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Classic kids books to stock your newborn shelf with

Posted on 14 July 2017

One of my favourite gifts to give to welcome a newborn into the world is books. I love the idea of a baby being read a classic tale and growing to love it over time, and I love the idea of contributing in a little way to the special little people in my world developing a love for books and stories.

I have definitely stood in the picture book section of bookstores for hours, reading the full book to make sure I like the story. The most important thing to me is avoiding bad stories! You don’t want your friends to have to endure reading a book that sucks to their baby, when for some unknown reason it becomes their favourite.

So, here’s my list of my favourite kids books. Some are sentimental favourites from when I was a kid and some are recent favourites which I have bought for friends. All of these books are great birth gifts - they have good stories, great imagery and are fun. 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

This is a modern day classic, so funny, charming, clever and it won’t have the reader or the listener bored. My favourite element is the wit - pure gold.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson

This book reminds me of being snuggled up in bed with my Dad reading to me. I love this book and these memories.

Yak and Gnu by Juliette MacIver

This is a great book, funny for kids and adults alike. It rhymes, it’s got animals in it, there’s a learning element and it’s fun. A cracking gift with longevity.

Forget Me Not by Paul Rogers

This was my favourite book as a kid. My sister and I loved it so much that we wore it out and it had to be taped back together at the spine. I have such vivid memories of the front cover I could paint it. And apparently I knew the story so well that before I could read I was reciting the lines before pages were turned. 

There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz

This is cute and clever and the best thing about it is, it’s short and it doesn’t have too many words! With this book it's more about the experience than the story itself - a winner for those nights when you just want an easy book that gives and doesn’t take.

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

I love those books with bits you can pull out and play with. This is the best little story and a favourite from my childhood that my nephews now read. 

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

The Snail and the Whale is an epic tale. That's my ode to the cute rhymes in this book. It's all about adventure for little people and I love the happy ending. Nice illustrations too, pure gold.

Imagine by Alison Lester

I haven't read this myself, but I have it on good authority that this is a beautiful book with a great story you won’t tire of, and illustrations worthy of your walls.

With every book I gift, I think the perfect touch is a personal note on the inside cover, a message from you to bub that tells them why you chose that story for them. It's a personal, sentimental and special pressie that will pay dividends in cuddly bedtime moments for years to come.

What's your favourite kids book? Let us know in the comments below if we've missed a goodie!

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