When someone has a baby, do you give them books? If so, which book? I like to give Oh, the places you'll go by Dr Seuss to the baby and then either Cutherbert's Babies to the older sibling (it covers the sudden neglect of the parents when the new baby comes home in a fun way) or my favourite, I wish I had a Pirate Suit (also by the talented Pamela Allen). It covers how hard it is being a younger sibling - this is brilliant for those middle children (or a birthday present for a little brother or sister).
My favourite book for a new baby is 'On the Night You Were Born' by Nancy Tillman. It is a celebration of the miracle of life and how life changes in such wondrous ways upon the birth of a baby. The book spoke to me like no other, almost subliminally, with the most divine words conjuring up the intense feelings that mothers have when they first view their newborn baby. The illustrations are beautiful and complement the words, sending the reader into a dreamlike state.
Great question! Hmm... I'm pretty partial to Where is the Green Sheep? for reading to toddlers, and I started reading it to my daughter when she was just a few months old. Board books with pictures of babies' faces are good too, babies love looking at faces.
For a baby, I recommend picture books that are waterproof because inevitably a baby will try to put the book in his/her mouth and get saliva all over it. Also, these kinds of books have pages that are easy for a child to turn over.
As long as the parent is snuggled up with baby and reading, I believe from age 0-5 picture books will do the job. More and more publishers are turning out complete author packages, from board books to games to clothing. There is a range of Eric Carle's legendary The Very Hungry Caterpillar merchandise so we recently outfitted a newborn with this book in different formats which he will grow into and hopefully love reading!