Baby Board Book Round-Up

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

I haven’t reviewed my son’s reading since January. This is partly because I’ve been busy moving, but also because my son has been enjoying the books I’ve already mentioned. In fact, he loves all books at 18 months old. I can’t hold a book without him coming over and taking it away for his own perusal. This includes story time at bedtime. Most nights, I don’t actually get a word read because he’s turning the pages so fast!

He’s taken a particular interest in Let’s Dance, Little Pookie. He wants to dance and march at all times of the day. Of course, he wants to hold the book himself as he marches. It’s okay, though, because I have it memorized by this point. (See my review.) He also still enjoys Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb and “reads” that every single day. I also have it memorized. (See my review.)

This week he also won’t stop with Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. In this mostly wordless book, the Gorilla steals the Zookeeper’s keys, lets the other animals out of their cages, and they all follow him into this bed! Of course, then the zookeeper must take them back to the zoo.

Each animal’s cage needs a different colored key, so we match the key on the zookeeper’s belt to the correct animal’s cage. The bright colors draw him into this nighttime zoo. He must also love that he does not need to be able to read this book: he can tell the story with the pictures without the words. And then he can also say good night to the creatures in his one-year-old speech.

Two weeks ago, I did a post on Pat the Bunny and my son has been enjoying that book very much, as well as the other “touch-and-feel” books I mentioned.

At Sarah’s suggestion, we found a similar texture book from the “Usborne touchy-feely book” series, particularly That’s Not My Dragon, which I think is rather fun. The Usborne That’s Not My . . . series all follows a similar pattern. In this one, a few pages of “not my dragon” are followed by a page with “my dragon.” The reason why it is or is not “my dragon” is an adjective that is illustrated by the image or texture on the page: too soft, too squishy, too hard, too shiny, etc.

I have been feeling lately like I am in a Sandra Boynton rut: I always turn to Sandra Boynton’s board books when I’m looking for a board book to read. I just love her rhymes and illustrations, so this is good! But I have been hoping to find something new. A few suggestions from readers helped me find some new board books.

While You Were Sleeping by John Butler has gorgeous, soft, gentle illustrations as we count the animals around the world, all of which are awake while the baby is sleeping. I really like the illustrations (adorable animals).

I also found Georg Hallensleben, who illustrates a number of different types of picture books. In Anne Gutman’s Mommy Hugs, which he illustrated, mommy animals bond with their babies. The bright and rough paintings are quite attractive to me and I like the change of pace from Boynton and Butler.

As a side note, my son hasn’t paid much attention to these new books, yet. He’d still rather read Little Pookie and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb many nights. I’m trying for variety, but at least I know he loves his books.

What are you reading your children this week?

Reviewed on April 6, 2009

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • My little boy (20 months) love all the Usbourne That’s Not My….. books. I think they’re great for teaching them textures and body parts.

    I haven’t heard of any of the other books before – thank you for drawing them to my attention!

  • Jackie, It’s a fun age, huh! I must find more of the Usbourne. We have some touch-and-feel books but none of them had a “story” like the “that’s Not my…” book did.

    Kathy, I loved Mike Mulligan too when I was little! I just had to revisit it. I can’t wait until my son is old enough to love that kind of book too. Sometimes I get kind of tired of the board books….

  • My kids loved Mama, Do You Love Me? (I don’t remember who it’s by) and The Hiccupatomus, which is full of silly, made-up words. The first lines are “There was a hippopatomus who hiccupped quite a lotamus, and every time he gotamus, he’d fall upon his bottomus.”

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