Tuesday, August 8

Top Board Books of the Month (August 2017)

We're going to change how I present my reviews (again). I think it'll be much better to highlight my favorite reads in each age category as a monthly review. So here are my favorite board books for this month!

Dinos on Deck!
Gareth Lucas

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-1626869387
Publisher: Silver Dolphin
Date of publication: June 13, 2017
Age: 2 -5 years
Format: ARC from publisher

Themes: dinosaurs, pirates, treasure hunting, sounds

"Join your favorite dinosaur friends on an adventure in the seas! Hoist the sails, press the sound buttons, and laugh along as a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a T. Rex and more search for treasure. What will these dinosaur friends find when they open the treasure chest?"

Simple, short, and definitely a hit with toddlers. I mean, pressing sound buttons? Having a book make all sorts of noises? It's really quite obvious. I admit, I wasn't the most impressed initially (it is noisy). But for something so short and sweet, it still packs in some good stuff—it names some dinosaurs, has a rhyming text, has bright (and funny!) illustrations, and has a perfect little surprise at the end. I'd recommend this as a quick and fun storytime addition. If it's a really big hit, you could also try Dig, Dig, Digger! (another of Lucas' noisy books, all about construction).

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Woodworks Nursery Rhymes: Wheels on the Bus
Elliot Kreloff

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-1626869561
Publisher: Silver Dolphin
Date of publication: July 11, 2017
Age: 2 - 5 years
Format: ARC from publisher

Themes: rhyming, play, buses

"The wheels on the bus go round and round! Climb aboard the yellow bus with this sweet playset featuring a chunky board book, a wooden school bus, and a playmat for added fun. Young readers will enjoy reading and playing along with their favorite nursery rhyme as they drive around the town and sing their way through the storybook."

Singing a book can be so much more satisfying than simply reading it.This book featuring the song The Wheels on the Bus is small, simple, and colorful. Really, this set is all about fun for tots: little chunky book (for little, chunky hands!), a toy school bus, and a large play mat to on which to drive that toy bus (it features city streets and bus stops). It's perfect for imaginative play. Overall, though, it wouldn't really work in a storytime or library setting—much more fun in a small setting, at home or one-on-one. There's also an Old MacDonald version, too, with a tractor and farm-setting playmat.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Flora and the Chicks: A Counting Book
Molly Idle

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-1452146577
Publisher: Chronicle
Date of publication: March 7, 2017
Age: 2 - 5 years
Genre: Educational
Format: library book

Themes: counting, chickens, eggs,

"When a nest of eggs begins to hatch, just how many are there? And how will Flora ever keep up with so many chicks? Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle's graceful artwork, this counting book will delight young children as they master new words and concepts."

The story is in the pictures, with Idle's soft illustrations full of movement and grace. Each page's text is simply a number (it is a counting book after all), so the star is Flora and her adorable chicks. My toddler had fun with the fold-out pages (though was a tad disappointed that not every page had them) and we "cheeped" for each newly hatched chick--a way to make the counting even more fun. Since the emphasis is on the illustrations, I'd recommend this for a more intimate storytime session, enjoying all the aspects of the art.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals
Mo Willems

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-1484767467
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of publication: May 30, 2017
Age: 0 and up (yes, literally everybody)
Format: library book

Themes: babies, family relationships, how-to

"Mo Willems' introductory guide for new arrivals welcomes readers to the world using bold, eye-catching graphics and clever text that is perfect for reading aloud. With a fun and heartwarming message, Welcome playfully interacts with the reader with its meta-humor, while addressing such topics such as injustice, cats, friendship, and family. This one-of-a-kind guide to the world is a must-have for infants and new parents alike."

Okay, this isn't technically a board book. It just has really thick paper pages. BUT it's for babies, so I'm including it here. Okay, it's really for adults, too. The point is: it's a great book for a baby storytime. The illustrations are bright, with stark contrast--perfect for a developing baby's eyesight. It even has mirror pages, for admiring a baby's own reflection. The text? Well, that's really for the adults. It's a humorous how-to pamphlet for...well, life. The life of a baby, anyway. It's a meta instruction manual. Sweet and snarky all at once. Basically, it's a fantastic way to get parents excited to read to their newborns.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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