There are a lot of “best baby books” lists out there, but have you noticed how few of them have books featuring people of color? And for the few baby books that do, they’re often written by white folx (we’re looking at you Mama, Do You Love Me?)! It’s 2020, y’all! Time to raise some babies that don’t see diversity as different, they see it as beautiful and very normal!
We read, tested and discussed hundreds of books to curate this list of 15 baby books. Each of our best book picks features an important (and often underrepresented) perspective and identity. So we recommend you add all 15 to the home library (P.S. You’re welcome for an amazing baby shower gift idea!) to ensure your kiddo’s bookshelf represents the entire world around them.
The Best Baby Book Series
Babies love photos of babies. These 3 books (Hair, On-the-Go, & Family) feature amazing community-sourced photographs of all sorts of people moving, laughing, and loving in all sorts of ways. You and your kiddos will want to look at them again and again!
The Best Baby Books about Boundaries & Bodies
If a ladybug can check for consent before hugging, we sure can too! We love the reminder that we own our bodies and we respect others’ bodies regardless of our age. And of course, read this book to get the best hugs (with consent)! Not convinced? See 9-month-old Floyd practice consent with his mama on our Instagram.
This is the ‘birds and the bees’ book you wish your parents had! What Makes a Baby? satisfies kiddos curious about where babies come from in the most age-appropriate and inclusive way. Gender-neutral language, such as “people with eggs” and “people with sperms” focuses on the simple science of conception without taking on a heteronormative view. All families can relate to this book illustrated with multi-colored silhouettes without gendered body parts.
The Best Baby Books for Gender Beyond the Boy-Girl Binary
Do gender pronouns confuse you? Look no further than They, She, He, Me: Free to Be! – a simple introduction to gender pronouns for toddlers (and adults). Gender pronouns go beyond appearances! Maya and Matthew’s beautiful illustrations of all people using all sorts of pronouns encouraged us to check our assumptions and delighted our kiddos. (P.S. We learned TONS from the guide in the back of the book!)
The future isn’t female, the future is beyond the binary and this book is perfect to get us out of ‘either/or’ thinking. In a world full of blue bunnies and yellow birds, a baby not-quite-bunny-or-bird hatches. In the land of This and That, what happens to those who don’t fit either? This story sparks discussions around gender non-conforming, intersex, and genderqueer identities.
The Best Baby Books for Decentering Whiteness
A board book filled with indigenous family photos taken by indigenous womxn photographers? YES please! Thank you Van Camp for this beautiful compilation of indigenous representation. The lyrical text will have you tearing up and your little ones will love looking at so many baby faces!
Breath-taking illustrations + an insatiable sweet tooth make this book unforgettable! Little Star’s sneaky bedtime nibbles of the big mooncake will make you want a bite too! This #OwnVoices story draws on the author’s Taiwanese roots to highlight the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. We love how this story perfectly captures love, anticipation, and celebration for little readers.
Who knew grocery shopping with your little one could transform into such a colorful adventure filled with joy, and delicious treats? We love counting along as Baby and Mama work their way through a bustling West African market together in this #OwnVoices story.
The Best Baby Books for Big Body Positivity
Big, small, fat, thin? As teams of bears duke it out to figure out whose descriptors are ‘right’ we realize that there is no standard definition of size. We love how in less than 100 words this book hits the nail on the head: it’s all relative.
Brontorina is a big, bold, ballerina brontosaurus, need we say more? This book reminds us that some places are systemically exclusive and we need to change those systems to be more inclusive! We LOVE how the littlest of kiddos are the biggest of allies in this book.
The Best Baby Book for Sharing Faiths Beyond Christianity
This beautiful beginner’s encyclopedia of religious head coverings even comes with a pronunciation guide on each page! Simple introductions to different religious practices will move you to learn more about our communities and our world. DISCLAIMER: Religious head coverings are NOT hats. Use this misnomer in the title to talk about the difference with your kiddos!
The Best Baby Book for Budding Environmental Stewards
There definitely is no Planet B. While we may want to bury our head in the sand when we think about the looming environmental apocolypse, but we owe it to our kiddos to do more. This book is a lovely place to start! We protect what we love so let’s reconnect to the Earth and foster a deep love for nature in our little ones.
The Best Baby Book for Breaking Borders and Building Bridges
We fangirl hard over Yuyi Morales and this book is our favorite of hers. This autobiographical story reminds us that all humans deserve to dream, and they deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams too. Teach your kiddos to see immigrants and refugees as the extraordinary individuals they are. Yes, we’re gushing. Yes, you will be too after you read Dreamers.
Love our picks? These are just the beginnings of an amazing library! Hungry for more? We spend hours finding the perfect books to diversify bookshelves. Leave the research to us! Subscribe to our book club to add amazing books like these to your home collection each month.