Staff Picks: Ages Birth–3

It's perfectly fine and normal for kids to have different reading levels and interests—and it's important for the adults in their life to grow the love of reading by honoring their reading choices. 

However, if you're looking for help in identifying a book that is a perfect fit for your child, feel free to ask an MCPL staff member or try the 5 Finger Rule: open the book to a full page of text. Read the page to yourself. Every time you come across a word you don’t know, hold up a finger. If you hold up five fingers before the end of the page, you should find another book. If you hold up four fingers or less, the book is right for you!

Take a look at some of our favorite books that typically work for ages birth–3.

Compiled by:
Ginny H.
Baby Bear's Busy Day with Brown Bear and Friends : Touch, Feel, Play!

Eric Carle
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Simple, active text and classic Eric Carle illustrations help the reader guide Baby Bear through his day, and specially designed activities encourage fine motor skills.

Besos for Baby

Jen Arena
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Everyone has kisses for Baby, from Mami and Papi to perro and gato. Using simple Spanish words, this charming read-aloud proves that love is the same in every language!

Bigger! Bigger!

Leslie Patricelli
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Pat)

Putting on her construction hat, a young girl uses her imagination as she builds a doghouse, a bridge, and a skyscraper.

The Box Turtle

Vanessa Roeder
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Roe, also available in ESPAÑOL)

Terrance the turtle hatches with something important missing—a shell. His parents assure him he is "so much more than just a shell," and give him a substitute. When another turtle points out that Terrance's shell is, well, weird, he begins to wonder whether there might be a better shell out there.

The Chicken Who Couldn't

Jan Thomas
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Tho)

Chicken has fallen out of Farmer's truck! He can't possibly get himself all the way home, or can he?

Five Little Ducks

Ivan Bates
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 398.8 Ba)

One by one, five little ducks wander away from their mother until her lonely quack brings them all waddling back.

From Head to Toe

Eric Carle
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ca)

Bold illustrations encourage the reader to follow the movements of various animals in this fun, interactive picture book.

How to Count to One : (and don't even THINK about bigger numbers!)

Caspar Salmon
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Sal)

There are lots of fun things to count in this book—including whales, baboons, rainbows, and pyramids. There's just one rule: you must ONLY ever count to one!

I Can, Can You?

Marjorie Pitzer
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Come along with these babies and toddlers with Down syndrome as they discover their world and enjoy new experiences.

I Went Walking

Sue Williams
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wi)

Follow along as a small boy wanders around a farm. See who he might meet next!

Kiss by kiss : Ocêtôwina

Richard Van Camp
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Count your kisses with baby in this delightful dual-language rhyming board book, written in English and Plains Cree.

Leo, Sleep Tight

Anna McQuinn
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)
Series: Leo Can!

Soft-textured illustrations emphasize quiet relaxation and the loving connection between caregiver and child. Perfect for establishing nighttime routines.

The Nose, Toes, and Tummy Book

Sally Nicholls
(Juvenile Board Books - Baby Book)

Toddlers will love playing and laughing along with the diverse families featured on each spread as they learn the names of their body parts.

Peekaboo Rex!

Sandra Boynton
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Follow a lovable T-Rex throughout its day as it plays peekaboo with a tiny dinosaur friend.

Pride Colors

Robin Stevenson
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

In this photographic concept book, babies and toddlers are introduced to the Pride flag and the meaning behind each color.

Tails Chasing Tails

Matthew Porter
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Follow a parade of colorful animals where the animal on one page is chasing the tail of the animal on the next!

Through the Town

Craig Shuttlewood
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Die-cut grooves invite small fingers to follow the snake through the town.

Upsy-Daisy, Baby!

Susan Hughes
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

Around the world, little ones are carried in many different ways: in slings, on shoulders, in backpacks, on hips, in baskets, and in loving arms. Upsy-Daisy, Baby! depicts 10 places around the world, and in each place, a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or sibling lovingly carries a baby.

White on Black

Tana Hoban
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

New babies will love focusing on the high contrast black and white illustrations while you talk about each object of this book.

Who? A Celebration of Babies

Robie H. Harris
(Juvenile Board Book -- Baby Book)

This board book shows babies and the people they love.