Board books are made from a thick, glossy cardboard, to provide durability as these books must stand the test of our youngest readers. To a baby or toddler, books are meant to be explored with the senses, so board books must endure a young child’s attention expressed by tugging, tossing, and even slobbering on a book. These board books will delight the senses of young children and entertain those who read with them.
“Munch!” by Matthew Van Fleet, 2013, Simon & Schuster, Birth-3.
A simple poetic style presents the various ways animals use their mouths, including a loud hippo shout, a beaver’s buzz, and a bunny’s nibble. This sturdy board book adds the interactive elements of flaps, pull tabs, and textures to entice young readers.
“Lots of Spots” by Lois Ehlert, 2010, Simon & Schuster, 4-7.
Ehlert’s signature style of bold colors and collage-type illustrations treats readers to a visual treat. Various animals with spots are described through snippets of rhyming poems linger in the ear of readers and listeners.
“Open Wide!” by Stephen Krensky, Illustrated by James Burks, 2014, Cartwheel Books, Birth-3.
Many a parent has played the airplane game with a spoon of food and a toddler who does not want to eat. This story goes one step better by providing both a clever story about two parents creatively trying to get their child to eat and a free punch-out spoon airplane.
“Five Hungry Pandas!” by Alexis Barad-Cutler, Illustrated by Kyle Poling, 2014, Cartwheel Books, ages Birth-3.
Very young readers will enjoy counting the pandas as they crunch their way through bamboo shoots. A cut-out format lets readers easily track the pandas as they move through the story, while also providing little fingers with many ways to grasp the book and turn the pages.
“Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” Illustrated by Carolyn Jayne Church, 2014, Cartwheel Books, Birth-3.
The traditional children’s rhyme is matched with the adorable illustrations of Caroline Jayne Church in this board book edition. A foil-starred cover will catch the attention of young readers, who will connect with the star-gazing children and their stuffed animal friend.
“How Do I Love You?” Bilingual edition. By Marion Dane Bauer, Illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church, 2014, Cartwheel Books, Birth-3.
An answer to a parent’s seemingly simple question “How do I love you?” is revealed in this poetic-style board book. Originally published in 2009, the 2014 version includes the poem, with Church’s darling illustrations, presented in both English and Spanish. Readers will delight in the ways a parent’s depth of love is expressed, such as “I love you as the cat loves a sunny sill” and “I love you as the dancing snowflakes love the winter’s chill.”
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler