Four fabulous board books with animals, pirates, dragons and even a construction site

Board books are wonderful for kids of a wide range of ages. They are perfect for chubby young fingers that might damage the delicate pages of a picture book, but toddlers who love picture books also still enjoy these sturdy books that can be packed in a diaper bag. And these four board books, two fiction and two nonfiction, will be enjoyed over and over and over again. Continue reading

‘The Kids’ Picture Show’ Now in Book Format: ‘Animals’ and ‘Vehicles’


“The Kids’ Picture Show” is an educational channel on YouTube for toddlers, preschoolers and even kindergarteners. It shows retro pixelated images of a variety of things sorted by type and with accompanying labels. Now, there are board books with the same pixel-heavy and labeled images: “Vehicles” and “Animals.”

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‘Santa Bruce’ (and more) by Ryan T. Higgins Is a Picture Book That’s as Much Fun for Adults to Read as for Kids to Listen to


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“Santa Claus Bruce” by the talented Ryan T. Higgins is a picture book that is certainly as much fun (or more) for adults to read as it is for the kids listening to the story. Higgins’ wry humor coupled with the extremely expressive illustrations make for a wonderfully satisfying picture book experience.

It’s winter and Bruce wants to stay in bed, but the mice and geese have other ideas. They want holiday spirit, and they want lots of it. They deck the halls, make eggnog, and put up the Christmas tree. Needless to say, Bruce is not in the holiday mood.

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‘I’m Scared’ and ‘I’m Silly’ are part of ‘My First Comics’ Board Book Series for Young Children

Acclaimed author Jennifer L. Holm and her brother Matthew Holm have created a board book series titled “My First Comics” with the goal of introducing very young children to the language of feelings. The format is that of a comic book, and the text is simple, with lots of onomatopoeia. The colors are bright, and the characters repeat in the different books in the series.

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Mexican Folk Art Bilingual Board Books

Three bilingual board books by Dr. Cynthia Weill and published by Cinco Puntos Press will delight young readers and adults, too. “Opuestos” (Opposites), “Animal Talk” and “Count Me In” all feature the artwork of artists from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This is an area filled with many types of artists. The work of different artists grace each board book. And each board book is bilingual, teaching the reader about concepts in English and Spanish.

Two of the books are filled with small wooden animal figures called alebrijes. They are carved and carefully painted. Some have parts that can be removed like ears and tails. There are many artists in this area of Mexico who create alebrijes. Continue reading

Three Adorable Board Books for Toddlers from Silver Dolphin Books


Even babies a few month old often love to handle board books. They run their chubby hands along the sturdy pages and turn the books over and over. Those book-ready babies will be enthralled by three board books just published by Silver Dolphin Books. The series is called “Bright Books,” and they are written by Megan Roth and illustrated by Emiri Hayashi.

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‘Welcome, A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals’ will Delight Youngsters and Parents


Mo Willems knows how to connect with kids. Kids love him. Librarians worship him. Really. And with the publication of “Welcome, A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals,” he proves that he can also appeal to an even younger group — babies.

This book is a really sturdy board book. The first page and the last page are mirrors, and as mirrors in picture books go, these are pretty good ones. Most young children will be able to recognize themselves in these mirrors.

The text is simple and direct. It begins:

OUR RESEARCH INDICATES This is YOU. Take a good look How remarkable it is that you are you.” It goes on to say that “You are a unique combination of LOVE + TIME + LUCK”

Many pages end with the text “…while we read this book together,” and an image of a parent and child happily reading a book. Parents (or guardians) reading with their children are, indeed, a happy sight to behold.

Other pages begin with “Thank you for joining us,” “Please enjoy your stay,” and “Your contributions are greatly appreciated.” Willems also includes “A few upcoming highlights” in which music, cats and stories are shown. Cats!

The book includes warnings for the baby, too. “Conditions may vary…” Willems warns that there may be turbulence and unexpected events. But the bottom line? Baby is loved. Now and always.

This book would be a perfect gift on its own or tucked into a baby blanket for a newborn. It will be enjoyed by baby and parent alike. In fact, it’s a perfect way to introduce a newborn to the joy of Mo Willems, and it’s just in time for his super compilation of all his Elephant and Piggie stories, which are in a book appropriately titled “An Elephant & Piggie Biggie!”

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover board book provided by the publisher, Hyperion-Disney, for review purposes.

Three Fairy Tale Board Books Perfect for Young Inquisitive Fingers


Fairy tales are all the rage, and even the youngest of fans should be able to get in on the action. With First Stories’ new books, “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” young readers will be able to hear the stories and actually move the characters (or other items) in the books with easy movements.

For example, on the cover of “Rapunzel,” her long golden hair moves up and down via a hole in the board that slides her braid up and down the side of the tower. Because these books are for very young readers, the stories are condensed.

inside'rapunzelThe first double page of the story says, “A baby named Rapunzel, with hair so fair and bright, was taken by a wicked witch, one dark and stormy night.” The illustration shows the parents grieving while the witch bends over the cradle where Rapunzel lays sleeping. With one gentle tug of the tab, the witch and baby disappear and reappear at the open door to the cottage.

The illustrations are beauty and the bestfairly cartoonish, but the toddlers who will be enjoying the stories and the moving panels won’t be examining them critically. What they will do is give youngsters a way to access the stories while having some fun moving the parts.

In “Beauty and the Beast,” there is a revolving panel with different food that appears as part of the feast that Beast gives Beauty. Delicious!

Please note: This review is based on the final, board books provided by the publisher, Silver Dolphin, for review purposes.