What is a board book? It’s a book sturdy enough for babies and toddlers to grab, chew, and read printed on thick paperboard. Board books make the BEST gifts for a baby shower or birthday or just-because. Children hear and learn new words, learn to appreciate the pictures and stories, and learn how we read a book front to back, right to left.
Recently I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. In it he talks about the 10,000 hour rule to achieve mastery. His examples are in sports and music and while he doesn’t mention it specifically, I think the rule would apply to reading as well. Don’t you? The more we practice anything — whether or not it’s hockey or reading (and intentionally with guidance,) the better we will be at that something.
Practice Makes Progress!
Start with babies. Get them reading. On a lap. Pointing to pictures. Eating the pages. Listening to the words. Associating books with love and cuddles.
Here’s a new batch of newly published great board books to consider for the babies and toddlers in your life.
Awe Worthy Board Books
Trucks and Friends by Sarah Gilligham
TWIST & TURN. Get those fingers ready as you read these darling board books! Turn the face from happy and smiley when you’re driving the fire truck to surprised and open-mouthed when you see a crack in the sidewalk to fix with your cement mixer.
LOOK! by Edouard Manceau
PEEK THROUGH. Imagine a large board book with a rectangular hole in the middle. That’s this book. Each page asks the child to look through the opening to find certain things in the room — different colors, different shapes, things that make noise, and so on. I love it.
Who’s There? by Alain Crozon
LIFT THE FLAPS. Lift-the-flaps covering the egg, apple, wing, fin, or nesting doll and see what you can find. I love the colors, the illustrations, and the onomatopoeia on each page — buzz, buzz, chomp, chomp. The flaps appear sturdy enough to withstand lots of kid-tugging. Also by this author: All Shook Up!
This Is the FIREFIGHTER by Laura Godwin, illustrated by Julian Hector
Know any firetruck-obsessed toddlers? Simple sentences with lovely illustrations explain everything a firefighter’s life. “This is the ladder attached to the truck, that reaches the lady and man who are stuck.”
Picture This Shapes by Judith Nouvion
See the dots on the ladybug wings. Or the triangle of the green moth. The diamond made by a devil ray. Flip through these beautiful nature photographs to find the shapes.
Picture This Homes by Judith Nouvion
Another wonderful nature photography book for babies and toddlers. See where different animals live — animals such as a Feenec fox, a polar bear, a clownfish, and a beaver.
Global Baby BEDTIMES by Maya Ajmera
Babies love photos — especially photos of other babies! In this sweet board book about getting sleepy and going to sleep, each page shows a baby from a different country. Some babies sleep in a cradle, some on their mama’s back, and some snuggle near a sibling.
A Surprise for Tiny Mouse by Petr Horack
TURN THE WHEEL. Mouse loves the weather of all the seasons except the splashy rain. See mouse run into the hole. Turn the wheel and see the rain stop so the rainbow can come out.
Black Cowboys by Kyla Ryman, photographed by Andrea Robbins and Max Becher
Predictable text (“This cowboy is . . . laughing.”) and photographs show black cowboys and cowgirls riding horses in this well-done board book.
Download my "can't put 'em down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!