All books on this list were published in 2014 and are listed alphabetically along with comments from the selection committee.
Baby Animal Farm Blair, Karen. Candlewick Press
It’s hard to tell which are more endearing—the baby animals or the baby humans—in this engaging story of an outing to the farm that hits all the high notes of petting, picnicking and playing before heading home to rest.
Baby’s Got the Blues Shields, Carol Diggory. Candlewick Press
Older siblings and parents will be the ones who get the joke, but this rhythmic, amusing list of the trials and tribulations of being a baby offers plenty for the youngest listeners too, many of whom will be able to relate to having those “…damp old baby blues.”
Although the baby in question is pictured as a pig in the charming watercolor paintings that accompany the story, his early efforts to use language, his mother’s encouragement and his first word are realistically conveyed as mother and baby stroll through their neighborhood.
Pretty flowers, appealing animals and cheerful children, created with fabric, embroidery and other embellishments, illustrate simple rhymes in a board book that offers lilting language and plenty to pore over despite its brevity.
Close-up photographs of baby boys from around the world are accompanied by captions that identify their countries and the uplifting sentiment that “…baby boys are kind, curious, smart, and fun” and that they “can grow up to do anything!”
The Little Dump Truck Cuyler, Margery. Illustrated by Bob Kolar. Henry Holt
A bright blue and yellow dump truck trundles through the work day, his headlights and front bumper forming a face whose cheery smile complements the upbeat rhymes that describe the various tasks he tackles.
Little Poems for Tiny Ears Oliver, Lin. Illustrated by Tomie dePaola Penguin
Everyday experiences and familiar baby gear are among the topics covered in brief poems with titles like In My Stroller, Peekaboo, Diaper Time, and Blankie, each decorated with delightful pictures by ever popular artist Tomie dePaola.
Say Hello Like This! Murphy, Mary. Candlewick Press
Creative descriptions and familiar animal noises paired with bright, energetic illustrations will entertain young listeners; half pages that convert the images from static to active add to the playful feel.
Who Flies, Cat the Cat? Who Is That, Cat the Cat? Who Says That, Cat the Cat? Who Sleeps, Cat the Cat? Willems, Mo. Harper Collins
This quartet of board books introduces familiar activities like getting ready for bed as well as more far-out adventures (ever seen a rhino piloting a plane?); cartoon-style illustrations with limited background detail make it easy to follow the action.