Board Book Round-up, Part II
Chen, Eva. A Is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World. Illus. by Derek Desierto. Feiwel, 2019. [30p.] $9.99. 978-1-250-21599-4.
Arranged alphabetically, this joyful look at 23 notable women is for children older than the board book audience but will be very popular with parents and children learning to read. Each page features a famous woman, described in one sentence, along with a quotation in a dialogue balloon, and a collage illustration of the person. For example: “R is for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice and the queen of dissent.” There are women from various countries and representing various ethnic groups, including Sacagawea, Beyonce’, Oprah, and Wu Zetian. The final page is a mylar mirror, celebrating X, Y, Z, and “extraordinary you.” A solid purchase that might be found in the 920 Dewey number instead of the board book basket.
London, Jonathan. I’m a Truck Driver. Illus. by David Parkins. Holt, 2010/2018. [24p.] $7.99. 978-1-250-17506-9.
Originally published as a picture book in 2010, this will please many young vehicle fans! A simple rhyming text describes specific trucks: “I’m a FIRE TRUCK driver. That’s me behind the wheel. I race to all the fires. Hear my siren squeal!” Each full color illustration (likely done using acrylics), does a good job of showing a realistic truck, with cartoon people and animals as the drivers. Many of the rhymes include onomatopoeia, making this fun for storytimes.
McSween, Michele Wong. My First Mandarin Words with Gordon & Li Li. Illus. by Nam Doan. Cartwheel/Scholastic. 2008/2018. [24p.] $9.99. 978-1-338-25372-6.
Two cartoon pandas help readers with Mandarin words in this book adapted from three earlier publications. Most of the pages are divided into four quadrants with four words per page, giving the English, Pinyin, and Chinese characters for each item; pronunciations are given in parentheses. There are many animals, numbers, greetings, and other common nouns listed. The artwork is simple cartoons, making it easy for non-readers to guess the words. A very useful book for those learning Mandarin or English.
Swain, Heather. How Many Hugs? Illus. by Steven Henry. Feiwel, 2017/2018. [26p.] $7.99. 978-1-250-17500-7.
Couplets make up the text of this celebration of various creatures, focusing on how many appendages they have, and if a hug is better from an animal with multiple arms or legs. Beginning with no hug from a snake and moving on to three hugs from a six-legged bug, and so on, readers will learn how many legs certain animals have. Horseshoe crabs have twelve (that’s six hugs), sunflower sea stars can have forty, for example. The soft colors of the paintings are charming. The theme of hugs will be something that toddlers will enjoy, and they will learn about some unusual animals in the process.
Board Books Adapted from Picture Books
Cousins, Lucy. I Am Little Fish! A Finger Puppet Book. Candlewick, 2005-2018. [14p.] $12.99. 978-1-5362-0023-2.
Using artwork from previous Little Fish books, this board book has a cloth finger puppet permanently attached to the final spread. It peaks through die-cut holes in all the previous pages and the cover, allowing the puppet to interact with the fish in the artwork. The rhyming text is in first person, where Little Fish describes his interactions with other sea creatures. The puppet element limits this and may not hold up to library usage; stick with regular Little Fish books.
Cousins, Lucy. Splish, Splash, Ducky! Candlewick, 2018/2019. [26p.] $8.99. 978-1-5362-0004-1.
Ducky plays in the rain with his friends, often calling out “Quack, quack, quack!” making this ideal for storytime interaction. The deeply saturated child-like paintings add charm and will allow young children to guess the various animals shown with Ducky. Since this is a larger board book, it works just as well as the picture book version.
Dickson, Irene. Blocks. Nosy Crow, 2016/2018. [26p.] 8.99. 978-1-5362-0272-4.
Because this is nearly as big as the picture book version, the board edition of Blocks works very well, and is perfect for very young children. Ruby (who appears to be Latina) and blond Benji play together with blocks but have to learn to share. Luckily they do as Guy (who appears to be African American) comes along with his blocks. A very basic look at play that is ideal for toddlers, this works well at storytime followed by a play time. A really nice balance of text and artwork that may look simple but is really on point for two-year-olds.
Fallon, Jimmy. Everything is Mama. Feiwel, 2017/2019. [32p.] $7.99. 978-1-250-12583-5.
In his follow up to Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada (2015), TV’s “Tonight Show” host celebrates mothers as various baby animals all say “Mama!” Animal mother show an item and say the word: “Waffle.” Then the baby animal responds “Mama!” The full color cartoon artwork appears to be digitally created, featuring lots of animal parent-child pairs including turtles, rhinos, and penguins, although the animals are never named. Still, this is lots of fun and if done as a group read-aloud, the audience can call out the repeated “Mama!” This contains everything from the picture book version, just in a smaller trim size.
Teckentrup, Britta. Get Out of My Bath! Nosy Crow, 2015/2019. [22p.] $7.99. 978-1-5362-0274-8.
An invisible narrator asks the reader to interact with the book, by shaking the book side to side, or calling out a repeated phrase, all to help the elephant rid her bath of other animals. Not as dramatic as Tullet’s Press Here (2011), this is still fun, asking kids to use the book like an iPad. The mixed media artwork has a collage feel, with crayon rubbings. The picture book version will work better for storytime but this is nice for families to read one-on-one.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool