The Best Unexpected Board Books To Gift

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Yashvi Peeti


Yashvi Peeti is an aspiring writer and an aspiring penguin. She has worked as an editorial intern with Penguin Random House India and HarperCollins Publishers India. She is always up for fangirling over poetry, taking a walk in a park, and painting tiny canvases. You can find her on Instagram @intangible.perception

If someone in your life has just had a kid, and you’ve been wracking your brain with gift ideas, look no further! Board books are delightful gifts both for the parents and the baby. They are books that can be read to or even read by very small children. The pages are stuck to heavy cardboards so they can survive rough handling. Also, the pages are usually rounded to avoid any paper cuts. They are safe for young kids to handle as they expand their mental horizons.

They make great gifts because reading together helps parents bond with their baby, as both of them learn (or re-learn) their childlike wonder. They can also help babies and young children learn about the world around them, get introduced to words and colours, and find comfort and joy in books. It opens their eyes, mind, and heart to stories and connection.

So here’s a list of some of the best unexpected board books to gift this 2022. It’s curated to include books that are unique, interesting, and might catch you by surprise. Some feature babies as the main characters, some teach you about the world, some break down binaries, and one even talks about potty training.

count to love board book cover

Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book) by Andrea Pinkney And Brian Pinkney

In this endearing board book, a baby learns how to “count to love.” The baby learns how to spell the word L-O-V-E and count the numbers 1-2-3-4. And it does this by counting its own fingers, toes, arms, legs, nose, belly kisses, and more. It’s a great way for the baby to learn to aware of its body, and to do so with love!

cat's first baby by natalie nelson book cover

Cat’s First Baby: A Board Book By Natalie Nelson

Cat parents or people who just love cats will definitely enjoy this book. And let’s hope that the baby does too! This cute little board book shows us how the cat perceives the new family member. This baby doesn’t meow or smell like a cat, but does nap like one. So does the cat grow fond of the baby? Read to find out!

planting a rainbow board book cover

Planting a Rainbow By Lois Ehlert

This vibrant board book is the perfect size for being held with two tiny hands. It’s great for learning colours and becoming aware of nature. You can learn the colours of the rainbow by planting flowers of each colour and watching them bloom!

one love board book cover

One Love By Cedella Marley And Vanessa Brantley-Newton

This is based on the song “One Love” by Bob Marley. It has vibrant and diverse representation. The underlying message is the lyric, “One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright.” It can teach kids that despite all our differences, we all come together in love.

Bye Bye Binary cover Geron and Chua

Bye Bye, Binary By Eric Geron And Charlene Chua

This is an adorable board book where the baby teaches you that they’re allowed to love what they want. It can be a great book for the parents to read as well, to remind themselves to let their kid be whatever they choose to be. It ends with the lines, “I’m loved for being me, and you’re loved for being you.” I think that seeing that on page can help a child feel more okay with expressing themselves.

Night-Night A Touch and Feel board book cover

Night-Night: A Touch-and-Feel Playbook By Ladybird And Lemon Ribbon Studio

Touch-and-feel books are intriguing and fun for kids. This one is a bedtime book as the baby says goodnight to everyone. There’s nature, animals, and vehicles with interesting soft textures. This can be a great relaxing activity before bed while the baby also learns about the world.

Book cover of Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison

Dream Big, Little One By Vashti Harrison

This powerful board book introduces the baby to amazing women of color. These women have done wonderful things in a wide variety of fields like science, art, journalism, music, and more! It’s a sweet reminder to dream big and reach those dreams, just like these amazing leaders have.

potty by leslie patricelli board book cover

Potty By Leslie Patricelli

This book can be a great companion during a baby’s potty training stage. A baby needs to poo and tries to decide if he should go in his diaper. It’s cute and hilarious and can get kids interested in potty training.

For more board book recs, check out our articles: Must Read Diverse Board Books and What Makes A Good Board Book?