Some things become life experiences not only for one's child, but for oneself. "Pat the Bunny" is such a book. It is so dear, so simple, and so very, very perfect that it is deceptive. It really can teach a very young baby about textures and colors and the fact that the world is a varied and wonderful place.
When my first child (now almost 18) was less than 6 months old, I would take her tiny hand and place her chubby fingers on each different texture...the bunny, the cloth, and of course my favorite...Daddy's scratchy beard! (a piece of sandpaper). I don't know how much of the simple and sweet words my daughter absorbed, but she was cuddled in my arms, being rocked (our favorite place to read) and she definitely liked to touch the textures. Now the interesting thing is that the book remained special, and when she should have outgrown it, she did not. It remained in the collection. I think that's because it is just so peaceful and simple, remnants of a former time.
If you are expecting, if one of your friends has a new baby, if you are a grandparent or a loving aunt or uncle, you cannot give a better book for a new baby. It will be that baby's cherished book in short order. Guaranteed. One word of warning, though. Make sure that you are buying the original, with all the textures. I saw one oversized board book version the other day, and its only texture was the cotton of the bunny, which carried through to each page. No no!! We need everything right for this book of a lifetime.