A friend asked for a list of books for babies and since I recently attended 2 workshops on Creating Readers, I want to share some of the things that were brought up there. I'm sure I'll be adding to the list. This is just what I came up with so far.
Board books and bath books are perfect for babies. Babies explore books with their whole bodies. They hear you say the words, they see the pictures, they touch the pages and they chew on them. Touch and feel books are wonderful, but you have to choose them carefully. Pat the Bunny is actually a pretty poor choice because the little blanket can come off and become a choking hazard. Look at the book carefully to make sure the corners are rounded because baby will inevitable smack herself in the face with it and you want to protect her eyes. A good board book for babies has one bright/high contrast picture on each page.
I prefer the large board book version of Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown because the colors just seem brighter and bolder. It will also hold up to a lot of readings. If you get a baby a pop-up book, let the mom know that it should be put away for at least 3 years and even then it should be a "let's look at this together," book. My favorite for this purpose is David Carter's If you're happy and you know it. I use it at every story time, along with The Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky. Some other personal favorites include: The Baby Goes Beep, by Rebecca O'Connell and We've all got bellybuttons, by David Martin.
I personally think it would be way cool to make a ritual of giving a Robert Sabuda pop up book for every birthday or holiday because they're gorgeous, but they're really not appropriate until about 5 or 6.
Here is the New York Public Library's list of 100 picture books everyone should know:
Hoban's board books with the simple black and white pictures are perfect. So are books with photos of babies.
Black on White (Board book) by Tana Hoban
Baby Einstein: Water, Water Everywhere: A Splash & Giggle Bath Book (Baby Einstein) (Bath Book) .
Sandra Boynton's board books are delightful and funny, as are the Pigeon books (Don't let the pigeon drive the bus and The Pigeon finds a hotdog are my favorites) by Mo Willems. Doreen Cronin's books are very funny (Click Clack Moo and Diary of a worm).
I would also get something along these lines: http://www.baby-wise.com/popup_image.php?pID=112, and put in a picture of yourself.
Since this is my diatribe, I'm telling you all now, I don't like The Giving Tree (selfish boy takes everything the tree has to give until he uses it all up), Rainbow Fish (it's not okay to be different and you can buy friends), or Love You Forever (mother crawls in through adult son's window to rock him - smother love, anyone?).