Book Review: Board Book Favourites
By Aruna Bewtra
My daughter is eight, and each year we go through her book shelves, donating a large portion to charity in order to make room for new books. However, there are a few of her board books that have withstood the yearly purge. We keep these for sentimental value as well as practicality (that is, for visitors with small children). These are the books that we read daily during infancy and even through preschool. If you are looking for a gift for an expectant mother, these will surely be a hit.
Sandra Boynton books
Sandra Boynton has written many, many books for children. I recommend any and all of them. They are funny, colourful, and upbeat. Our favorites were Snugglepuppy, Personal Penguin, and Hippos Go Berserk! Most of her books are meant to be sung (the melody normally will just come to you, but you could YouTube the title if you are unsure), which makes these books interactive, too. I would recommend reading these during the day, rather than at bedtime, as they are so upbeat and fun they can excite little ones.
Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
This is a picture book with very few words. Instead, the illustrations tell the story. This is a great opportunity for parents and children to make their own narrative, and for parents to be able to include the child in the storytelling process: “Oh my goodness! What’s that gorilla up to now?” This book is definitely a bedtime classic.
Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Pat Hancock
Another bedtime classic, this story for kids should be in every nursery. Its calm, repetitive narrative is perfect for lulling little ones to sleep. The illustrations are sweet, engaging, and funny. And the narrative is written clearly, so, as children grow older, this is a good book to practice sight-reading skills.
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
This is a very simple story for kids about a little boy who doesn’t give up. The illustrations are adorable and the story is written in simple, clear language. I liked this book for its easy, relatable lesson in perseverance. This is another book that is perfect for practicing sight-reading and sounding out words.
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
There are several different versions of these books out, each of them lovely. We enjoyed these books for the anticipation of the next page. Children soon learn the order of each animal and love to “guess” what animal comes next.
On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier
For sheer sweetness, it doesn’t get much better than this book. The story for kids is about how the whole world celebrated, in its own way, on the day you were born. There are some higher-level concepts in the story (such as leaves making oxygen), and it is longer than the average board book, so is probably best suited for preschoolers and above.
Baby Beluga by Raffi
This is another book that is meant to be sung. The illustrations are sweet, and the story for kids is relatable for all ages. The song itself is a perfect bedtime lullaby that parents can sing with their children. And because kids will easily pick up the words with the tune, they will enjoy being able to “read” this book on their own.
These are just a few of our favorite board books. I’m sure you and your little one will create your own collection of classics too. Happy reading!