Category: Board Books


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.

Big Pile of Board Books

Here we go!  I had been waiting with a couple of these to have enough to do a full post of board books and now I have far too many.  Here are six board books worth picking up for the little one in your life or library:

away we go

Away We Go! by Chieu Anh Urban

Filled with bright colored vehicles made out of all sorts of shapes, this die cut board book is engaging and great fun.  The words on the page ask you to find specific shapes, but there is no need to follow their lead.  This is a great pick for librarians looking for a book that will have parents talking to their children about what is on the page.  Perfect for little hands to explore too.

blue bus red balloon

Everything Goes: Blue Bus, Red Balloon: A Book of Colors by Brian Biggs

Another charmer in the Everything Goes series, this board book focuses on colors.  It follows all kinds of vehicles and the pictures tell a complete story while the text names vehicles and colors. 

hide and seek wiggle

Hide and Seek by Taro Gomi

Wiggle by Taro Gomi

Gomi returns with two picture books with very different feels.  Hide and Seek is a book that is clever and subtle, showing several very similar objects or creatures with one small difference.  The humor is clever and the art is sophisticated.  Wiggle is a book with a die cut hole for a small finger to fit through.  Children get to use their finger as an elephant trunk, robot nose, and much more.  This one is less clever and more physical.  The two books should appeal to different children, but both will be appreciated.

my mom is the best circus

My Mom Is the Best Circus by Luciana Navarro Powell

Light and filled with fun, this board book takes mom’s everyday duties and shows them as if she was performing in the circus.  She juggles breakfast, tames wild laundry, can make you laugh like a clown, or be amazed like a magician.  Cute and funny, this is a nice light board book sure to make moms nod along.

pinwheel

Pinwheel by Salina Yoon

Yoon has once again created a visually arresting board book for children.  This book has wheels to turn that set the designs in motion, creating art that moves and changes before your eyes.  It is almost kaleidoscopic at times.  Beautiful and nice for little hands to turn.

bella loves bunny ben loves bear

Bella Loves Bunny by David McPhail

Ben Loves Bear by David McPhail

A pair of charming board books from veteran author and illustrator McPhail, these casebound books closely echo picture book structure but have sturdy board pages that will stand up to toddler use.  The stories mirror each other, following the child from waking up for a day of play through to bedtime. 

Bella’s story feels more passive than Ben’s, but I think that is because Bunny is not depicted as energetically as Bear is.  Children who have favorite stuffed animals who accompany them throughout their day will find kindred spirits on these pages.  The stuffed animals are living and breathing here, the story filled with a quiet imagination.  As always, McPhail’s illustrations have a wonderful depth of color and fine lines.  They manage to be dreamy but realistic at the same time.

Good additions to library board book collections, these are books that are gentle and joyful.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Bella Loves Bunny was received from Abrams for review.  Ben Loves Bear was reviewed from library copy.

Arte Kids Book Series

123 Si!: An Artistic Counting Book in English and Spanish Colores Everywhere!: Colors in English and Spanish Hello, Circulos!: Shapes in English and Spanish

123 Si!: An Artistic Counting Book in English and Spanish by San Antonio Museum of Art

Colores Everywhere!: Colors in English and Spanish by San Antonio Museum of Art

Hello, Circulos!: Shapes in English and Spanish by San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art, the San Antonio Library Foundation and Trinity Press have worked together to create a new series of books for children.  The first book, 123 Si!, was published in 2011 and the next two books followed in 2012.  There are plans for a series of 9 books with two more titles being added in the spring of 2013. 

All three books combine art from the collections at the San Antonio Museum of Art with concepts that toddlers can relate to.  The result are books that are bright and colorful but that offer a wonderful depth of subject matter too.  The books are fully bilingual, giving terms for numbers, colors and shapes in both English and Spanish.  Fully embracing early literacy, the books offer ideas for questions on each page, giving parents cues as to what to talk about in each picture.  It is done in such a way that it’s simple, easy and non-threatening.  Additional information on the art is available at the end of each book.

Three very successful board books that combine bilingual content, great art and basic concepts, these books belong at any library serving a Spanish-speaking population.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copies received from Trinity University Press.

everything goes in the air

Everything Goes in the Air by Brian Biggs

Brian Biggs has several new books out which is great news for youngsters who love cars, trucks and airplanes.  Everything Goes in the Air takes Henry and his family on an airplane ride.  Readers get to  visit a bustling airport, where they can search for lost babies.  From vintage airplanes to modern ones, we learn about the different parts of a place and the various types they come in.  Modern airport security is explained, then the book turns to helicopters and hot air balloons.  Just before takeoff, children get to see inside the cockpit and marvel at the crowded airspace.  Then it’s up, up and away!

Biggs’ crowded pages show the hustle and hurry of an airport.  His friendly art and seek-and-find activities will keep children busy exploring the pages.  Information is given in small bits, mostly through conversations that are shown in cartoon bubbles.  This is a marvelously fun and exciting way to explore airplanes and airports.

A great pick for a plane ride, or to help prepare children for an upcoming flight, this book has such detailed illustrations that it is best shared with just one child at a time.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

everything goes 123 everything goes stop go

Everything Goes: 123 Beep Beep Beep!: A Counting Book by Brian Biggs

Everything Goes: Stop! Go!: A Book of Opposites by Brian Biggs

These two board books simplify the busy style of Biggs into books that are more appropriate for toddlers.  Here the bright colors and cartoon-style illustrations pop.  The counting book goes up to ten, each page offering a different sort of vehicle to count.  They range from RVs to busses.  The opposites book again uses vehicles to show things like dirty and clean, old and new, ending with stop and go. 

Very young children who enjoy cars, trucks and other vehicles will love these board books.  Expect the basic text to be accompanied with lots of motor sounds from the audience!  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

All items reviewed from copies received from Balzer + Bray.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,145 other followers