In my annual Christmas lists, I’ve mentioned a few of my favorite-ever board books — those would be Farm Animals by Phoebe Dunn, and the Helen Oxenbury set — Tickle, Tickle, All Fall Down, Clap Hands, Say Goodnight.
It’s harder for me to get my hands on new board books because of how they’re handled at my library, and truth be told, I think many board books are better as regular books with pages.
But here, today, are five jolly selections for giving at baby showers, buying for a grandchild, purchasing for the children’s wing of a hospital…
One, Two Three… Climb, by Carol Thompson published in 2013 by Child’s Play
Multi-racial roly-polies scrabbling up the pillows and people in their world. So happy and charming.
This has a similar vibe to the Helen Oxenbury series I mentioned up top. Sweet, simple, with content for the 6-18 month crowd. There are three more titles in this lovable series, coming out of the UK.
Big and Small, by Britta Teckentrup published in 2013 by Barefoot Books
Britta Teckentrup is brilliant with these concept books for the teeny ones, so look for her name and find some more gems for yourself.
Big and Small features seven pairs from Nature — a lion and a cat, a tree and an acorn — showing the largeness and smallness of the world around us.
Knock-your-socks-off color, cheery as a robin, pleasing design, and a more interesting vocabulary than many books for this age group.
A companion book, Fast and Slow, contains pairs of vehicles — rocket and hot air balloon, truck and wheelbarrow. Love these.
Alphablock, by Christopher Franceschelli, art by Peskimo published in 2013 by Abrams Appleseed
I fell for this the moment I came across it — such fun!
First of all, it is Hefty! It feels like you’ve got your hands on something mighty important!
Then, the cover — oh so snazzy. Doesn’t it make you want to see what’ inside?!
Each letter has a two page spread, with a die-cut letter that hinges in the middle. You can see how that works here:
At first you just catch a glimpse of something beginning with “M.” Flip the letter and you get the whole moon.
Look what starts with letter C!
Smart graphic design, sweet colors. A whole lot of fun to look at, even if you have no idea what the alphabet is all about.
The Swing, by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Julie Morstad published in 2012 by Simply Read Books
Here’s Julie Morstad again (author/illustrator of How To), bringing her amazing talents to bear on Stevenson’s classic poem.
A lovely poem,
treated sublimely by this Canadian artist.
Just…lovely is all.
How Hippo Says Hello! by Abigail Samoun, illustrated by Sarah Watts published in 2014 by Sterling Children’s Books
Want to raise a polyglot? Or at least a world-aware child? Might just get started now with this friendly hippo who travels to France, Russia, Egypt, India, China, Japan, and Argentina.
Everywhere he goes, he greets one new friend — Hello! — in the new language.Charming illustrations provide ambiance and setting, and there’s a pronunciation guide so you can figure out how to say “Al Salaamu Alaykum!” properly.
A companion book, How Gator Says Goodbye, visits all the same countries, teaching us how to bid a fond farewell.