Books As Birthday Presents: Birth to Age Two

When it comes to birthday gifts for 0-2 year olds, books can't be beat. They're fun for kids...and for parents too!

Books provide hours of entertainment. They won't add to the mountain of bulky toys in the toy box. Plus, they're educational and they inspire parents to spend quality time with their wee ones. 

Give a book - and you'll be guaranteed smiles from both parent and child.

Following please find my top 9 picks for the birth to age two category. Most of them are board books and most of them are under $10. ALL of them feature lyrical text and captivating illustrations.

Green Eggs & Ham - Written and Illustrated by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1960)

green eggs and ham

Good Night Moon - Written by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperFestival, 1991)

good night moon

Only You - Written by Robin Cruise, Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Harcourt, 2007)


That's Not My Puppy - Written by Fiona Watt, Illustrated by Rachel Wells (Usborne Publishing, 1999)

That's Not My Puppy

Where Is Baby's Belly Button? - Written and Illustrated by Karen Katz (Little Simon, 2000)

Where Is Baby's Belly Button

Put Me In The Zoo - Written and Illustrated by Robert Lopshire (Random House, 2001)

put me in the zoo

Hush Little Puppy - Written by April Pulley Sayre, Illustrated by Susan Winter (Henry Holt and Company, 2007)

hush little puppy

I Love You Through and Through - Written by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak, Illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church (Scholastic, 2005)

i love you through and through

How Do I Love You? - Written by Marion Dane Bauer, Illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church (Scholastic, 2009)

how do i love you

SO...Are you shopping for a gift for a 6-month-old, a 1-year-old, or a 2-year-old? Why not buy 2-4 books? Wrap them with fun paper and add a big bow on top. TA-DA! The perfect gift!

WIN IT! One winner will receive the last two books highlighted in this post: I Love You Through and Through and How Do I Love You?. To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Monday, March 16 at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.). * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

*UPDATE* The winner is #16 Becca. Congratulations!

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89 comments on “Books As Birthday Presents: Birth to Age Two”

  1. My children love books...and I already have some. The additional suggestions are a must for this site has great suggestions.

  2. I actually like to have a few books in a box I keep for gifts when we have last minute birthday party/baby shower. Goodnight Moon is classic and so are the Eric Carle books!

  3. Wow you picked some good books. My kids love books. It is nice when they want books instead of toys. That doesnt always happen but it does alot. They really love to read. This would be such a great addition. I know my children will cherish them along with their other books. Thanks for the chance to win.
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  4. I just adored "Put Me In The Zoo" when I was little. I love all those spots, all those colors. I think that is why I like color so much today.

  5. I've alway loved to read The Hungry Little Caterpillar to my kids when they were younger Great suggestions on the books

  6. Some of my fondest memories are those times spent reading to and with my children. Now I am blessed to have grandchildren. These books would be good for them!

  7. Babysitting for my new grandson who already loves to sit on Nana's lap and look at the bright pictures (he's only 8 wks old!!) so this would be a great win for me!

  8. Never heard of those last two books, but I'll take your word for it. They look lovely, though. I think it's important to start young with kids to cultivate a love of books and reading! Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. I haven't read the last two but great job with the others. The belly button book kept my toddler busy her first two years. She never got sick of that book. We are big into reading and my 3 1/2 year old daughter can now recognize every letter in the alphabet! As a teacher you can really tell which parents take the time to norture their children's minds by reading and those that don't. It is SO,SO important to read at least 2 books a day to your child :)

  10. My daughter and I enjoy 'The Lorax' by Dr. Seuss but we are looking to expand our favorites. These look great. Thanks.

  11. We have a lot of books (which I almost always buy second hand at book fairs) and we go to the library a lot also. My kids love books which makes me really happy! Dr. Suess is a big favorite in our house, along with anything by Mercer Mayer :-)

  12. We're a book loving family but I only have 2 of the books you mentioned...the first two. So it would be fun to get these for our nightly bedtime reading!! Thanks.

  13. Books are so important for a child's development! I hope to have my child enjoy reading as much as I do!

  14. My kids LOVE books!!! In fact, my oldest will be 5 in a couple of weeks and books are one of the items on his "wish list." Our family likes to give and receive books for birthdays and holidays... I am always on the lookout for a book that makes me want to read it over and over to my own kids or that would be a great gift for someone else. You know, "little Billy would love this story!"

  15. What a great selection of books! My grandkids love books and those in the giveaway look really cute. Thank you so much!

  16. I love all the books, but haven't read the last three. My favorite is Where the Wild Things are - every kid should have that book!

    What a wonderful contest - thanks for posting!

  17. At the age my youngest is, we could have a shelf full of exclusively belly button books and she would love it.

  18. I am such a book lover and finally my 25 month old is letting me read books to him. Before he would just shove them aside. Now he brings them to me! I would love these to start our collection!

  19. I accredit my success in school to my early exposure to an unlimited supply of books. Any chance I get, I like to encourage kids to read. Thanks for such a great giveaway. Even if I don't win, it gives me pleasure to see such a worthy contest.

  20. I think reading is so important - my parents read to me when I was younger and I grew up LOVING to read. I hope to pass that treasure down to my children.

  21. I like your list of top books for babies. I have a 5 month old who loves looking at book. I haven't read "That's not my puppy," but we do have "That's not my dragon" and "That's not my reindeer." My son loves to look at the pictures and gets a big kick out of touching the soft material in the books.

  22. I will definetly check out your recomendations at my local library. At the present my 21 month old loves Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak) and Me and My Mom (Mayer).

  23. When I was pregnant with my son I was blessed with several showers, and one of my favorites was a book shower. Everyone brought their favorite children's book for the baby. He was born with a full bookshelf and now is an avid reader. I can't say enough about the importance of having lots of books in the home! I'd love to win these to read with my daughter a few times, and then pass on to my nieces Blondie and Cheeks!

  24. I've always given books as shower gifts. I started reading to my kids the night I brought them home from the hospital. Sitting down with a child and reading a book to them is such a delight!

  25. My kids all LOVED books, got them for gifts, we read them at night, during the day, collected Little Golden books like crazy! I have 3 boxes filled with books of theirs from when they were little!

  26. I love giving books as birthday presents - in fact, I need to pick some up for my neice. Her first birthday is next week! These books would be so nice to have on hand....or I might keep them for myself and my first little one, due in a few weeks! :) Thanks so much!

  27. It warms my heart when 15 month old Cheeks comes up to me with a book in hand and says "Book? Wead?" 3 year old Blondie gets upset if I don't bring home books for her from the library every couple weeks. We have an abundance of books, but I'd love to feed their addiction and give them these two. Thanks!

  28. My two year old just loves books. I read two books to him before each nap and before bedtime. My friend just had a little baby and for a shower gift I sent her some Dr Seuss books. I agree that books are a great gift. They introduce new words and ideas to your little ones. They are great for car rides too once your baby can hold the book on their own and turn the pages.

  29. I am about to have my 3rd baby (3 under 3) and have a overwhelming amount of toys- 3 age seasons of toys. After this last Christmas I decided that from now on if my gifts are homemade, my gifts will be books. Because, I can be overwhelmed by toys, but my husband i love to be surrounded by books, and I would love my kids to be as well.

  30. I love Goodnight Moon. It was my favorite when I was little. One children's book that I discovered when my niece was born (two years before I started having babies) is 'Time for Bed' by Mem Fox. It's the dreamiest, loveliest bedtime book. The colors in the illustrations are beautiful. I love it.

  31. Books are my favorite gifts for my daughter to receive. I don't know why I'm not better at giving them to others. Thanks for the great suggestions! My daughter's all time favorite is Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

  32. I have read I love you through and through and it is so sweet. We would love a copy and another book from the same author! Thanks!

  33. You've got some great suggestions on your list! As a former first grade teacher, I experienced firsthand how important it was for kids to have been read with at home, so I always include books when I give a baby gift. My current favorite book to give is "DOG" by Matthew Van Fleet. It is a book filled with pull-tabs and tactile areas, and it's been adored by my son ever since he received it as a first birthday gift. I can't imagine a kiddo who wouldn't love's just a really fun book.

  34. Three of the top two have been favorites of ours as well Green Eggs... Goodnight Moon & the Useborn, That's Not My... What a good way to spend time together, Huh!?

  35. My little Sugar loves books. She is always wanting to look at "bookies" and wants to read! She has us read to her then she reads the book to us. I always give a book to my nieces and nephews each year for their birthday too - in addition to the clothes or toys :)

  36. My baby LOVES books! He knows the sign for "book" and often prefers to play with (ok, chew on, too) a book than most other toys. I love your suggestions and I really wish people would give him more books rather than clothes and plastic toys. I'd forgotten all about "Put Me in the Zoo," but seeing it on your list brought back memories from my childhood!

  37. My daughter is almost two...and she loves so many different kids of books! The only one we have from this list is Goodnight Moon, which of course I have memorized :)

  38. I love the Only You Book! I bought it for Brea last year. It is a beautiful book. I agree that books are an excellent gift. Most children love books! Board books are a definite if your child is like mine (she rips the pages.) Thanks for a great giveaway

  39. We must think a lot alike since we have the majority of the books on the list - but the last two. We love books! "That's Not my Puppy" is one of the current favorites.

  40. my daughter turned one on thursday and she received so many books! i was so happy to see her reading collection grow!

  41. We love giving & receiving books as gifts. Whenever we check out a book from the library that we really enjoy, I add it to our "wishlist" - that way, when birthdays or Christmas roll around I have a great list to buy from.

  42. We live for books in this house! Dr. Seuss books are my favorite, but my son still enjoys mostly touch and feel books or other books that move very fast. The "that's not my..." books are fantastic!

    Would love to read the last two.

  43. Great suggestions! Another great one for that age range is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. It is a great, fun introduction to the alphabet. It feels like a song (and may even get stuck in your head, just like a good song!)

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