The best board books for babies to keep them engaged

board-books-for-babies

by Samantha Price |

Reading to your baby is a fantastic way to boost their development. From cloth books to board books for babies, there's a wide variety of stories that are suitable for their learning.

Board books can especially help with developing recognition of colour, shape and a level of self-awareness depending on the book. The bright colours and picture heavy pages will capture your babies' attention, meaning they'll be engaged all while learning.

Additionally, they'll quickly come to absorb their surroundings, with board books often including themes about people, animals and baby's relationship with the world around them.

Not to mention that research by children's leading audio device company, Tonies, has shown reading to your baby strengthens the parent-child bond by 43 per cent. They also reported that 41 per cent of parents saw storytime reduce children's stress and anxiety levels.

What is a board book?

Often designed with toddlers in mind, a board book is made out of thick, durable cardboard. In other words, they're more suited to little fingers because the pages are easier to turn - and less easy to rip out!

Some board books can be interactive, with lift-up tabs, puppets, mirrors, sounds and different textures across the pages to encourage their natural curiosity.

Best board books for babies in 2022

Looking for board books to educate and entertain your little one? We've rounded up 15 of the best board books for babies that we could find.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Best board book with colourful imagery
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

A classic picture book, nearly all parents know the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This colourful tale shows the journey of the caterpillar on his quest to munch through everything he can find. This board book incorporates textures with easy to follow text that'll have your baby unable to look away.

Review: "What is it with this book? This is the all time, number one greatest book my daughter has got. It's something about the artwork and the holes (from the caterpillar munching) that fascinates her. I have to read the same page to her hundreds of times.... hundreds I tell you!"

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Best board book for learning about the world
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

The Little Blue Truck board book teaches the importance of friendship and helping others. With a huge emphasis on the sounds of the words, this will help your baby to pick up on vocabulary. As well as this, it will make them familiar with the different animals they might come across on their outdoor adventures.

Review: "Brilliant book great length to read to my five-month-old. Love the rhymes and has lots of animal sounds: moo, neigh, cluck, croak and baa but also beep and honk for the vehicles. Great moral to the story about friendship too."

One Love (Bob Marley by Chronicle Books)

Best board book for positivity
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

This gorgeous story by author, singer and CEO Cedella Marley adapts the work of her late father, Bob Marley, through the message of working together. This board book includes diverse characters who team up to help out their community and make a positive change for the better.

Review: "Great book! Of course, the text is brilliant and with a message for children and adults, but the illustrations are busy enough to keep a baby/child interested and great for much discussion and vocabulary teaching."

Peepo! By Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Best board book classic
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

Another classic, this traditional book incorporates some interactive play while reading. We can really see this one making baby giggle. With cutouts throughout, baby and family can peep through the holes at each other while exploring the book together.

Review: "This is a classic for a reason. A beautiful story told through the eyes of a baby, set in the 1940s. Even now, having read it to my daughter since she was six months, it's still one of her favourites and still brings a tear to my eye at the end. A wonderful book that every child should own."

Usborne Baby's Very First Touchy-Feely Musical Play Book

Best board book for texture
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

This board book has absolutely everything. As lift-up flaps and finger trails encourage tactile learning, sounds from the book help their auditory processing. Baby will learn about the ocean, the jungle and even outer space. We can guarantee they'll never get bored with this one!

Review: "This book is brilliant!! My six month old clearly loves it and as she gets older, she will benefit from it more and more. The gorgeous sounds correspond to the characters and themes on the pages and really brings them to life. There is so much going on in each scene and various textures to feel too. It’s cleverly put together, with holes to allow various characters to feature on more than one page. I’m really impressed - a lot of thought and attention to detail has gone into this. There aren’t words in this book, but plenty is going on in the pictures, so it’s easy to make up stories about the characters, even for those of us who lack imagination. A brilliant book which I foresee will provide entertainment for a long time to come."

Five Little Monkeys (Finger Puppet Board Book)

Best board books for rhyming
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

Everyone knows the story of the Five Little Monkeys who get up to mischief by jumping off the bed. This board book incorporates finger puppets so it makes the story more interactive. The rhyming words and repetition of sounds will really help baby to develop a sense of vocabulary.

Review: "Cute book for my nearly two-year-old. Only thing is, it's super short... but so is her attention span. It only has the first verse of 5 little monkeys, but you could just continue on yourself with the song and countdown with your other hand if you felt so inclined."

Hello, World! My Body by Jill McDonald

Best board books for self awareness
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

Designed to teach baby self-awareness, this board book focuses on the different parts of the body, colours and vocabulary. It also has some lovely artwork that represents children in a diverse and inclusive way.

Review: "Lovely clear pictures and words that suit both a baby (the biggest words) and toddler (the smaller lines of words underneath) so the book will grow with the baby and potentially last longer. Lovely thick pages."

Gruffalo, Where Are You? based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Best board book with felt flaps
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

We all love the Gruffalo! Be prepared to read this one to baby again and again. Introducing them to texture, this lift the flap book offers a great surprise as to what's behind each flap. With characters like Mouse and Snake, this much-loved favourite will definitely be a hit.

Review: "I bought this for my grandson, he’s only 10 weeks old but starting to take a great interest in pictures, especially the simple, colourful ones in this book. The pages are sturdy and thick so will withstand loads of pulling and prodding. The felt flaps are stiff enough to stand up on their own but soft enough for a small child to grasp without bending, unlike the paper versions. Kids are never too young to learn that books can be a special part of their life."

Colours ABC Numbers

Best board book for learning about the basics
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

This board book is a great all-rounder at teaching babies the concept of shapes, numbers, colours and letters to give them an early start. While it might not be something that they can grasp straight away, familiarising them with the skills that they'll need can never hurt.

Review: "Great, nine month old loves it can’t stop reading it, simple but effective."

Who Says I Love You? Baby's First "I Love You" Book

Best board book about love
board books for babies

View offer

To help encourage a level of self-awareness, knowledge of animals and an ear for repeated sounds, Who Says I Love You has it all and more. The end page even includes a mirror so that baby begins to recognise themselves. We can see babies really loving this one.

Review: "I received this book in our Amazon book box and I really love it. It’s a really cute book and the last page is a mirror. I bought it with the intentions of reading it to my 4 month old, but my 2 year old loves it too."

Peter Rabbit Let's Cuddle inspired

Best board book about Peter Rabbit
board books for babies

View offer

Another children's classic is Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, although this board book features a Peter Rabbit interactive puppet that your baby can cuddle. It's good for tactile learning and familiarising with different textures, as well as developing language through rhyme. An overall lovely book, and a perfect Easter gift too.
Review: "An interactive book with adorable puppet."

Baby's First Kind Words

Best board book about being kind
board books for babies
Amazon

View offer

With a great moral message, this board book teaches the importance of kindness and good manners. The book features one word per page and some colourful illustrations which really puts the emphasis on language development. It even includes words from other languages, too.
Review: "Baby’s First Kind Words is a gorgeous baby book containing 19 kind words e.g please, share and give, with matching illustrations. The bold, diverse and vibrant illustrations perfectly match the beautiful positive message this book sends. It will delight babies (1 and under) and adults alike. I will definitely be purchasing on repeat as a baby present."

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Best board book for diversity
best-board-books-for-babies
Amazon

View offer

Mother & Baby's Commercial Content Writer, Hannah James recommends as The best diverse board book.
"My kids literally love it, and it features kids from all over the world which I love."

Review: "This is the sweetest book you could buy for book time with your baby. The illustrations are stunning and the story is beautiful. I think this would be the perfect gift for a friend who has had a baby, I love it."

Dear Zoo

Best board book for animal lovers
best-board-book-for-babies
Amazon

View offer

Mother & Baby's Commercial Content Writer, Hannah James** recommends as **The best board book for animal lovers****.

Review: "It's really a nice book for babies who love animals. I gifted this book to my little one on his first birthday. He recognizes all the animals and loves to open flip-flaps. Book is quite sturdy too. One can make it more interesting by asking questions, illustrating more about animals."

Where's Spot? (Original Lift The Flap)

Best board book with flaps
best-board-book-for-babies
Amazon

View offer

Mother & Baby's Commercial Content Writer, Hannah James** recommends as **The best board book with flaps.

Review: "Fantastic book. Daughter's favourite since she was 8 months old. The pages are nice and thick so she can turn the pages herself and the flaps are big enough for her to open them herself. Loves this book."

How do you clean a board book?

The good thing about a board book is that you can easily clean it. It's important to keep board books sanitary, as little explorers are tactile learners.

If a board book is in need of a good clean, you can always use a damp soapy cloth to clean off the grime. Baby wipes work just as well, too.

Can board books be recycled?

While certain materials of board books are recyclable, the glue or binding can sometimes cause problems. Before recycling, always remove the binding or check materials that are suitable.

On the other hand, if you're wanting to find a new purpose for your board books, passing them on to family members or donating them to a local nursery or library are always good ideas.

Popular articles to read next

The best books for toddlers

The best baby memory books for recording their milestones

The 14 best books for babies under 12 months

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us