Reading to Baby Y is one of the best perks of motherhood, bar none.  Our house actually has a reading nook, and we curl up with some books in a leather armchair up there at least twice a day. You really can’t beat educational snuggle time.

Most people are aware of the “20 minutes a day” reading campaign by now, and I think that’s a doable goal, even with a fidgety eight-month-old. We’ve combatted the “squirmies” by making books a part of our nap (and sometimes night) routine, so he’s generally a bit tired and willing to sit and cuddle.

Generous friends and families have already ensured that Baby Y has a personal library that would be the envy of many a tiny bookworm, and for that, we’ll be forever grateful. That said, some books are definitely a lot better suited than others to this age. (I can’t wait to break into my tattered childhood stash of “Berenstain Bears” books, for instance, but they’re just too long and involved right now.) Here’s a rundown of our current favorites:

1) “Moo, Baa, La La La” by Sandra Boynton. I could put practically any Boynton book here (“Hippos Go Berserk” and “The Going-to-Bed Book” are also favorites) but “Moo” always keeps Baby Y’s attention. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s filled with animal sounds. I can recite it my sleep. You can’t go wrong.

2) “Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!” I know it’s sacrilege, but I didn’t really grow up in a Dr. Seuss house. But I love this book and its fabulous, silly way of teaching the ABCs. Even if I have no flipping clue what a “Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz” is.

3) “I Love You Through and Through” by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak. There’s not much of a story here, which makes it good for the days when Baby Y is a bit more fidgety. The message is simple: Every part of you is loved, no matter what. It also lends itself to lots of smooching!

4) “Maisy Drives the Bus” by Lucy Cousins. A couple of Baby Y’s older, in-the-know kid friends gifted him a couple of Maisy books. The large, thick text and big, bright pictures really keep Baby Y’s attention, and the length is perfect.

5) “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. Did you know that it’s against the law to not possess a copy of “Goodnight Moon”? I jest, but barely. This is the two-ton gorilla of children’s books and apparently has been for years. There’s something so disarmingly simple and old-fashioned about it. It’s so soothing that I always save it for last and seriously almost put myself to sleep with it.

6)  “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff. Give this mouse an inch, and he’ll take a mile! The illustrations are as charming as the story.

7) “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney. I’m not going to lie … this is probably not one of Baby Y’s favorites. The illustrations are a bit muted and it’s a tad long. But the story is so sweet for this sappy mom that I had to include it.

8) “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman. A simple story of a little baby bird trying to find his mom. It’s the perfect length for Baby Y, and there’s something so sweet about the baby bird’s determination.

9) “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late” by Mo Willems. The “Pigeon” books just beg for an enthusiastic reader to really give their all to the characters’ voices, which Baby Y seems to enjoy.

10) “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. Illustrated by Eric Carle, the pictures are big and bright and captivating. We also have and love “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” but the repetition in “Brown Bear” seems to keep Baby Y more engaged.

11) “I Love You Stinky Face” by Lisa McCourt. Moms of boys will especially enjoy this one. The illustrations are whimsical and wonderful, and the message – I would love you even if you were a swamp monster, space alien, etc. – is hard to beat.

12) “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type” by Doreen Cronin. This one is a bit long, I’ll admit, but it cracks me up every time I read it, which in turn helps keep Baby Y’s attention. There’s something so wonderfully absurd about farm animals on strike (for electric blankets and a diving board, no less). And every time I mooooo at Baby Y, I get a smile.

I’m excited that Baby Y will be able to grow into these books, and I can’t wait to watch as he begins to comprehend bits and pieces of the stories.

What are your go-to children’s books right now?