What's New In The World Of Board Books

As a children’s librarian who does a weekly “Books & Babies” class, I have a great interest in knowing about board books.  When parents want to give their youngest children a book, often the sturdy board book is the best choice.  Board books are made to hold up to rough handling by little hands that may not know how to care for regular picture books yet. After years of teaching story time classes, I have learned which books are most likely to hold a child’s attention.  When parents ask me to recommend books for their youngest children, I like to steer them toward these books.  I have compiled a variety of suggestions for my list, from classics that have stood the test of time to the newest titles to hit our shelves.

I recently attended a webcast titled “Worth a Thousand Words: Books for the Youngest Readers,” sponsored by School Library Journal.  A panel representing four publishers, Minedition, Phaidon, Clavis, and Blue Manatee Press, talked about the newest titles they are offering for very young readers.  The panelists were excited to share the news that board books are developing new formats, and that their content is often based on current developments in childhood education.  Here are the books they recommended.  I think board books are a great way to start young children on the road to a life-long love of books.

Publisher:  Minedition

Opposite Surprise      Agnese Baruzzi

“This inspired concept book introduces kids to the idea of opposites through a series’ of playful images that aren’t quite what they appear to be.  ‘Empty or full?’ asks Baruzzi.  The facing page depicts a seemingly empty fish tank but folds out to reveal a group of orange and red fish.  Another page asks ‘Hot or cold?’  The facing page portrays a shining sun that folds out to become a dripping pair of popsicles.  Vibrant colors, simple objects, and an imaginative premise combine for a thought-provoking experience.” SLJ, July, 2017, p. 51.

Brick by Brick       Giuliano Ferri

A little mouse innocently plucks a flower from an old wall when a brick comes loose, and he can see through the wall for the first time. He and the other animals gradually and resolutely remove more and more bricks, until at last they can see another group of animals. Together they use the bricks that once divided them to construct a bridge to join their islands.

Publisher:  Phaidon

What Does Baby Want?     Tupera

Does baby want a tambourine?  A teddy bear?  Maybe baby is hungry?  Open this book to discover
what baby wants.

Circle, Triangle, Elephant!     Kenji Oikawa

Circle, triangle…elephant?  A big book of shapes, with a bit of silliness mixed in.

Publisher:  Clavis

Everyone is Yawning       Anita Bijsterbosch

It is time for bed!  The kitten yawns. The pig yawns. The owl yawns. Does the little child yawn too? Lift-the-flaps and you will find out.

My Good Morning!       Kim Crocket Carson

Two sleepy parents attempt to supervise a small girl as she gets ready for school and insists she can do everything herself.

Publisher:  Blue Manatee Press

Allie’s Garden    Sabra Chesby

When a little girl goes to her garden to harvest vegetables, she comes into contact with animals made
from vegetables, including a carrot fox and a zucchini snake.

Hungry Henry        Marla Osborn

Join Henry on an imaginative dreamland adventure as he meets a blueberry sheep, a waffle turtle, and
more! With each turn of the page, Henry grows hungrier and hungrier. Will he wake up to the breakfast of his dreams?

Board books are a great way to start the youngest children on the road to a life-long love of books.

- Susan Flacks, Youth Services, West Windsor Branch Library


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