I have been following Mindy Kaling’s recommendations (at least aspirationally) since way back when she was cataloging her shopping experiences on the now-defunct blog Things I Bought That I Love. (I’m honestly a little devastated that she let the URL go.) The last thing my friends and I feverishly searched for were her mother/daughter pajamas that she posted on Christmas. They are really good pajamas.
Mindy has great taste in more than just jim-jams, though. She has always used her Instagram as a place to talk about what she’s reading, and now that she’s a mom, she is also using it as a place to talk about what she’s reading to her daughter.
Mindy tries to read her daughter Katherine 3–5 board books every day. She likes how durable board books are (“this entire book is 90% my daughter’s saliva.”) She took to Instastories on Monday to list her top picks for her and her daughter. The story is gone now, but I’ve listed her picks here, along with her blurbs.
Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
“Hands down, her favorite book is Moo, Bah, La La La. I think she really likes the illustrations, which are incredibly friendly. Even though they’re really simple, they have so much emotion.”
The Good Night Book by Sandra Boynton
“The most useful books for a selfish adult are books that encourage your child to sleep. So, this going to bed book is a classic. By the time I’m finished, my daughter is like [adorable snoring noise].”
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
Really good, rhymes. (Author’s note: I know the tone doesn’t match at all, but I keep hearing this every time I think of this blurb.)
Peek-a-Baby: A Lift-the-Flap by Karen Katz
“A huge favorite in this house is Peek-a-Baby, which has flaps. And my daughter has long-since torn them out, so I’ve had to tape them back on. Massive favorite. Covered in baby spit.”
There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss
“Lastly there’s these really cute mini Dr. Seuss–like books. I don’t think they’re written by Dr. Seuss, but they’re in the style of these illustrations. They’re more kid-friendly and small. I love these ones.”
Mindy doesn’t talk about all the books in her pile, but you can see that she also has Doggies by Sandra Boynton and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. She also shouts out her bestie’s B.J. Novak’s book, The Book with No Pictures, but says her daughter will have to wait a little while to get into that one, since it doesn’t come in board book.
Mindy also asked for some recommendations, so here are a few of my favorite board books.
Dream Big, Little Ones by Vashti Harrison
Mindy has always liked a strong female character, so this book of 18 trailblazing African American woman will be right up her alley. Plus, it features her friend (and book-fairy) Oprah Winfrey.
My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith
I just think Mindy and her little one would appreciate the vibrant colors of this sweet book. Mindy has been spending lots of time on Instagram cooking for her little girl, and I think she would like that this book shows parents and kids how to appreciate small moments like that together.
Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver
I have read Mindy’s memoirs enough to know that she loves Jane Austen, so she would probably love to use this counting book to introduce her daughter to the Bennett sisters and Mr. Darcy.