How to Request Guests Bring a Book Instead of A Card for Baby Shower + Free Printable

If you are having a baby shower soon, you will likely be receiving lots of cards with sweet sentiments for you and baby. While cards are so sweet to receive, they only get read once or twice and then put or thrown away.

Books are a staple in a home with babies and young children. You may consider asking guests to bring a book instead of a card to the shower.

You might feel kind of weird about asking your guests to bring something specific, but I promise there neat and fun ways to make this request!

Benefits of Books vs Cards


While cards are great for the moment, they don’t last very long. Most of the time they get read a few times and then thrown away or put in a box to be forgotten.

Books on the other hand have a much longer lifespan. Plus your guests can still write a sweet sentiment in the front of the book for you and your little one.

Then, when your little has out grown them they can be passed down to siblings or held onto for their future children.

Asking guests to bring a book instead of a card will build your baby’s library and ultimately increase their literacy.

What is a Bring a Book Instead of a Card Baby Shower?

Bringing a book instead of a card baby shower is where you kindly ask your guests to bring a book for your baby. You can word this in the form of a cutesy poem, or a sweet sentence on your baby shower invite.

Over the years, these types of showers have been gaining traction and for good reason! You can stress that it doesn’t have to be a new book..that a thrifted book is just as good!

Why Should you ask Baby Shower Guests to Bring a Book Instead of a Card?


Although it may seem like a big ask, requesting that guests bring a book instead of a card will have positive long lasting effects for your baby. I wanted to share the benefits of receiving books from your guests, so take a look:

Fosters Early Literacy

Reading your child 1-2 books a night from the newborn stage fosters early literacy. Exposing your child to stories from birth has a long lasting impact on their development.

Builds a Personal Library

If you have a baby shower and even half of your guests bring a book, you will have a great start to your child’s personal library!

Encourages Parent-Child Bonding

Reading a book every night, encourages bonding between the baby and parents. I have fond memories of my parents letting me pick out books then curling up in their lap and hearing stories.

This simple night time routine can help to cultivate a bond that lasts a life time.

Longer Lasting and Sustainable

We’ve talked about how cards are kind of a one and done type thing. Books last a very long time and are a more sustainable choice.

Personalized and Thoughtful Gift

Your guests can personalize the book with a note is so special and you will think about that person every time. I actually have a book that my grandmother gave to my dad when he was a child.

When I read that book to my kids, I see her note to my dad. It’s so special!

Versatile and Inclusive

When you have different people from different lifestyles, backgrounds and preferences bringing a book you are bound to have a diverse library. Having a diverse collection is never a bad thing and can only benefit your baby.

Supports Authors

Bringing a book to a shower instead of a card supports authors, which is amazing!

How to Request Guests Bring A Book Instead of a Card


There are a few different ways to request guests bring a book instead of a card. You can write a note or include a separate insert in the invitation.

I wanted to share some of my favorite rhymes that request a book instead of a card.

Instead of a card, we have a request:
We hope you’ll bring a book you like best.
Whether pre-loved or brand new,
Please write a line or two,
So when we read, we’ll think of you.

To fill baby’s library shouldn’t be hard,
If you bring a book instead of a card.
It doesn’t matter which story you choose;
Just be sure to include a note from you!

One small request and we hope its not too hard,
Please bring a book instead of a card
Whether it’s well loved or brand new,
Either way it’s a special gift from you.
Please write a special line to two
So each time we read it, we think of you.

Just one last request, and we hope it’s not hard
Please bring baby a book in place of a card
By signing your book we will remember and share
Your special gift, even when you’re not there

Instead of a card, please bring
Your favorite children’s book!
Let’s build a library for (baby’s name)
That will be so special!

A book is a treasure,
With words and pictures that unite,
To read over and over,
Night after night.
So instead of a card,
Please give a book
With your thoughts in the cover.

Cards are sweet, cards are nice
But they only get read once or twice
Books last longer, nearly forever
We’d love a book and a note from you, for us to treasure
We will cherish it and when we’re done
It will be passed onto another little one

Our Favorite Books to Bring to a Baby Shower Instead of a Card

I wanted to share some of my favorite books to bring to a baby shower instead of a card. Keep scrolling for our favorite books!

I Love You to the Moon and Back

The sun rises, and a bear and cub begin their day together. They splash in the water, climb mountains, watch the colorful lights in the shimmering sky, and play with friends. They show their love for each other by touching noses, chasing each other, and, of course, hugging and snuggling before bed.

A sweet, gentle rhyme, perfect for sharing with a special little one that also includes a “To” and “From” personalization page in the front of the book, making this heartwarming book an ideal gift.

Be Brave Little One

Celebrate the courage and bravery in every child with Be Brave Little One, from the bestselling author of If I Could Keep You Little. Perfect for cheering someone on, this story affirms how bravery can show up in all different ways!

Sweet Dreams Little One


Barnyard Dance

Join twirling pigs, fiddle-playing cows, and other unforgettable animals in their barnyard dance! With rhythmic rhyming text, this book is guaranteed to get kids and adults spinning, swinging, and prancing with the high-spirited cast of characters! 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

THE all-time classic picture book, from generation to generation, sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds! A sturdy and beautiful book to give as a gift for new babies, baby showers, birthdays, and other new beginnings!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no—Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom!

I Love You Stinky Face

Even if her little boy were an alligator or a super-smelly skunk, this mother would love her child unconditionally. Share this magical book with the Stinky Face in your life!

The first in the popular Stinky Face series ― now in board book!

I’ll Love You Til the Cow’s Come Home

Love knows no bounds in this tender tribute to the depths of family love. For fans of Guess How Much I Love You—only funnier!

This board book edition features sturdy pages and is just right for little ones.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and whimsical illustrations.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck–all parade across the pages of this delightful book. Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle’s flat, boldly colored collages.

The Little Blue Truck

Beep! Beep! Meet Blue! Filled with truck sounds and animal noises, Little Blue Truck is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.

Cat in the Hat

Have a ball with Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat in this classic picture book…but don’t forget to clean up your mess!

This story has been a classic for many generations!

Our Beautiful Colors

This delightful concept book doesn’t just teach colors—it offers a way for families with very young children to begin addressing themes of diversity and equality.

The Fuzzy Duckling

In one of the most beloved Little Golden Books of all time, Fuzzy Duckling learns to count and explores a busy farm! A perfect gift for a baby shower. 

The Feelings Book

The Feelings Book vibrantly illustrates the wide range of moods we all experience. Targeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to discuss their multitude of feelings in a kid-friendly, accessible format, told through Parr’s trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

This book is a great first introduction to Mouse, the star of the If You Give… series and a perennial favorite among children. With its spare, rhythmic text and circular tale, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is perfect for beginning readers and story time.

Sure to inspire giggles and requests to “read it again!”

Ricky the Rock That Couldn’t Roll

This modern-day classic follows 14 lovable rocks (and one wise little ladybug) on a heartwarming and hilarious journey, universally loved by children, parents and teachers alike.

The Moose Who Loved Noodles

Just as Boomer discovers the wonderful world of noodles, his terrible table manners get him removed from the party! He tries everything to get his beloved noodles, but when all his clever plans fail, Boomer worries he’s doomed to a noodle-less existence.

Grumpy Monkey

Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it–how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day?

They have lots of suggestions for how to make him feel better. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown.

Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos.

Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa.

And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

Theme Ideas for Bring a Book Instead of A Card

Themes are not necessary, but can be a fun addition to a baby shower, especially if you are requesting books instead of cards.

Here are some of my favorite ideas to make your baby shower book themed!

Invitation Ideas

Invitations are the gateway to sharing your theme. If you are wanting a book themed shower, book themed invites are a great idea!

One thing you can do is to send out invitations that look like a child’s book with the time and place as the text for the book. You can instruct everyone to bring their favorite book from when they were a child!

Story Invitation

How precious is this story themed baby shower invitation?!

Story Book Invitation

I love that this invitation uses the spines of the book to showcase all of the event information!

Decoration Ideas

No baby shower is complete without cute themed decor! Here are some of my favorite decor ideas!


Decorate using story book characters! These can be from mom or dad’s favorite childhood books!

Dr Seuss


How amazing is this Dr Seuss themed baby shower set up! Something like this could be set up with some balloon arches, posterboard and some creativity.

A lot of times, local party planners will rent out the wooden backdrop pieces and then you can cover them in fabric or paper!

Once Upon a Time


Your Once Upon a Time themed baby shower would be a neat theme for a shower! It can be elegant and fun!

I found a great backdrop that you would be able to use as the focal point and decorate around!

Peter Rabbit

via Kara’s Party Ideas

Peter Rabbit is a classic childhood story and makes for an adorable baby shower theme. This theme is a great gender neutral theme that can easily be put together.

You can use Peter Rabbit themed napkins and plates, with a cute welcome baby banner. I would use greenery and carrots here and there. Chalkboard signs really add some pizzazz and you can write whatever you’d like on them, I also love this backdrop!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

via The Blondie Locks Blog

If you know me, you know I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar! This blog I shared is actually a first birthday, but the decorations are impeccable and would be an amazing baby shower theme!

You can have finger foods of all the different foods the caterpillar eats. I found this kit that will help with decorations and the cutest cupcake toppers!

Game Ideas

Games are a baby shower essential. They bring guests together and spark laughter and fun!

Here are some book themed baby shower games that you can use!

Show and Tell

Each person can go around and show their favorite book and tell what it is about and why they loved it as a child. This is a sweet way to reminisce!

Guessing Game

Guests can guess the mom’s and dad’s favorite book as a child. It would be cute to sprinkle clues all over the baby shower. Announce at the beginning to be looking for clues and then guess towards the end!

Read Between the Lines

Have guests read a few lines from their favorite childhood book and have everyone guess. The one with the most correct guesses wins!

Character Charades

Have everyone separate into teams. You can have different characters written out on strips of paper.

One teammate sits and guesses while the other acts out the character. The team that has the most correct guesses wins!

Presentation Ideas


You might want to have the baby shower guests present their book of choice to the mom in a special way. Here are a few ideas to do that!

  • Guest can present the books to the mother as an extra gift for the baby
  • Make a table specifically for books that will be opened separately
  • Have the guests give the mother hints about the book they are giving, then she guesses before opening
  • Ask guests to write a sweet note and have them read aloud before giving to the mom

Ideas for What to Write Inside a Baby Shower Book

You might be wondering, okay so what should I write inside of a baby shower book. And the answer is, anything you want!

Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered with a few ideas!

-I hope this story book brings you as much joy as it did me. Remember, the days are long but the years are short.

-The days will turn like pages in a book. Before you know it, you’ve made it to a new chapter. Enjoy the moments.

-Hold onto these fleeting moments. Read your baby all of the stories that they will let you. These times don’t last forever.

-As you embark on a new chapter, embrace every moment.

-We all want to be the hero in the story, but remember to your’re the hero.

-I am wishing you a lifetime of love, happiness and good books.

Requesting a book instead of a card is such a fun idea and a great way to build up your baby’s library. You can download our free printable and pop it in with your invites!

What are your most beloved childhood books? Have you had a book instead of a card shower?

Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to Download our Free Printable!

Our free printable includes 4 different versions!

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