A couple of months ago, my brother Peter shared a list of his favorite baby books. Though I don’t have any kids yet, my wife Marie and I enjoy buying books for our niece and nephew (and you guessed correctly, we will be the weird aunt and uncle that always get them a book each holiday) and we wanted to share some of our favorites.
For a board books, Sandra Boynton has been our go-to author, but I’ve found there are many good options out there. We just sent our nephew Moustache Up!, a quirky little book that goes over opposites by talking about moustaches (and it comes with little moustaches to affix on the book’s characters!). Likewise, the Code Babies series is cute and a must get for new web developer parents.
Andrea Beaty and David Roberts team up for a series of well-written and beautifully illustrated books that encourage important educational foundations (like curiosity) as well as serve as an introduction to different kinds of careers.
Ada Twist, Scientist
Iggy Peck, Architect
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Some other enjoyably quirky books I’ve found include Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type — a book about farm animals going on strike and engaging in labor negotiations with the farmer and We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) (I just can’t resist good media that breaks the fourth wall).
Marie added one that every history enthusiast needs to buy: Imogene’s Last Stand
Let’s just check out the first paragraph of the description on Amazon:
Meet Imogene Tripp, a plucky girl with a passion for history. As a baby, her first words were “Four score and seven years ago.” In preschool, she finger-painted a map of the Oregon Trail. So it’s not surprising that when the mayor wants to tear down the long-neglected Liddleville Historical Society to make room for a shoelace factory, Imogene is desperate to convince the town how important its history is. But even though she rides through the streets in her Paul Revere costume shouting, “The bulldozers are coming, the bulldozers are coming!” the townspeople won’t budge. What’s a history-loving kid to do?
Marie also recommends two by Hark! A Vagrant author Kate Beaton
The Princess and the Pony and King Baby.
Because Marie was an English major, she thinks reading is important or something and has more suggestions that I’ve listed below. (Though an English major, she also majored in History, which is why I married her). [Editor’s note: This sentence was updated for grammar at the request of the author’s wife]
- One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
- The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos
- Infinity and Me
- Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia
- A Very Improbable Story
- Math Curse
- Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909
- Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl
- Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
- Grace for President
- Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure
Now if you’re not into books and/or you don’t actually like the person who has a young child, you’ll want to buy them a Code-a-pillar. It’s great fun for the child. It’s bright and colorful and teaches the kind of thinking that you need to code. It’s also loud. Really loud (in a fun way though!). And their kid will want to have the Code-a-pillar move loudly across the floor all the time.
Consider it educational revenge for that parent you don’t like, but whose kid you have no beef with.
Try to shop your local independent bookstore. They’re good things to have in the community and you should support them! But if you click on one of the links above and order an item, Brian might get a small kickback from Amazon. Consider it selling out if you must, but someone has to pay for all the books Brian buys.