Jenny's Library

Reading Round-up 2013: week 20 – Board Books

Posted on: November 3, 2013

cover image for Good Night!Good Night! by Benoit Marchon

Good Night one and all! Everyone has a chance to say goodnight as the face in the cutout remains the same, but the pages turn to reveal all manner of people and creatures.  Unlike Spoonful, the face is easy to recognize as such and there’s no obvious gender stereotyping going on.  Overall, it’s cute and unique enough that I may have to add it to my staple of bedtime books to give to new babies.

cover image for SpoonfulSpoonful by Benoit Marchon

Everybody gets a spoonful!  (Of what, I’m not sure.)  As the pages turn, the people and creatures change, but the face (a cut out) remains the same.  Unfortunately, the personality that makes the illustrations so delightful also makes the meaning of the cut out shape less immediately recognizable.  Even worse, there’s quite a bit of annoying gender essentialism going on.  The pages don’t just alternate between a cat and then a dog, but also include (in order) a witch, a (male) firefighter, a fairy princess, and a (male) superhero.  No. Just…NO.  We really don’t need to presenting to toddlers that boys are heroes and girls are either witches or princesses. WTF?

cover image for I Say You Say Animal SoundsI Say, You Say Animal Sounds by Tad Carpenter

I say cat.  You say…MEOW!

With bright and unique illustrations, Carpenter makes use of a familiar, but popular, idea for little ones.  It’s the combination of repeating phrases and large sized flaps that makes this book stand out – together they both encourage children to complete the sentences and give them enough time to do so.

cover image for Surprise!Surprise! by Liesbet Slegers

A typical but solid “where is [baby]?” board and flap book for little ones.  I was especially impressed with the way the back side of the flaps were illustrated so that they blended in with the rest of the page, rather than simply being blank.  It’s a nice touch that is indicative of the care that went into making it a quality rather than a gimmicky board book.

cover image for Go! Go! Go!cover image for Let's Get Dressedcover image for Who's Hiding?

Go! Go! Go! by Scholastic

Things that go done in bright colors.  Pretty standard, except for the addition of textures and the oversized format, both of which help make this book stand out, but don’t quite make it a must buy.

Let’s Get Dressed by Caroline Jayne Church

Getting dressed has so many complicated steps for toddlers.  Thankfully, the chunky pages and flaps in this book are much simpler.  Also, I’m a sucker for cute, toddler-like teddy bears.

Who’s Hiding? by Scholastic

Cute “where is” type flap book.  The text is rhythmic and engaging. The illustrations are nice enough, but don’t stand out.

cover image for Baby Be Kindcover image How Does Baby Feel?cover image for Little, Big!

Baby Be Kind by Jane Cowen-Fletcher

Manners for toddlers.  Appropriate, but not brilliant.

How Does Baby Feel? by Karen Katz

Wonderful, just like all of Katz’ board books, with distinctive illustrations and big, sturdy flaps that should last longer than most.

Little, Big! by Amanda Wood

Tiny, chunky, board book about opposites.  Not very memorable.


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