Category: Board Books

5 Brilliant Board Books (Plus a Bonus Book!)

Looking for some great new board books for your library or classroom? Here are some of the best of the new ones:


Flora and the Ostrich by Molly Idle (9781452146584)

This board book pairs Flora with an ostrich to demonstrate opposites. With fold-out pages, there is plenty for small hands to explore here. The unfolding pages add to the feel of dance and movement that are present in all of the Flora books. Expect the youngest Flora fans to adore this one. The flaps are sturdily made and should withstand library and classroom use. (Review copy provided by Chronicle Books.)

Hello Humpback!

Hello Humpback by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd (9781550177992)

This board book is a glorious look at the West Coast shown through the eyes of a First Nations artist. The illustrations glow with light, whether it is dawn appearing through the pine trees with a bear nearby, an eagle on a branch silhouetted against the setting sun, or an orca breaching into a rainbow sky. The animals and trees are done in raised ink on the page, so little hands can explore the book in a tactile way as well. This is an exceptional board book that belongs in all public libraries. (Reviewed from library copy.)


Lines by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Melinda Beck (9781481490740)

Lines combine on the page to form squares and circles. Then children can locate those shapes in the town and on the road. The book then swoops outward, showing how entire cities and roads are created from these building block shapes until readers are finally looking at the solar system going round and round in circles. A simple concept book about shapes that shows how our entire universe features squares and circles. (Review copy provided by Simon and Schuster.)

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Motor Mix by Emily Snape and Rilla Alexander (9781452148380 & 9781452148397)

These two books in a new series offer flaps that let young readers mix and match their vehicles into crazy new ones. As the vehicles change, so does the text of the book, allowing them to explore different regions, make different noises and use different verbs to describe what they are doing. It’s great fun and just right for little vehicle lovers. These are sturdy enough to stand up to public libraries and classrooms. (Review copies provided by Chronicle Books.)

BONUS BOOK! This picture book is just right for the toddler crowd too!

I See a Cat

I See a Cat by Paul Meisel (9780823436804)

Told in the simplest of text, this book invites children to enjoy a dog’s day as he looks out the window. He gets intrigued when he sees a cat and then a bird, lazily looks at a fly and a bee. But when a squirrel passes the door, he gets very very excited! The day goes by with rounds of wild barking and calm sleepiness until the dog’s boy returns home and they can go outside together. And there’s a squirrel out there!

This picture book from a Geisel Honor winner shows a clarity and understanding of children’s sense of humor. The book reads aloud wonderfully and the pace changes swiftly adding to the fun. Share this with toddlers who will join in barking at the squirrels. (Review copy provided by Holiday House.)




Bunches of Board Books

Before & After

Before & After by Jean Jullien (9780714874081, Amazon)

Jullien captures the difference between before and after in this board book. With changes shown through the illustrations, they are funny and sometimes surprising. Long hair before turns into short hair after and then long hair again way after. Question marks are used to ask if the egg really came before the chicken. A roller coaster ride shows a change in hair and expressions as father and child take a wild ride. This book is silly and fun and will result in lots of conversation with little ones.

Reviewed from library copy.

Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden by Laura Weston (9780763693176, Amazon)

This board book has sturdy flaps to open. The book is done in lino prints, strong and graphic. They are done in black and white, opening the flaps shows the colors of butterflies, milkweed and leaves. The flaps open for the butterflies in ways that let their wings flap cleverly. Finding the flaps will have readers running their hands over the pages, making it a sensory experience that way too. The board book uses few words and shows the lifestages of monarch butterfly in a tangible and lovely way.

Reviewed from library copy.


Say Zoop! by Hervé Tullet (9781452164731, Amazon)

OK, so this isn’t really a board book, but it’s just right for little hands! The thick board covers open to sturdy pages and invite little ones to play. Just like his earlier books, Tullet invites children to interact with the pages, this time using noises as well as pressing dots. This will result in lots of silly noises, simple at first and then growing into complexity that is silly and hilarious. Just go with it! Share it with older kids too!

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.



Bunches of Board Books

Here are some of my favorite recent board books:


Baby’s First Words by Stella Blackstone and Sunny Scribens, illustrated by Christiane Engel (9781782853251, Amazon)

This board book is also available in Spanish. A baby spends her day with her two dads exploring everything from morning to night. Things in their lives are labeled with words, including objects and actions. There are animal noises, foods, clothes, vehicles, and feelings. The entire book is merry and bright, just right for all families to enjoy.

Reviewed from copy received from Barefoot Books.


Blanket of Love by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes (9781481489720, Amazon)

One of the books in the New Books for Newborns series, this book uses gentle rhymes and a soft rhythm to introduce all sorts of blankets to little listeners. There are blankets of grass, snow, sand, water, stars and much more as different families explore being outside together. The book ends at bedtime, indoors and cozy under a physical blanket. Gentle and loving, this is a lovely book.

Reviewed from copy received from Little Simon.


Getting Ready by Cocoretto (9781846438868, Amazon)

This is a novelty board book just waiting for little fingers to explore all of the surfaces. Done in a simple style, it offers a fuzzy teddy bear, a blanket to pull back, a zipper to tug, and a door to open. There are other surfaces as well like corduroy pants, t-shirts and socks. All waiting for help, so get ready to play.

Reviewed from copy received from Child’s Play.

The Very Berry Counting Book by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Joy Newton (9781580897846, Amazon)

Count from one to ten in this counting board book that features lots of berries. There are berries that children will recognize like strawberries and blueberries and also new ones to explore. The vintage feel of the book is very appealing and it’s a great way to explore berries and numbers all at once.

Reviewed from library copy.


Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems (9781484767467, Amazon)

Just right for sharing aloud, this board book will be appreciated by parents and older siblings as they prepare for a new baby. Using signs similar to those at airports or on large machinery, the book is a wonderfully warm welcome to new babies that combines warnings of the bad things that can happen like ice cream accidents and the wonder of a new member of the family.

Reviewed from library copy.


Board Books about Bodies

Heads and Tails by Carli Davidson

Heads and Tails by Carli Davidson (9781452151373, Amazon)

This is the best of three books in a board book series that focuses on photographs of dogs. This very simple board book goes through body parts of dogs from eyes to teeth to tails. Each body part is shown in two ways, one very tight close up and then a full picture of the dog from farther away. It’s a book that invites pointing to lots of things and talking about them.

So Many Feet by Nichole Mara

So Many Feet by Nichole Mara, illustrated by Alexander Vidal (9781419723186, Amazon)

A look at the feet of many different animals shows how widely different animals and habitats are. A touch of information is shared for each animal, just enough for the youngest scientist. The illustrations are bright and bold, embracing the colors and feeling of each habitat and showing the animal using their feet to explore their world. The book ends with children thinking about what their own feet can do.

2 Great Board Books

Two very different board books to enjoy!

Deep in the Forest by Josef Anton

Deep in the Forest by Josef Antòn, illustrated by Lucie Brunelliere (9781419723513, Amazon)

This picture book is a large format, even larger than most picture books. The pages are board and then have sturdy flaps to open as well. Behind each flap is the animal that has been hiding and then that flap includes questions that will have children exploring the intricate illustrations even more closely. The illustrations are dark, mysterious and give you the feel of exploring a forest filled with wild animals.

Flora and the Chicks by Molly Idle

Flora and the Chicks by Molly Idle (9781452146577, Amazon)

Idle turns to a board book format in this follow-up to her popular dance-filled Flora picture books. This book is a counting book will robust fold-out pages that let children discover with page turns the number of eggs hatching. Flora tries to keep track of all of the little chicks, but there’s quite a few as the number climbs all the way to ten. A charming counting book sure to please.

One Lonely Fish by Andy Mansfield


One Lonely Fish by Andy Mansfield and Thomas Flintham

Released January 31, 2017.

One little lonely yellow fish swims in the ocean. But soon he is joined with one fish and then others, each following with their mouth wide open to eat the fish in front of them. Counting one to ten, the fish grow bigger and bigger. Eventually though, there is just one lonely fish on the page once again.

This simple board book has a great sense of humor. There is very little text to the book other than counting upwards, making it simple enough for very small children. The board construction is sturdy enough to make this work with toddlers. But be ready for the little ones to be very surprised and perhaps sad with the twist at the end. Still, the likelihood is giggles, not tears.

The illustrations are bright and colorful. There are two little red crabs on the bottom of all of the pages with the bright yellow sand who warn observant readers of the final twist a page ahead of time. The fish are a rainbow of colors and have a variety of patterns as well.

Energetic and colorful, you are sure to be hooked by this fishy picture book. Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copy received from Bloomsbury.



3 Fun Fall Board Books

Here are some recent board books that caught my eye! Perfect for holiday gifts or for any time of year for toddlers and babies.


Hat Off, Hat Off by Theo Heras, illustrated by Renne Benoit (InfoSoup)

Not quite a board book, this puffy covered book is done on thick cardstock so the pages should stand up to toddler tugs. A toddler is getting ready to go out and picks out a wooly bear hat to wear. But while his shoes are being put on, he takes the hat off. Jackets goes on and so does another hat. The hat comes off and another is put on when he gets his sippy cup and toys. Going potty means taking off the hat and another is put on when he’s put in the stroller. Finally after bunny is found and they head outside, the final hat is left in a pile of leaves.

This is a funny and clever look at the problem with hats, shoes, socks, jackets, mittens and more when they are put on toddlers. It’s a universal story that will resonate with everyone. Nicely, the children in the story are not white and there is a lovely lack of gender specificity in the main character as well.


Sunrise, Moonrise by Betsy Thompson (InfoSoup)

The day starts with a bird singing at sunrise. Squirrel runs, fish swim, bees buzz. Owl is asleep. The sun sets and squirrel falls asleep. New animals emerge like fox and fireflies. Bats swoop in the sky. There is a clear difference between day and night forest creatures here that is gently told. The art is bold and bright, the black lines forming almost a stained glass effect on the page. This is a lovely look at animals throughout the day.


Tickle My Ears by Jörg Mühle (InfoSoup)

Another wonderful interactive book, this time perfect for very young children. Little Rabbit is getting ready for bed and it’s up to the reader to help him.He’s going to need help with getting his pajamas on with a clap of your hands. His pillow needs fluffing. His ears need a little tickle and his back needs to be rubbed. Then comes tucking him in, a goodnight kiss and the lights. This book is cheerful and sweet without being sugary. A perfect antidote to children hooked on apps and devices and who need to head to bed.