Spring is around the corner and, along with warmer weather, that brings newborn baby animals. Here are some outstanding board books purpose-made for tiny hands promising to keep youngsters’ attention. The sturdy pages help keep the book intact and are brightly illustrated. These books are best for ages zero to four.
Mermaid Dance, by Matthew Van Fleet and inventively illustrated by Mara Van Fleet, is an oversized board book with six pull tabs that create movement with mermaids and animals that seem to dance off the book each time you pull the tabs back and forth. The rhythmic text dances right along with moves of the animals. There’s a surprise pop-up waiting at the end of this delightful book.
The Sun Shines on the Sea, by Michael Slack, takes on the simple task of teaching about the ocean’s food chain. This introduction begins with plankton being eaten by krill who then become surrounded by A shoal of fish. Each open page is filled with the colorful sea, created digitally, and has flaps to lift revealing what was just consumed by that sea animal.
Let’s Go Shopping: Bakery, by Nastja Holtfreter, begins with mama cat showing her young kitten the shopping list and asking for help to make sure they don’t forget anything. On the opposite page are the pictures of each item on the list. As they explore the bakery, each open page is divided into sections. As they look at the breads, there are many types on the opposite side. Mama cat asks her youngsters which bread is on the list. This is an excellent book for querying into memory and recall. Be sure to also check out the other book in this series: Let’s Go Shopping: Farmers Market.
Paper Peek: Alphabet, by Chihiro Takeuchi, is a clever book that on the open page has three alphabetical letters repeating throughout the book. The background is a solid bright color helping the letters jump out. On the opposite side is a cutout forming a shape of an object beginning with one of the letters. Behind that cutout reveals a wallpaper of objects. Turning the page are questions to locate a certain number of objects on that wallpaper. This is a brilliant concept that babies through three years old can enjoy and learn. The illustrations are made with cut paper. There are more books like this from Ms.Takeuchi.
Freight Train: Lift-the-Flap, by Donald Crews, is a reprint of a picture book but with board pages. This smaller version is perfect for youngsters especially with the sturdy pages. When the original book came out, it was a big hit with children and families and a Caldecott Honor book. This version is perfect with flaps and each train car in different colors. This will become a favorite!
Angelina’s Ballet Bag, by Katharine Holabird and ingeniously illustrated by Helen Craig, is a book in the shape of a bag with a story about Angelina preparing for her dance recital. This brightly designed book includes lift-the-flaps, a foil mirror, and a surprise pop-up at the end. This is perfect for all your little dancers.
Donuts!, by Lea Redmond and perfectly illustrated using gouache and watercolor by Flora Walcott, is a yummy, tasty-looking book in the shape of a donut! The first open page declares the two main types of donuts. The rest of the pages ask questions about differently decorated and frosted donuts. However, there is a secret ingredient at the end and you’ll just have to get this smallish round book, including a hole in the middle, to find out what that is!
Ten Little Birds, by 123 Andres and vibrantly filling every page with illustrations by Sara Palacios, is a bilingual book with English on one side of the open page and Spanish on the other. This counting book is filled with onomatopoeias and great fun to sing the different tweets unique to each bird. Each bird has a distinct personality and the text floats like each bird as they fly away. This same duo also has Hello, Friend with the same inviting text and pictures. Both are great fun to read and enjoy.
Chicken Soup for the Babies Soul: Everyone Shares (Except Cat), by Jamir Michalak and colorfully illustrated with each open page filling the scene by Katie Mazeika, showcases how difficult life is when you’re selfish and greedy. The other animals show kindness by sharing which eventually teaches cat an important lesson. Check out the other newest book in this series: Everyone Says Please (Except Cat).
Be My Neighbor, by Suzy Ultman, celebrates neighborhoods by getting to know your neighbors. A new family has just moved in and desires to bake cookies. But they are having difficulty locating their items needed. So, as they go house to house in search for cookie baking, they meet their neighbors. You get to help in the search by lifting the flaps. This delightfully interactive book is even in the shape of a house.Crack-Crack! Who is That?, by Tristan Mory, has a new type of innovation where by pulling each page up a cracking sound is created. There is a handle on each open page and a shape of a cracked egg appears. By pulling up on the handle, a cracking sound is heard along with a baby animal appearing. Each page has an onomatopoeia sound made consistent with the animal just hatched. The text asks Who’s inside the egg with the turn of every page. This is sure to become a favorite to all who experience this brightly colored book.
Crack-Crack! Who is That?, by Tristan Mory, has a new type of innovation where by pulling each page up a cracking sound is created. There is a handle on each open page and a shape of a cracked egg appears. By pulling up on the handle, a cracking sound is heard along with a baby animal appearing. Each page has an onomatopoeia sound made consistent with the animal just hatched. The text asks Who’s inside the egg with the turn of every page. This is sure to become a favorite to all who experience this brightly colored book.