Category: Board Books

This Is Not a Book by Jean Jullien

This Is Not a Book by Jean Jullien

This Is Not a Book by Jean Jullien (InfoSoup)

Open this “book” and you will find that it is not a story and doesn’t act like a book at all. Some pages open up to be held at an angle and become computers, couches and refrigerators. Others flap like monster mouths chomping, butterfly wings flapping, and hands clapping. Still others turn upside down like the tent. It’s a book that is meant to be interacted with, seen in new ways and that becomes something new with each turn of the page.

Done in sturdy board book pages, this book will withstand being turned around, passed to other children and interacted with by small hands. Libraries will appreciate the lack of tabs and moving parts, the magic of the book is brought to life solely by the illustrations in this wordless masterpiece.

One of the most inventive and simple board books around, this one is a keeper! Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from library copy.

Bunches of Board Books

Here are some of my favorite board books that I discovered this spring:

Hello World Solar System by Jill McDonald Hello World Weather by Jill McDonald

Hello, World! is a new series of board books that look at nonfiction topics in a way that is suitable for the youngest of children. I appreciate that the two books take very different approaches to their subjects. Solar System offers information about each of the planets in our solar system, naming them in order and giving a little fact about each one. Weather takes a more child-focused approach showing the types of clothes a child would wear for each kind of weather. Each book offers bright-colored illustrations that are playful and inviting.

Reviewed from copies received from Doubleday.

My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith

My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett

This gorgeous board book looks at the various things in a little girl’s life that make her happy. From smelling bannock in the oven to singing and dancing. The book also includes lots of being outdoors, such as walking in the grass barefoot and feeling the sun on your face. Though the experiences are universal, the book focuses on a Native American little girl and her family. The illustrations are simply superb. They exude a gentleness and depict a loving family experiencing happy moments together.

Reviewed from library copy.

Shhh Im Sleeping by Dorothee de Monfried

Shhh! I’m Sleeping by Dorothee de Monfried

Eight dogs are asleep in bunk beds until Popov starts snoring. Two of the dogs wake up and turn on their lights. They agree that Misha will read a story. Steadily, one dog after another awakens and soon they all have things they need to do. One needs a toy, another a drink of water, another wants to switch beds. In the end, everyone but Popov makes their way up to Misha’s bed for a story and fall asleep together. Then it is Popov’s turn to wake up. Cleverly done, the thin and tall format works particularly well with the subject matter, offering a perspective just right for very tall bunk beds. The timing is also nicely done with each page turn showing a new dog waking up. The ending too is satisfying with just the right amount of gentle humor. A great bedtime (or morning) pick.

Reviewed from copy received from Gecko Press.

Bunches of Board Books!

Here is a new crop of great board books to share with the littlest ones:

Duck and Goose Lets Dance by Tad Hills

Duck & Goose: Let’s Dance by Tad Hills

The bestselling Duck and Goose are back this time with an original song all their own. The board book reads aloud as a straight book, but the song adds a lot to the experience. Though you may fight to get the catchy tune out of your head, particularly if your child wants a repeat performance, again and again. You can take a listen to the song here.

Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.

Love You Hug You Read to You by Tish Rabe Te amo, te abrazo, leo contigo

Love You, Hug You, Read to You! by Tish Rabe, illustrated by Frank Endersby

Available in both English and Spanish, this board book has different animal parents promising to read to their small critters in a variety of different circumstances. The rhyme is just right, rollicking and fun. A delightful bonus is available here too. There are prompts on each page that cue parents how to use a board book with a small child. Text offers questions to ask small children about the pictures and the story, making this ideal to use with parents just learning to be their child’s first teacher.

Reviewed from copies received from Random House Children’s Books.

Shhh This Book Is Sleeping by Cedric Ramadier

Shhh! This Book Is Sleeping by Cedric Ramadier and Vincent Bourgeau

A little pink mouse invites young readers to interact with a very sleepy little book. They get to go through an entire bedtime ritual with the book, who has already brushed its teeth and gone potty. Read the book a little story and tuck it in cozy and warm. Give it a hug and a kiss and it’s all set for you to close the book very gently and tiptoe away. Good night!

Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.

Triangles by Yusuke Yonezu

Triangles by Yusuke Yonezu

Triangles can be all sorts of things as this clever board book demonstrates again and again. There are flags, sails, trees, animals, and even a wedge of cheese. Children will delight in the final page which can be lifted to a little face as a mask. There will be lots of fun in guessing what the triangle has become as well as naming colors and animals too.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: One Today by Richard Blanco

One Today by Richard Blanco

One Today by Richard Blanco, illustrated by Dav Pilkey (InfoSoup)

This picture book version of the inaugural poem for President Obama’s second term is a beautiful example of how poetry can reach young and old alike. Blanco’s poem stretches across the country, speaking to the diversity of our country, the universal things that bind us together, and the aspirations that we all hold dear. Faith, earth, sky, moon and more form a foundation for us all to relate to. This poem uses imagery that children will understand but also makes it bigger and larger and asks readers to see our country as a whole. Beautiful.

Blanco’s language is simple. He writes of “pencil-yellow school buses” and “the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs.” He ties our every day experiences to larger efforts, to living with a dream, hearing symphonies in the city sounds, giving thanks, feeling praise. Just like with all the best poetry, it begins simple and then reaches up and beyond to the vision that inspires.

Pilkey’s illustrations are lush and lovely. Filled with deep colors, they show diverse people walking the same city streets, feeling the same things, worshiping in their own ways, and being one united country despite our differences. Each page has a young girl and boy witnessing together, seeing how united we can be if we try.

A poem that calls us to be better than we are now by being united and seeing the small things in life that are meaningful to us all. Appropriate for ages 8-11.

Reviewed from library copy.


Bunches of Board Books

I’ve gathered a bunch of board books that are new favorites:

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light by Yumi Heo

Ideal for the little one riding in a carseat behind you, this board book has traffic lights, stop signs, fire engines and anything else that little ones like about riding in the car. Lift the thick large flaps to see what the signs mean. The large bright pictures are inviting and there are plenty of opportunities to make noises and talk about driving in a car. This board book has sturdy enough flaps to survive public library life too.



Seasons Board Book Series by Ailie Busby

Coming out in October, this board book series has a lovely warmth about it, even in winter. Each book begins by talking about what clues you have when each season begins. There is later sun in the winter, early sun in the summer, leaves falling in the autumn, birds singing in the spring. Then in each season the children head outside and experience the weather and the season. The text is rhythmic and inviting. Expect to jump in crunchy leaves this fall after reading it with your little one.



What’s That Noise? Series by Cocoretto

Another collection that is coming out in October, this collection mixes the jolly ruckus of lots of sounds with lifting the flaps and a guessing game. Each one begins with a noise, sometimes with a visual clue too of what is making that noise. Lift the flap after taking a guess. The books are in different themes of vehicles, animals, toys and instruments. These flaps are large and sturdy enough for little hands even in a public library.

Trio of Playful 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! 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 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.

Board Books by the Bunch

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 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.