A Roundup of the Best 20 Books About Being a New Parent

Updated Feb. 25, 2019

The emotions associated with becoming a parent (either for the first time, or again with later children) are powerful and beautiful. While children's books are typically geared towards... well... children, there are some books that put into words for parents those feelings they have about becoming parents and those beautiful new babies, or that give a little insight into the world of new parents, regardless of how the child got there. Here are some of our favorites.

Bunny Roo, I Love You book
#1
Bunny Roo, I Love You
Written by Melissa Marr and illustrated by Teagan White
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this beautiful book! The illustrations are fantastic, and I love the concept. The loving mom talks about all the baby's traits and likens them to animals and shares how she cares for and loves her baby. Such a sweet read!

A warm and tender welcome to the world! In a gorgeous picture book that’s playfully sweet and visually captivating, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr and talented new illustrator Teagan White celebrate the many ways parents make their new babies feel at home. The world can seem like a big, bewildering place for new babies—fortunately, their mamas know just how to soothe and comfort them. Through enchanting scenes portraying all kinds of mama animals looking out for their little ones, the mother in this story reassures her baby, and young children everywhere, that their caretakers will always love them and keep them safe. This beautiful picture book has the feel of a classic and its heartwarming premise should make it a family favorite.

When the World Was Waiting for You book
#2
When the World Was Waiting for You
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Anna Currey
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This is such a great book about welcoming a new baby, talking about the before and after. The illustrations are amazingly sweet and pair perfectly with the rhyming text.

What could be more heartwarming than the arrival of a new little one? The bunny family in this charming picture book celebrates all the events surrounding a birth, from readying the baby's crib to the very first visit from friends and family This padded board book edition is a perfect baby shower gift, and the round edges and sturdy pages make it just right for big siblings with little hands.

Andi Unexpected book
#3
Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The first in a new middle-grade mystery series, in Andi Unexpected, twelve-year-old Andi Boggs, discovers evidence of her forgotten namesake, a missing relative, which leads her into a family mystery rooted in the Great Depression.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#4
Guess How Much I Love You
Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.

Take Heart, My Child book
#5
Take Heart, My Child
Written by Ainsley Earhardt and illustrated by Jaime Kim, Ainsley Earhardt
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Now available as a giftable board book, popular FOX news anchor Ainsley Earhardt’s New York Times bestseller Take Heart, My Child is a lyrical lullaby that inspires children to follow their dreams and passions. FOX and Friends cohost Ainsley Earhardt shares precious life lessons parents can pass onto their children so that they can follow their hearts, dreams, and passions. Take Heart, My Child is a lyrical lullaby in which Ainsley shares her own hopes and dreams and lets her child know that whatever challenges life brings, “Take heart, my child, I will—or, my love will—always be there for you.” It’s a universal message, one that all readers will relate to.

Daddy Honk Honk! book
#6
Daddy Honk Honk!
Written and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An arctic fox adopts a baby goose in this heartwarming read-aloud perfect for dads and their little ones When Aput the fox finds an abandoned goose egg, he has no idea what’s in store for him. He doesn’t know anything about babies and he certainly doesn’t know what to do when the gosling hatches and mistakes him for its daddy. So he decides to find the gosling a home. But with each page turn, Aput learns more about caring for a baby and, with a little help from his friends, he discovers what a baby needs most is love.

Always In My Heart book
#7
Always In My Heart
Written by Andi Landes and illustrated by Jacqueline East
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-0

A sweet story about love that is a wonderful gift for new parents and new babies to share A precious love poem written from parent to child, Always in My Heart is a sweetly illustrated board book that will melt hearts. Parents will enjoy sharing these reminders of the special moments they share throughout the day with their little ones. Always in My Heart includes space on the inside cover to write a personal message in this keepsake book that is a gift to be treasured.

Baby Penguins Everywhere! book
#8
Baby Penguins Everywhere!
Written and illustrated by Melissa Guion
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from Grammy

I love how this book explores the spectrum from peaceful solitude to loneliness to exuberant chaos and back. The adorable little penguins are so lively and spirited in their games, it is easy to see why the Mama might need a rest, why, even the babies might benefit from just a moment of peace and quiet. This is a charming book about the joy of a large and loving family.

Can there be such a thing as too many adorable penguins? One day a penguin sees a most unusual sight: a hat floating in the icy water. Even more unusual? Out of the hat pops a baby penguin. But not just one baby penguin . . . or even two. But a third, and a fourth, and on and on! At first the mama penguin is happy for the company. Until she realizes that taking care of a family is very hard, very tiring work, and what she could really use is just a moment alone. Yet as newcomer Melissa Guion reminds us in her adorable debut picture book, alone time is all well and good, but, it’s family time that’s best of all. Perfect for any mama penguin with a family, or classroom, full of mischievous little ones. And perfect for toddlers who will smile over all the little penguins and the silliness that ensues.

Little Cub book
#9
Little Cub
Written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Little Cub is such a sweet story of two lonely bears (one an old bear, one a little cub) who find each other. I love how they compliment each other and bring each other joy, and I love how Old Bear is a loving father figure who can take care of little cub. This book would also be great for adoptive parents!

A young bear cub, who is alone in the world, and Old Bear, who is grumpy and tired of living alone, meet and discover what they have been missing. By the best-selling creator of the Gossie and Gertie books.

On the Night You Were Born book
#10
On the Night You Were Born
Written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

Sweet and calming, this book is perfect for reading together while snuggling before bed. When we've finished, my toddler likes to hear the story of the day she was born (usually multiple times). While its narrative style isn't my favorite, it's great for creating an opportunity to express my love for my rambunctious three-year-old.

On the night you were born, you brought wonder and magic to the world. The moon stayed up till morning. Polar bears danced. Here is a book that celebrates the one and only ever you! Now available in its entirety in board book format, Nancy Tillman’s masterpiece is perfect for acknowledging the special people in our lives that they are loved.

When I Carried You in My Belly book
#11
When I Carried You in My Belly
Written by Thrity Umrigar and illustrated by Ziyue Chen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The special bond between a mother and her child begins well before the baby is born. But once the baby is born and starts to grow into her own person, traits from both parents begin to show themselves in delightful and humorous ways. When I Carried You in My Belly is a mother's song to her growing daughter, capturing the warmth and magic of the time when her daughter was housed inside her belly. The girl's laugh, her love of music, her sweet disposition, and her carefree attitude can all be traced back to her time in her mother's tummy, when her mother would laugh, sing songs, eat yummy treats, and dance the day away. Thrity Umrigar's lyrical and playful text are well complemented by Ziyue Chen's soft and delightful illustrations, and together they create a sentimental and insightful book about the special bond between parents and children. With a similar tone to On the Night You Were Born and the spirit of I Loved You Before You Were Born, When I Carried You in My Belly is primed to become a new timeless classic.

I've Loved You Since Forever book
#12
I've Loved You Since Forever
Written by Hoda Kotb and illustrated by Suzie Mason
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lyrical text and illustrations of baby animals and their mothers show the love of a parent.

Welcome Little One book
#13
Welcome Little One
Written and illustrated by Sandra Magsamen
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Welcome Your Little One to the World! On the day you were born, it was love at first sight. We welcomed you, little one, and held you so tight. For parents, the arrival of a newborn child is an event that offers the promise of never-ending love. Filled with lively illustrations and heartfelt rhyming text, Welcome Little One allows parents and children to celebrate and cherish their bond

These Words I Shaped for You book
#14
These Words I Shaped for You
Written by Megan Merchant and illustrated by Basak Agaoglu
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A loving, lyrical ode to the bond shared between mother and child in the tradition of You Are My I Love You and On the Night You Were Born. Before you were born, you fit into the round fullness of my belly and when I dreamt I sent words like love to keep you safe. And when I first touched your tiny hand to mine, I drew a heart inside your palm for you to hold. There is no love more beautiful, more pure, than the deep-rooted love shared between parent and child. Told with vivid, poetic language, and accompanied by Basak Agaoglu's adorable, child-friendly art, Megan Merchant infuses genuine warmth and compassion in this celebration of a mother's heartfelt affection for her child. Whether it's Mother's day, Valentine's Day, graduation, or just an ordinary day, this is the perfect book to share with the people in our lives we cherish most.

Made for Me book
#15
Made for Me
Written by Zack Bush and illustrated by Gregorio De Lauretis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me. From a child's first uttered "Dada" to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, "You are the one made just for me," Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together--forever.

You Were the First book
#16
You Were the First
Written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

You will always be the first... A touching tribute to baby's early milestones -- those unforgettable moments that will always be cherished. From first smiles to first cuddles and even to that first kiss, here's a loving ode to every child's -- and parent's -- momentous "firsts."

And Tango Makes Three book
#17
And Tango Makes Three
Written by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family is now available in a sturdy board book edition. At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.

Annie book
#18
Annie
Written by Thomas Meehan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

It's a hard-knock life for America's favorite orphan! Everyone knows the story of the irrepressible Annie, who lives at Miss Hannigan's orphanage until she beats the odds and finds a new life with the benevolent and wealthy Daddy Warbucks. Annie has enchanted millions of readers from her original comic strip appearance to the hit Broadway musical. Now, with a Tony-nominated revival playing on Broadway, Puffin is reissuing this novelization of the classic story, with a new introduction by Tony and Emmy Award-winning author Thomas Meehan. This is an adaptation that delves even deeper into Annie's story, as she lives on the streets during the Great Depression, finds Sandy the dog, and encounters characters both familiar and new.

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning book
#19
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning
Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odor. In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.

Anne of Green Gables book
#20
Anne of Green Gables
Written by L.M. Montgomery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Cuthberts are in for a shock. They are expecting an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables � but a skinny red-haired girl turns up instead. Highly spirited Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts' affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter, and soon it's impossible to imagine life without her. A favourite classic with cover and introduction by the inimitable Lauren Child, award-winning creator of Clarice Bean and the hugely popular Charlie and Lola series.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!