Newtons Book News

Childrens Book Reviews

Babies + Books = Bright Happy People

Last week I reviewed outstanding books for newborns, babies and toddlers. This week I conclude my review for babies with interesting and uniquely packaged books. All of the books are sturdy board books, except for the books with asterisks, as those are pop-up books.  All books listed are good for babies and toddlers.

*Itsy Bitsy Spider, by Richard Egielski, is an adorable and amazing pop-up book based on the familiar nursery rhyme.  Itsy Bitsy is a miniature little spider dressed up in a baseball cap trying to get home where his mom awaits him. Each page gloriously pops out as you begin to see the creative miniature city that surrounds the drain pipe where Itsy Bitsy fell down. This will be re-read and sung over and over again.

My Turtle and Me, by Owen Bernstein, is a story about a young boy who takes his little stuffed turtle outside to play and everywhere else he goes, including to bed.  In the corner of the book is a small turtle that lights up when pushed.

Popposites: The Pop-up opposites book!, created and illustrated by Mike Haines and Julia Frohlich, is a highly entertaining way to teach the concept of opposites.  Each page is sturdy and has many interactive features that help teach youngsters this concept, which includes tabs to pull on every page.

Baby Faces, by Mallory Loehr, and illustrated with a baby’s face filling each page of this smallish-size book by Vanessa Brantley Newton, features smiling faces and with the pull of a tab each expression changes.

Good Morning, Sunshine, by Sandra Magsamen, is another interactive smallish-size book that features familiar food that youngsters can pull tabs and open flaps to discover what’s for breakfast.

Bizzy Bear, by Benji Davies, is a series of books featuring chunky sliders to push and pull making it difficult to rip or ruin. The newest editions are “Fire Rescue” and “Pirate Adventure”.

One Spotted Giraffe, by renowned Petr Horacek, helps youngsters count with a brightly painted animal that pops out on each page. The opposite page features the same animal in multitudes depending on the number represented.

*Rumble! Roar! Dinosaurs: A Prehistoric Pop-Up, and Princess Like Me: A Royal Pop-Up, both by one of my favorite paper engineers: Matthew Reinhart, follows two other pop-up books he published last year that is sturdier and better suited for the very young.  All of these books are inexpensive and are painted to invite youngsters again and again.

*Icky Sticky Monster, by Jo Lodge, is filled with vivid color from cover to cover.  This Monster is so silly with his rhyming awful antics that he teaches good manners from how not to act. There are a few pop-ups included.

*The Little Yellow Box, by my other favorite paper engineer, David A. Carter, is a simple pop-up book that transforms the yellow box into different objects (a helicopter, the back of a truck, etc.). There is minimal text but the black background makes the movements and shapes jump out.

Playbook Farm, by Corina Fletcher, and uniquely designed and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup, is an very creative book that (after first reading the detailed pop-up part) actually transforms into a 3D farmyard landscape play-mat. There are even cardboard farm animals, tractors and farmers that will stand up. This is a perfect book to encourage invention, dialogue and creativity.

It’s a Small World: Guess Who!, by Laura Driscoll, and illustrated by Nancy Kubo, features different animals from locations around the world. But what makes this book inviting for the very young is the shiny mirror on every page for babies to see themselves.  There’s also “Let’s Count!” in this same series with flaps that lift to count the objects underneath each flap.

Noodle, by Marion Billet, is a series of books about an adorable panda bear. The newest publications are “Noodle Loves to Eat” and “Noodle Loves the Beach”. What makes these simple books great for the very young is there is texture on every page for babies to touch and feel.  Also, the text is simple, repetitive and includes a large font.

Kaleidoscope, by Salina Yoon, has an inventive kaleidoscope on the cover that you can open and not only see the layered colors inside but you can also unfold the cover allowing you to see the world through the kaleidoscope.  Each page inside is layered with different shapes and colors enabling the effect to continue to the end.

Lots of Lambs, by Laura Numeroff, and illustrated by Lynn Minsinger, is a story about many different kinds of lambs (morning lambs, nighttime lambs, etc.). There are flaps to lift, wheels to turn and texture to feel. This book has it all.

Curious George Everyday Shapes, illustrated by Greg Paprocki, and based on the character by Margret and H. A. Rey, is actually a puzzle book with basic shapes that actually come out of the book.

Animal Sounds!, by Tad Carpenter, has recognizable animals that ask what each animal says. You discover your answer by lifting each flap.

Animals on the Farm, by Chris Hernandez, and designed by Daniel Moreton, is actually a book with sound and music.  Just push a button to see what each animal sounds like.

Little Chick: Three Little Stories, by Amy Hest, and illustrated by Anita Jeram, is the perfect assortment of books to take on the go. The three books are small and packaged to stay together and of course they are all sturdy board books.

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