Go Baby Go! by Marilyn Janovitz has a great cover: a smiling, big-headed baby in a baby swing with his/her (I think you could interpret either way) arms thrown wide on a bright lime green background with yellow flecks. It’s welcoming and stands out in the board book bin. The book itself focuses on baby spending a day outdoors with the family cat and dog doing things like making mudpies, playing in the pool, and having a picnic. The text is longish for a board book but also rhythmic: “Now we want a bottle/Then we’ll want a burp/Our little baby … Read the rest
Tag Archives: board books i like
“In my cellar there is a toolbox. It is dark brown where hands have touched it.”
So begins The Toolbox by Anne and Harlow Rockwell. This is a quiet board book that introduces small readers to various tools (a drill, a clamp, a wrench, etc.) and what they do. Each page focuses on one detailed, lifelike image on a plain cream background and includes a simple sentence about what the item depicted is/does. This is the type of book that introduces useful vocabulary kids might not encounter otherwise–certainly not in picture books–and also explains a little bit about how the … Read the rest
Girl of Mine by Jabari Asim and LeUyen Pham fills a couple needs and gaps in your board book collection. The text comes from a father gushing on about how much he loves his beautiful daughter, so we have a loving and active (the illustrations make clear he’s getting her ready for bed) depiction of a father-daughter relationship. There aren’t exactly a million books out there like that. It is also noteworthy that this is an African American family. I don’t see enough picture books with African American characters, and there are even fewer board books available. One could argue … Read the rest
When an author is popular, it’s easy to dismiss her brilliance, and I think that is often the case with Sandra Boynton. Her new books are greeted with a great deal of fanfare in the retail world and hardly a mention in the children’s lit world. It’s kind of like, “Ho, hum. Another Boynton. Whatevs.”
It’s true that Boynton’s books hardly need more promotion, but I think it’s worth pausing to notice how good they are when she’s at her best. (For those of you who don’t know, she works almost entirely in the board book format.) Take one of … Read the rest
Binky by Leslie Patricelli is the story of a baby who loses his binky. I’ve mentioned before that it’s hard to create a narrative that a baby or toddler can relate to, but most children that age have had the experience of losing a binky (or blanket or stuffed animal or what-have-you), looking for it, losing their minds when they can’t find it, but then, with the help of a parent, finally finding the darned thing. That’s what happens here. Patricelli writes and illustrates with a real feel for her audience. She interjects silliness (“Is Binky in the potty?”), and … Read the rest
I like Todd Parr’s books. They’re all about acceptance and tolerance–being nice to each other and to yourself. Those are big themes, but Parr handles them with very few words and a lot of humor.
Underwear Do’s and Don’ts is a favorite of mine because it’s as ridiculous as it can be. Facing pages explain things you DO with your underwear and DON’T do with your underwear. So, for example, you DO “put your clean underwear away,” but you DON’T “put it in the freezer.” Do’s include some dubious suggestions, such as putting underwear on the dog, but I think … Read the rest
This is the second board book in my Board Books I Like series subset, Board Books I Like that I Learned About from Jules and Whose Illustrators Also Sell Notecards. We’ll shorten that to BBILTILAFJAWIASN.
Anyway, the first book in the BBILTILAFJAWIASN sub-series was What is Green? by Kate Endle.
Now for what I have to say.
Many adults have an almost pathological need to shower babies with … Read the rest
You know what I like about this book? Kate Endle’s collage art. Jules got me started on Endle and her wonderful, wonderful notecards a couple years ago, and I remain a fan (of Jules and Endle, of course). What is Green? is a straightforward concept board book about colors. Each spread focuses on a color and includes illustrations of a number of things you can point to and name that are that particular color, and so the red spread includes things like a heart, an apple, a tulip, and a cardinal. Each spread is bordered on the right and left … Read the rest
It’s hard to find a board book that successfully tells its audience a story. Most of the best board books are concept books focused on building vocabulary or teaching things like letters and numbers, which is developmentally appropriate. Frankly, most six-month-olds aren’t all that into a good story. I mean, they’re happy as anything to listen to you talk about whatever most of the time, but they aren’t much for, say, debating the merits of plot.
Kevin Henkes, however, makes all things possible.
Henkes’ A Good Day is a picture book that was subsequently turned into a board book. Many … Read the rest
Alligator Bear Crab: A Baby’s ABC by Lesley Wynne Pechter is an alphabet book that features one animal on each page to represent the letters of the alphabet in order. Here is how to evaluate an alphabet book: skip directly to “x.” In this case, Pechter has chosen “ox,” and it works for me. The “x” in “ox” is emphasized by being larger and a different color than the “o,” and the ox himself looks like an ox you might like to hang out with. He faces the reader head-on and manages to make eye contact even though his eyes … Read the rest