll surely inspire some unforgettable conversations as your kids grow. More perfect reasons to snuggle up with your little nugget!

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

This beautiful book speaks as much to the reader as the child. It’s full of magical illustrations by Emily Winfield Martin that make for some creative conversation starters, like “what is his costume?” and “what are the kids doing in the garage?” But at the heart of the book are its rhythmic and rhyming messages of love, inspiration, and imagination.

Little Scientist Board Book Set

Introduce your littlest one to some of the greatest minds in scientific history with this adorable boxed set. The four eight-page board books simply and colorfully cover topics from chemistry and astronomy to scientists like Carl Sagan and Jane Goodall.

Little People, Big Dreams: Mahatma Gandhi

Inspire young minds with this simplified life story of Mahatma “great soul” Gandhi and his peaceful protest movement that united the people of India and led to the end of British rule there. It’s also a reassuring story for many because Gandhi rebelled against his family for years before he realized that the principles his parents raised him with were the ones that would shape his movement.

Little Feminist Board Book Set

This board book set about amazing women in feminist history is a great gift for a baby. Starting by pointing at images and talking about the pictures, or just the names of the people, and working up to reading the pages and discussing in more detail make this a book set that will stay on the shelf for years.

An ABC of Equality

A is for Ability, B is for Belief, C is for Class. All people have the right to be treated fairly, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they come from. This beautifully illustrated board book introduces concepts of social justice, fairness, and equality in a way that everyone — down to the littlest of us — can appreciate.

Say Zoop!

If there's a more engaging, irresistible book to read out loud to kids, we haven't found it yet. This sound-based storytime favorite encourages little ones to participate in the reading by exploring the many sounds that accompany the beautiful illustrations. Self-expression and creativity practically jump out of the pages.

The World Needs More Purple People

What the world needs now: Acceptance, peace, kindness, compassion, and love. All the qualities of a purple person! In this charming, witty, addictively re-readable children's book by Kristen Bell, early readers will learn about how to become the kind of person who makes the world a better place.