Category: Board Books


The Game of Tops and Tails

The Game of Tops and Tails by Hervé Tullet

Play a mix and match game of tops and bottoms as you mix up colors, shapes and objects. Done in split pages that let you mix up the page, the ones that match have the same color scheme, but the fun is in have acrobats on mountain ranges while the shape side gets wilder. Great fun for toddlers to proudly create silly images.

LOOK!

Look! by Édouard Manceau

Open this big board book and peer through the rectangle cut into the pages. Can you find something in view that matches what is on the page? Is there something high and low? Are there different sized things? How about near and far? The book gets more inventive as you move through it, with a velcro page that invites you to look for things that make noise, a shiny page, and even one that is soft to the touch. Expect to see kids peering out of this book and having a wonderful time.

Peekaboo

Peekaboo by Giuliano Ferri

A traditional game of peekaboo is afoot in this book as young readers turn from one page to the next and find different animals covering their eyes with wings and paws. Parents can uncover the eyes by lifting the flaps. This is sure to delight those toddlers who love the game. Expect giggles when they discover the mirror at the end too.

hop hop bunny on my beach

Hop, Hop Bunny by Lynn Seresin

On My Beach by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich

Two charmers from Chronicle Books have playful elements. The bunny book has a rabbit element on a string that hops through various holes in the pages and explores his environment. Introducing colors along with this interactive piece makes for a book that will keep the wiggliest toddlers interested. The crab book has a finger puppet at its center, and offers information on the life and habitat of a little crab. With limited text, the book moves quickly and the toy at its center adds to the appeal. Both books are parts of larger series.

i am the wolf and here i come

I Am the Wolf…and Here I Come! by Benedicte Guettier

The wolf puts on his clothes piece by piece, from his underwear all the way to a big coat. Toddlers will enjoy the steady progression of the clothes being added and will delight in the final page and its sudden change of tone! This is a great pick to read aloud to a small group of children and wait for the delighted squeals at the end.

rhymoceros

Rhymoceros by Janik Coat

Following her Hippopposites, this new board book introduces a new character, a blue rhino. He shows pairs of rhyming words visually. His situation changes over and over again, coloring him different colors, raining on him, making him inky, blurry and furry. With humor and tactile elements, this board book will be popular with parents and toddlers alike.

wild bathtime wild bedtime

wild mealtime wild playtime

Wild! Bathtime by Courtney Dicmas

Wild! Bedtime by Courtney Dicmas

Wild! Mealtime by Courtney Dicmas

Wild! Playtime by Courtney Dicmas

Romping animal babies and zany humor combine to make this series a great pick for toddlers and infants.

Bathtime shows all sorts of different animals taking baths, cleaning faces and other parts of the body. The humor comes at the end with a mother pig looking dejectedly at her sleeping piglets who are all clean while she is dirty.

Bedtime invites everyone to curl up to sleep but some of the little animals are not quite ready yet. Grabbing your teddy has a different meaning here as does turning out the light. Clever little touches make this one that you will read again and again.

Mealtime has animals acting very much like toddlers. They want more to eat, eat too quickly, and even try to hide their peas. Once again clever matching of animals to phrases makes for fun reading.

Playtime is the ultimate romp of a book, showing lots of wrestling and movement. And the parents are all in for the fun, mostly.

This series will be appreciated by children who love animals and also little ones who may need an excuse to slow down and read a bit. Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copies received from Child’s Play.

rain snow

sun wind

Rain by Carol Thompson

Snow by Carol Thompson

Sun by Carol Thompson

Wind by Carol Thompson

Four lovely little board books in this set by Thompson. Told very simply but with plenty of energy, these books look at different kinds of weather and children out playing in it. Rain begins with a bit of hesitation but ends with the merry fun of jumping into puddles. Snow invites children to breathe out clouds and plunk right down in the snow. Sun has clothes coming off and playing in a pool together. Wind roars from page to page but then in the end is gentle too.

Introduce toddlers to different kinds of weather and different seasons, but even more importantly get them outside to experience it themselves too!  Appropriate for ages 1-2.

Reviewed from copies received from Child’s Play.

tickly toes

Tickly Toes by Susan Hood, illustrated by Stephane Barroux

This playful board book looks at infants’ interest in their own toes, whether it is when they are being tickled by someone else, or when they see them in the bubbly bath water.  Written as if a parent is addressing the baby directly, this book will read aloud well to the smallest of listeners.  With illustrations that invite counting, this book is also an invitation to count baby’s own toes right now.

Hood avoids being too sing-songy in her rhyme, instead keeping it jaunty.  Even when baby pulls of his booties and flings them away, the tone remains entirely positive and encouraging as baby finds his feet all on his own.  The illustrations by Barroux are bright and large.  They show the ten toes on many pages as well as a loving family environment around him.

Get your toes wiggling with this bright and bouncy board book.  Appropriate for ages birth to 2.

Reviewed from digital galley received from Kids Can Press and NetGalley.

Bunches of Board Books

I’ve got some great new board books perfect for little hands to explore and even little gums to gnaw on.

countablock

Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli, art by Peskimo

The author of Alphablock returns with a counting book this time.  With thick board pages that are die cut into the shapes of the numbers, the book gives each number two pages where first you are given a number of objects and then what those objects become.  So three boxes become three forts and eight bananas become eight banana peels with the help of some monkeys.  After number ten, the book starts to count by tens and eventually reaches 100.

be patient pandora  play nice hercules 

Mini Myths: Be Patient, Pandora! by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli

Mini Myths: Play Nice, Hercules! by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli

These two first books in the new Mini Myths series are a cheerful mix of mythology and toddlerhood.  Pandora explores the temptation of a wrapped present and how hard it can be to wait to open it.  Pandora is told to leave the present alone, but just can’t seem to stop herself from touching it, leaning on it, and accidentally opening it.  Hercules is told to play nice with his little sister, but Hercules is much more interested in knocking things down than being nice.  In the end of both books, the myth becomes more about manners and how to be with others. 

All reviewed from copies received from Abrams Appleseed.

Bunches of Board Books

Some great additions to series! 

dinnertime for chickies

Dinnertime for Chickies by Janee Trasler is the third in the Chickies series.  Here the very picky chicks are reluctant to try new foods, asking for sweets instead.  But Sheep, Cow and Pig cajole them into trying the foods and the chicks discover that they like them!  By the end of the meal, they might just be too full for dessert.  This is a funny addition to the series that will encourage small children to try new things.

i am so brave

I Am So Brave by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Sara Gillingham is the fourth book in their empowerment series.  This book focuses on overcoming fears like dogs, swimming, the dark and even saying goodbye to a parent.  Told very simply, the book is about the joy of overcoming rather than the process of doing so.  Still, it will encourage children to face their fears.

planes go

Planes Go by Steve Light is the fourth book in its series which has previously covered trucks, trains and diggers.  This plane book is very successful, focusing on different types of planes and then the sounds that they make.  It’s the kind of book that small children will love to read to themselves aloud after they learn the names of the planes.  A lovely addition to a great series.

Here are my top picks for recent board books, perfect for toddlers:

bedtime for chickies pottytime for chickies

Bedtime for Chickies by Janee Trasler

Pottytime for Chickies by Janee Trasler

This pair of board books introduces three small chicks who have problems falling asleep and using the potty correctly.   Trasler uses humor and other animals to make these books great fun to read.  Her artwork is particularly child-friendly and the Chickies themselves are naughty and silly, in the just the way small children would appreciate.  These are sure to be favorites at bedtime.

creature colors creature numbers

Creature Colors by Andrew Zuckerman

Creature Numbers by Andrew Zuckerman

Filled with crisp and clear photographs of animals against a white background, these books stand out visually in a crowded board book market.  The Colors book is the more successful of the two with the colors popping on each page.  The Numbers book is still well done and extends from counting individual animals to counting legs and fins as well.  Both books are strong additions to library and family collections. 

were going to the farmers market

We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market by Stefan Page

A bright and friendly visit to the Farmers’ Market, this is sure to start daydreams of warm summer days for those of us in northern climes.  The illustrations are colorful and evoke the delight of the market perfectly.  Wonderful for children who have a local farmers’ market and know the pleasure of visiting the different stalls, selecting veggies and heading home to cook and eat. 

you are my baby garden you are my baby ocean

You Are My Baby: Garden by Lorena Siminovich

You Are My Baby: Ocean by Lorena Siminovich

Both released March 25, 2014.

These are the third and fourth books in this board book series which pairs a larger board book with an inset small book.  The larger book has the images of the adults with the story, and the small book has the images and noises of the babies.  The pages turn independently and work best when you have small hands helping you.  Sturdy and with the fun aspect of mixing and matching, these books are beautifully designed with very accessible illustrations. 

little monkey calms down

Little Monkey Calms Down by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Oriol Vidal

This is the latest in the Hello Genius series and is a nice addition.  Little Monkey is having a very bad day.  He has an ice cream cone, but it drops on the floor.  Little Monkey throws a tantrum but then uses some coping techniques to calm back down.  First, he lets himself cry a bit, then snuggles with a blanket.  He takes deep breaths, sings quietly and is still and relaxed.  Once he feels calmer, his parents give him lots of loving attention and they are set to have a good day.

This book handles toddler tantrums in a very positive and child-centered way.  It offers ideas for even the youngest children to model.  The narrator voice sounds like a parental voice, so its advice is offered lovingly.  I particularly appreciate a book that tells a child it is fine to cry after a disappointment.  The entire book exudes warmth and love for this little monkey.

Vidal’s illustrations are invitingly cartoon-styled.  Little Monkey’s tantrum is really something to behold but so is his final quiet time where the page shines with bliss. 

A great pick for toddlers, this book will be appreciated by parents using gentler parenting techniques with their children as well as schools and parents looking for mindful books for young children.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from digital galley received from Hello Genius and NetGalley.

i am blop

I Am Blop! by Herve Tullet

The author of Press Here returns with another simple and charming book.  Here the entire book is based around the shape of a “blop” which is something like a four-leafed clover, or a flower, or a butterfly.  With just a few words on each page, the youngest readers will discover a world of blops between these covers.  There are blops of different sizes, different colors, and they do a variety of things too.  Concepts are taught cleverly, such as mixing colors, what appears in a mirror, and opposites. 

While there are punch-out pages at the end of the book, this would still make a great pick for libraries to circulate.  I was particularly pleased with the mirror page and color mixing pages that add a special twist and fun to the book. 

Another great pick from Tullet, this book belongs in library collections and would make a great toddler read.  Expect to be drawing and seeing blops afterwards!  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from library copy.

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