My family has read a whole lot of books! Some of my kid’s favorite books as infants were high contrast board books that feature mainly black and white images. There are a few books on this list that were still interesting to read even as my baby’s eyesight developed and they could see other detailed images more clearly. From black and white books that are made just for tummy time, to finger puppet books, and even some totally chew-proof ‘indestructible’ books, this list has all the best black and white books for babies you’ll need to get your early reader interested in books.
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Why Black and White Books for Babies?
It’s not necessarily that strictly black and white baby books are the very best for newborns as much as high contrast images are easiest for a baby’s developing eyes to focus on. According to the American Academy of Opthomology, a newborn baby’s eyesight goes through a lot of changes and development from birth to 24 months old. At one month old babies still generally prefer to see objects up to 3 feet away that are highly contrasted or bright colors. By 5 months old, a baby might be able to fully see and recognize a parent from across the room. A child’s depth perception is still developing up until two years of age. All the high-contrast black and white images in these books are perfect for those early months of a baby’s life when they are looking around their blurry world and going through such rapid brain growth.
My kids really enjoy this book. Not only are they mostly black and white high contrast board books, but they’re also partly made from felt. I like how this book will age up with your baby as they get older. Once their vision becomes better and high contrast books aren’t as interesting as they were at first, your baby still might like the touch and feel aspects of the felt patterns in this book. As your baby grows to become a toddler, or if you have an older child reading with you, they can enjoy tracing the trails in this book too.
Indestructibles: Touch Your Nose by Amy Pixton
The Indestructibles brand is exactly what it sounds like… Chew proof, rip proof, non toxic and 100% washable. I’ve been impressed with the quality of this brand and how long lasting it’s been. This book is mostly red, white, and black with a few images that have a touch of color. It’s another good high contrast book option.
Indestructibles: Taste The Fruit by Amy Pixton
This book is high color and high contrast and it’s chew proof, rip proof, non toxic and 100% washable. This book is built for babies. I’ve bought two of the Indestructibles brand books for my own family and they’re still going strong three years in. This book has pretty patterns and images of bold colored fruit.
Little Cow by Happy Fox Books
This book has a cow finger puppet built right in. Unlike a lot of these books, this one has text so you can read along to your baby if that’s something you’re interested in. Although you’re not expecting your newborn to understand words yet, there are a lot of benefits to your baby hearing your voice read a story. The text in this book also rhymes, which babies often love to listen to. The finger puppet, rhyming text, and bold images make this one of the best black and white books on this list.
Hello Baby: Animals by Priddy Books
This was a favorite in my house with my babies. Its a nice small high-contrast board book that’s perfect for little hands to grasp. It fits in a diaper bag for distractions on-the-go. And as a bonus, I used it to sing Old MacDonald for an added baby distraction when we flipped through the pages of animals.
Visual Quiet Book Shapes And Colors by Beiens Brand
This is a fabric book that’s high contrast. Your baby can lift flaps and touch different textures as they explore this tactile book. Tiny hands will love turning the pages in this fabric book full of bold lines and simple shapes.
My First A-Z Book by Talented Treasures Publishing
This book contains each letter of the alphabet. The pages are all a black background with a white image, so letter F for example, has an image of a white frog and the word ‘frog’.
Look At Animals by Peter Linenthal
This book has sold almost 50,000 copies. Bold, black-and-white illustrations offer the clean shapes and strong contrasts best suited to young babies’ developing minds.The warm, simple text makes this a perfect first book for sharing with a little one who’s just beginning to look and learn. An ideal shower gift that’s sure to become a favorite with baby.
It Had To Be You by Loryn Brantz
A love poem your baby can see about how you and your baby were meant to be. This book is black, white, and red with sweet high contrast pictures of a family welcoming a new baby into their lives.
Hello Baby Animals by Dupress Books
Bold patterns and adorable animals await in this book. The cheerful illustrations of ten little animals are accompanied by a new greeting on each page to say ‘hello’. High contrast patterns aid your baby in the development of visual-spatial skills.
Hello, My World by Duopress Labs
This book features black and white patterns and elements from our natural world around us, like the sun, flowers, birds, moon and stars. This is a great book for babies just starting to look around their world and identify new things.
Hello Bugs by Smriti Prasadam
A ladybug, bee, butterfly, snail, dragonfly and more… is your favorite bug in this book? Not only is this board book high contrast but it also has a section of shiny foil on each page that may captivate your baby’s attention.
Hello Baby: Words by Priddy Books
Another fantastic little high contrast board book from one of my favorite baby book brands: Priddy. This book is full of common items that your baby will see and start to become familiar with in everyday life like: cups, flowers, boots, teddy bears and more. Great for beginning vocabulary development.
Black Cat & White Cat by Claire Garralon
A white cat lives in a black house and a black cat lives in a white house, when they decide to meet someone always disappears. There’s a colorful surprise at the end of this book when they find out how to play together.
Black and White by Tana Hoban
There’s a new black and white image on each page of this book, some big ones that span across two pages and some small. It’s a nice simple book with common recognizable images.
Baby Montessori: Big or Small? By Chiara Prioddi
This book features black and white animals, sweets, fish, and more. Introduce your baby to the concept of opposites with each page that shows a contrasting set of items, one that’s big and one that’s small. Spending time reading to newborn babies is a proven way to boost their cognitive development and a great way to start getting them interested in the world of books.
Baby’s Black and White Books: Hello! By Usborne
This book has simple words like: let’s jump, to help narrate the pages. It also features some little round cut outs on each page that your baby’s fingers might find interesting to explore. Usborne books have a whole little series of board books featuring black and white that you might like to build your baby’s first library with.
A Tummy Time Book: Babies Love Nature by Susanne König
This book expands accordion style so it can stand up on its own while your baby is working on tummy time, or lay it flat for a newborn who’s just starting to lift their head. With 20 beautiful high contrast black and white nature scenes, this is a lovely book for the littlest reader in your home.
Baby Montessori: Animals by Chiara Prioddi
This book is full of simple cute images of animals. As you flip through this book, you can talk to your baby about the different body parts of each animal that are highlighted in red, white, or black. Even with limited vision, young children will be able to see the strong contrast in these images.
Baby Sees First Colors by Akio Kashiwara
This book has mostly black and white with some bright red too. It’s a nice little board book with big bold high contrast images and fun rhyming text. Black and white board books are nice and sturdy for young babies to hold on to without getting damaged.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best black and white books for babies. They’re great to use as a bedtime story before your little one drifts off to sleep, or to help hold your baby’s attention during tummy time. Build your baby’s library, and start developing a love for reading at an early age!
If you’re looking for more great books for little ones to read, be sure to check out more of our book lists for titles that are sure to be a hit with the babies and toddlers in your life.