SPRING BOARD BOOK ROUND-UP
New Original Board Books
Borando, Silvia. Black Cat, White Cat. Candlewick, 12/2020. [36p.] $8.99. 978-5362-1603-5.
Black cat only goes out during the day, and White cat only goes out at night, so they meet up to learn more about each other’s experiences. This oversized board book has a longer text than most, with a few sentences per spread, but this should appeal to toddlers and preschoolers. The engaging story, repetition in the text, and graphic style artwork, combine to hold the attention of a wide age range. A fun surprise ending, too! Originally published in Italy in 2014.
Cousins, Lucy. Little Fish and Friends: A Touch-and-Feel Book. Candlewick, 09/2020. [14p.] $11.99. 978-1-5362-1512-0.
Little Fish speaks directly to the reader and introduces various imaginary fish and describes their bumps or fur. For example, Ele-fish has wrinkly ears, which are made of plastic embedded into the page. Most tactile books fall apart easily, but this one is quite sturdy and should hold up the library use. Cousins’ deeply saturated cartoon artwork adds to the fun.
Cousins, Lucy. Maisy’s Moon Mission: Push, Slide, and Play! Candlewick, 02/2021. [8p.] $9.99. 978-1-5362-1508-3.
With only four spreads, this doesn’t have enough content to make this a worthy library purchase. Maisy and her friends are astronauts who go to the moon and back. The full color illustrations have sliding doors and wheels that turn which may not hold up to library circulation. Better for home use.
Leroy, Jean. We Want Names, Too! Illus. by Matthieu Maudet. Harper, 01/2021. [22p.] $8.99. 978-0-06-301110-6.
Five pinkish toes complain that they don’t have individual names the way thumb and fingers do and try to decide how to be named. Should they be lettered, numbered, or named after colors? This may be confusing as many kids already have names for some toes, such as big toe or pinky toe, and the proposal to name them after fruit doesn’t make any sense. Originally published in France in 2010.
Pierce, Terry. Eat Up, Bear! Illus. by Nadja Sarell. Yosemite Conservancy, 04/2021. . $8.99. 978-1-951179-01-4.
This simple story encourages campers to store their food safely so bears won’t try to eat it since what we eat isn’t usually good for bears. There is a repeated phrase in each spread that makes this great for a storytime, and the full color artwork features humans of all races. The text is somewhat awkward; at times it rhymes but not other times, but this should meet a need.
Ware, Kate. What Can You See? At Night. Tiger Tales, 08/2020. [14p.] $9.99. 978-1-68010-615-2.
Facts for the very young are the focus of this die-cut board book, showing animals and people at night. For example, one spread shows a lake, and describes the activities of deer, frogs, and bats. Another shows a bakery and grocery store preparing for the day’s business. The die-cuts don’t add much but the deeply colored artwork helps to convey the facts. Recommended.
Adapted from Picture Books
Arrhenius, Ingela P. Farm Animals. Candlewick, 12/2020. [16p.] $7.99. 978-1-5362-1462-8.
Arrhenius, Ingela P. Wild Animals. Candlewick, 12/2020. [16p.] $7.99. 978-1-5362-0901-3.
Originally published as an oversized picture book Animals (2016), these board books divide the animals by habitat. Each entry consists of one page showing the animal, with the animal name but no other text. The full color graphic artwork resembles advertising illustration, and the name for each animal is set down in a variety of fonts. This could serve both babies as well as children learning to read.
Volpin, Lucy. We Love Dinosaurs. Nosy Crow, 11/2020. [24p.] $7.99. 978-1-5362-1443-7.
Originally published as a picture book in 2018, this has charm but is missing a key component. The text celebrates different types of dinosaurs, but doesn’t name any. For example, “We love the spikes that swing and flail,” but never mentions this is a stegosaurus. Also, the text says we “love their colors,” but there is no indication as to the color of most dinosaurs. In many ways, this raises more questions than it answers, although the watercolor illustrations are nice.
New Series Board Books
Davies, Benji. Bizzy Bear Airplane Pilot. Nosy Crow, 01/2021. [10p.] $7.99. 978-1-5362-1448-2.
In the newest in these interactive board books with sliding doors, Bizzy is a pilot and readers learn about the airport. Perfect for young toddlers taking a plane trip, this will help explain boarding procedures. The cartoon art expands on the rhyming text. If the others are popular at your library, this is a solid addition.
Dodd, Emma. When I Grow Up. Templar, 09/2020. [22p.] $9.99. 978-1-5362-1548-9.
Dodd, Emma. When You Were Born. Templar, 09/2020. [22p.] $9.99. 978-1-5362-1549-6.
Part of Dodd’s slightly oversized “Love You” series of board books, these feature animal parent and child in their natural habitats. Every other page begins with the title phrase, which makes for repetition that will engage young listeners along with the rhyming text. The full color artwork features thick black outlines and silver foil that makes the illustrations stand out. Nice for parent and toddler sharing.
Hegarty, Patricia. Bee Mine: A Springtime Book of Love. Illus. by Bryony Clarkson. Tiger Tales, 11/2020. [14p.] $8.99. 978-1-68010-639-8.
Hegarty, Patricia. Owl Always Love You. Illus. by Bryony Clarkson. Tiger Tales, 08/2020. [14p.] $8.99. 978-1-68010-640-4.
Animals are celebrated in these two rhyming board books with die-cut pages. In Bee Mine, various insects are shown and described. Each spread changes the main color in the artwork to reflect the colors of the insects. In Owl Always Love You, various forest animals get ready to go to sleep (even if they are nocturnal like owls). The holes don’t add much but the deeply saturated paintings add charm. Good bedtime books.
Huang, Yu-hsuan. Five Little Ducks. Sing Along with Me! series. Nosy Crow, 1/2021. [8p.] $8.99. 978-0-7636-9933-8.
Many of us serve communities where English is not spoken at home, so having these simple board books will help preschoolers learn these songs that will be sung at school. The sturdy sliding doors reveal the number of ducklings who swim back to mother duck in each chorus. Sure to be popular, and useful too!
Patricelli, Leslie. Doggie Gets Scared. Candlewick, 09/2020. [26p.] $7.99. 978-1-5362-0379-0.
Patricelli, Leslie. Mad, Mad, MAD. Candlewick, 09/2020. [26p.] $7.99. 978-1-5362-0380-6.
In the newest in this exemplary series starring a nearly bald baby (no mention of gender), a stuffed dog goes missing, and in the other book the baby copes with anger. The brief, sometimes rhyming text and deeply saturated cartoon illustrations will appeal to babies, toddlers, and emergent readers (as well as parents) due to the realistic plots and humor. Although the family is white, baby’s friends include people of color at preschool or at home. Highly recommended.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool