Newtons Book News

Childrens Book Reviews

Creative Board Books

Often babies who are read to, end up loving to read!   So, I’ve collected outstanding and highly creative board books that will have toddlers and youngsters crawling and begging for these to be read to them.   I’ve divided this collection of books into several categories:

Let’s begin with “Baby Einstein” books.   This series promotes reading, thinking and perception skills at the earliest ages.   First Words denotes colorfully labeled pictures with familiar objects such as animals and food.   Pretty Poems and Wonderful Words also promotes language, but in a rich rhythmic celebration.   (Anytime you can find a simple poetry book for youngsters, it helps them learn to read through fun, rhythmic and repetitive patterns.)   This book is over-sized with more words hiding under flaps.   The series, “Touch and Feel”, has three new editions:   Farm Animals, Neighborhood Animals and Baby Animals – each has the signature style of vibrant pictures along with soft swatches of fabric to touch.   Look At Me!   Mirror Discovery Cards utilizes the fact that babies love to look at themselves.

Sign language books for babies are highly effective because they are designed to help baby and parent communicate before the baby begins to talk.   Sign Language:   My First 100 Words , published by Scholastic, and illustrated by Michiyo Nelson, has a lay-out that is easy and quick to locate signing you may want to teach your baby.   There’s even an enlarged poster showcasing the ASL alphabet located in the back of the book. Wow: Mealtime , published by Hyperion, has words that baby most often wants to commun-icate.

Scholastic has a series of books labeled “Little” that are designed specifically for babies through toddler age.   The Crawly Caterpillar is similar to the Baby Einstein books but the touchable fabric is much larger on each page.   Rhyme-A-Round is another wonderful rhyming book designed with the bright colors and shapes to keep the attention of your baby.   The many types of texture to touch are also inventive.   Playtime is filled with interaction that babies will love including texture, flaps and die-cuts.   There’s also a DVD geared for toddler learning. My Body humors babies as they are captivated with pictures about themselves.   There’s a mirror, and a soft touchy belly featured in this delightful book.   Twinkle, Twinkle Panda Bear is an effective and fun tool to promote reading as it’s a hand-puppet that fits like a glove with animals on each finger and thumb, as well as a small book. The back of these “Little” books are especially effective because they instruct parents on how to teach reading readiness.

Now, here are some great books with stories.   As mentioned before, babies love books about babies.   All About Me!   A Baby’s Guide to Babies , by David Salariya, has full-sized pictures of babies on one side of the book and a clever rhyming text on the opposite side.   Jessica Spanyol has a four book series about mini-bugs and their vehicles:   Keith and His Super-Stunt Rally Racer , Clemence and His Noisy Little Fire Engine , Bob and His No. 1 Van and Giorgio and His Star Crane Train . These wonderfully designed and illustrated books hail back to my favorite Richard Scarry books because the stories are great fun, there are many exclamations from each of the bugs on the side bars, and the parts of the vehicles are labeled.   Eric Carle has an adorable little book, 10 Little Rubber Ducks . Each toy duck is packed and shipped overseas, but the ship begins to sink.   What happens to each, (especially the last duck), will be a surprise.   He also has even tinier books, about 2 inches wide, that simply state one word per picture.   The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Favorite Words and The Very Quiet Cricket’s Favorite Words are two of these books.   Rock-A-Bye Farm , by Diane Johnston Ham, and illustrated by Alexi Natchev, will most likely lull your little one to sleep.   That’s exactly what the farmer does with each of his animals.   Lulu’s Shoes , by Camilla Reid, and illustrated by Ailie Busby, is the ultimate celebration of kids’ obsessions with shoes.   The touch, tie and lift-the-flap book will surely appease that feeling.   Karen Katz’s lift-the-flap books are full of bright and sparkly color – Where Is Baby’s Birthday Cake? will not disappoint.

The last group of books is uniquely packaged with the baby in mind.   Lullaby and Goodnight , based on the song and illustrated by Janet Samuel, has an unusual last page. The plastic moon is protruding, and by pushing the star that’s also protruding, the song will play. Micky Mouse Clubhouse: Where’s Pluto’s Ball? , by Thea Felman, and illustrated by Loter, Inc., has a clever rotating wheel that helps make the story interactive as your toddler tries to discover the missing toy.   Lucy Cousins has developed a series of tiny clip-on books for the stroller.   At last – a way to keep books from falling out and becoming lost.   These “Maisy” books have stretchy fabric with a link to attach to the stroller.   The books include Vroom Vroom, Maisy, Quack Quack, Maisy, and Munch Munch, Maisy . And lastly here’s a book to bring about imagination by creating animal parts.   Toddlers will love Mad Art:   World’s Silliest Drawing Game because they get to complete pictures with the dry-erase marker that’s included.   So let the babies begin drawing and reading!

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