April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

EDITORS’ PICKS: New Board Book Favorites

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BLAIR, Karen. Baby Animal Farm. illus. by Karen Blair. 16p. Candlewick. Apr. 2014. Board $6.99. ISBN 9780763670696.

Babies meet babies–ducklings, goslings, lambs, and more–in this endearing look at barnyard animals and the sounds they make.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

BRAUN, Sebastien. Who Can Jump? ISBN 9780763667535.

––––. Who Can Swim? ISBN 9780763667528

ea vol: illus. by Sebastien Braun. 14p. (Lift the Flap Series). Candlewick. Mar. 2014. Board $6.99.

Readers are asked the same simple question on each double-page spread: Who can jump? A seated animal on the right side of each page offers a big clue. When the flap is lifted, the animal is shown in motion with the answer. (“Who can jump? A frog can jump.”) Thickly applied paint and bold black outlines make the illustrations pop. Ideal for toddler storytimes.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

JONES, Sarah. Bunnies Near and Far. ISBN 9781936669226.

––––. Orange Triangle Fox. ISBN 9781936669219.

ea vol: illus. by Sarah Jones. 14p. Blue Manatee. Apr. 2014. Board $7.99.

Soft watercolor washes and playful cartoon-style animals adorn these charming board book offerings. In Bunnies Near and Far, counting to 10 and the concept of opposites is explored through a funny and simple rhyming story. In Orange Triangle Fox, Jones cleverly presents each animal in one color scheme and a recognizable shape (the “yellow star frog” is particularly inventive.)–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

MCBRATNEY, Sam. Look What I Can Do. illus. by Anita Jeram. 16p. (Guess How Much I Love You Series). Candlewick. 2014. Board $9.99. ISBN 9780763670641.

The Little Nutbrown Hare, along with the Big Nutbrown Hare, explore the world around them, tackling weather, sounds, numbers, and more in this interactive concept book. Gentle watercolor illustrations, dialogue between the two animals, and a lift-the-flap feature all work to make this a treat for fans of the Little Nutbrown Hare.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

PATRICELLI, Leslie. Toot. illus. by Leslie Patricelli. 24p. Candlewick. Mar. 2014. Board $6.99. ISBN 9780763663216.

It’s a plain fact: bodily functions and the sounds they make are funny. In Patricelli’s latest, a toddler joyfully discovers his ability to, well, toot. He toots like a train, he toots on his trike, he toots in music class. Even better, the little tooter discovers that everyone does it—even mom and dad. What a gas!–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

SAMOUN, Abigail. How Gator Says Good-bye!. ISBN 9781454908210.

––––. How Hippo Says Hello! ISBN 9781454908203.

ea vol: illus by. Sarah Watts. 22p. Sterling. 2014. Board $6.95.

A jet-setting gator and hippo visit seven different countries and teach readers how to say hello and goodbye in various languages (“He says ‘Bonjour! in France….He says ‘Konichiwa’ in Japan.”) Accompanying each new word is a simple phonetic spelling. Librarians who sing hello and goodbye songs in storytime will be inspired to add a bit of international flavor with these colorful and fun offerings.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

SCHAMP, Tom. Otto in the City. illus. by Tom Schamp. 32p. Tate. Mar. 2014. Board $24.95. ISBN 9781849761673.

A zany, madcap look at traffic jam from the point of view of a cat and his father invites readers to explore this oversized board book, flipping it upside down and sideways to follow text and peer into spreads crammed full of hilariously creative details.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

SIMINOVICH, Lorena. You Are My Baby: Ocean. illus. by Lorena Siminovich. 10p. (You Are My Baby Series). Chronicle. Mar. 2014. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781452126500.

Two books in one feature larger pages showing a parent animal with nestled smaller pages featuring the baby. Readers can enjoy each story on its own or turn the big and little pages in sequence to pair these creatures from the ocean deep. Adorable gouache illustrations of smiling octopuses, whales, turtles, and others will warm readers’ hearts.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

TULLET, Hervé. The Eyes Game. illus. by Hervé Tullet. 14p. Phaidon. 2014. Board $9.95. ISBN 9780714866895.

Master illustrator Tullet brings his trademark eclectic style once more to the littlest book lovers. Featuring cats, robots, aliens, and more, all with die-cuts in place of their eyes, this quirky offering invites readers to hold their own faces up to the book to take part in an original new game.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

ZUCKERMAN, Andrew. Creature: Colors. ISBN 9781452116686.

––––. Creature: Numbers. ISBN 9781452116679

ea vol: photos by Andrew Zuckerman. 20p. Chronicle. Mar. 2014. Board $7.99.

The animals from Creature ABC (Chronicle, 2009) are back in a series of board books that focus on simple concepts. Colors and Numbers feature Zuckerman’s stunning photography set against a crisp white background. Elegant and visually enthralling.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.



  1. Rachel Payne says:

    So glad you are giving a shout out to board books!