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View from the lap: Toddlers can explore the world around them without leaving home | Board Books Roundup

The need for engaging books for the very youngest children has seldom been higher. From small-format, wordless books to those filled with fascinating details, recent board books allow children to investigate the world around them without leaving familiar surroundings.

 

As more caregivers are working from home, the need for engaging books for the very youngest children has seldom been higher. From small-format, wordless books to those filled with fascinating details, recent board books allow children to investigate the world around them without leaving familiar surroundings. Stories of family and friends, scenes of town and country and the natural world, and concept books that make ideas begin to resonate—these abound with humor, interactive elements, and opportunities for visual and verbal engagement. Luckily, with their sturdy pages, board books are nearly indestructible and are perfect for little ones to chew, flip, and explore.

ABBOTT, Simon. My First Colors. ISBN 9781441333070.
––––. My First Numbers. ISBN 9781441333087.
––––. My First 101 Animals. ISBN 978144133310.
––––.My First 101 Words. ISBN 9781441333094.
ea vol: illus. by author. Peter Pauper Pr. Jan. 2020.
Baby-Toddler –Simple primers filled with a variety of animals, these board books are strong picks. Photos of animals are used for easy identification along with a sentence to group spreads together, e.g., “We live in the ocean!” Showcasing little new, this is still a great choice.

BABIN, Stéphanie. Matching Game Book: Zoom! illus. by Ben Newman. 2019. ISBN 9782408012830.
––––. Whose Baby Is This? illus. by Camille Tisserand. 2019. ISBN 9782408015961.
ea vol: Chronicle/Twirl.
Toddler-PreS –Small hands will have no difficulty sliding the panels in a matching game of modes of transportation in the first title, and, in the second, revealing, pairing, and labeling young and mature creatures (shoat and boar, fawn and deer, kid and sheep, etc.). Opposite each right-hand page of six to eight panels is a scene depicting said wheels, wings, or animals in a range of locales or habitats, with facts and suggestions on extending the fun. It’s a perfect opportunity to exercise those fine motor skills.

BARKER, Scott. Dino’s Busy Book. illus. by author. Scholastic/Cartwheel. May 2020. ISBN 9781338645682.
Baby-Toddler –This interactive offering follows a dinosaur on his very busy day. “Run and chase. Then eat some lunch. Tasty leaves! Crunch, chomp, munch!” Each spread features a sensory tab with a different texture and pattern. A small circle on each page encourages readers to find the matching pattern within the illustrations. Bright digital illustrations will capture attention, and the sturdy construction will extend its longevity. Perfect for one-on-one sharing.

BARKS, Elias. Alien Baby. ISBN 9781948931090.
––––. Bigfoot Baby. ISBN 9781948931083.
ea vol: illus. by Meg Hunt. Hazy Dell. Apr. 2020.
Baby-Toddler –Chunky lift-the-flaps will engage little ones in these books about various monsters and the unknown. Each book follows the fun-filled day of the title character as they explore their habitats. “Who’s running wild behind the pine tree? It’s Bigfoot Baby happy and free!” The rhyming text and colorful illustrations will appeal to young children and keep them turning the pages. Both titles are durable enough for regular library circulation.

BEE, William. Stanley’s Paint Box. ISBN 9781682631867.
––––. Stanley’s Toolbox. ISBN 9781682631874.
ea vol: illus. by author. (William Bee’s Stanley Series). Peachtree. Mar. 2020.
Toddler-PreS –Add a little STEAM to your book collection as the popular hamster and friends stack and paint an assortment of boxes and build a tree house. Embedded are lessons on using and mixing colors and the instruments of each trade (“mixing stick,” “roller,” “drill,” “mallet,” etc.). Share these titles during preschool maker programs.

BEER, Sophie. Kindness Makes Us Strong. illus. by author. Dial. 2019. ISBN 9781984816399.
Toddler-PreS –Gestures big and small, from offering comfort to sharing, are shown in this ode to community building. The minimal text allows readers and listeners to comment on those engaged in a variety of actions. For example, two children bring cookies to another who is propped up in bed with a bandage on her leg; nearby, there is a pair of roller skates on the floor. Cheery artwork features a diverse group of children.

BERNER, Rotraut Susanne. Fall. Jul. 2020. ISBN 9783791374222.
––––. Spring. Feb. 2020. ISBN 9783791374093.
––––. Summer. Apr. 2020. ISBN 9783791374208.
––––. Winter. 2019. ISBN 9783791374154.
ea vol: illus. by author. (All Around Bustletown). Prestel.
PreS-K –Detailed cross-sections guide the eye through building interiors and across landscapes that typify a small bustling town and its environs. Astute observers can watch, as the year progresses, the seasons changing and various amusing scenarios and stories unfolding. Children will discover that a construction site that broke ground in winter is a school ready to open in fall.

BOYNTON, Sandra. Silly Lullaby. illus. by author. S. & S./Little Simon. 2019. ISBN 9781534452824.
Toddler-PreS –“Your pajamas are on/There’s a duck on your head” launches a serious dose of bedtime nonsense that morphs into song, musical score included. Boynton’s hallmark expressive chickens, sheep, and bears are all here (often in unexpected places), adding to the humor. Encourage parents to share this book as they put their own “sweet noodles,” “zoodles,” and “fibblety-fitsy foos” to bed.

BOYNTON, Sandra. Your Nose. illus. by author. Workman. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781523510214.
Toddler-PreS –This board book, adapted from the author’s song, will delight Boynton fans everywhere, with signature illustrations and a spare text that begs to be sung. This will be a great addition for story time shelves.

BRISSON, Pat. Before We Eat: From Farm to Table. illus. by Mary Azarian. Tilbury. May 2020. ISBN 9780884488330.
PreS –This new format of a 2014 title is a timely reminder about the people who feed our communities, from farmers and fishermen to truck drivers and grocery clerks. Vibrant woodcut illustrations by a Caldecott-winning artist underscore the sequence of labors performed before food arrives on our tables, while the reverential text lends itself to use as a mealtime blessing.

BURACH, Ross. I Love My Tutu Too! illus. by author. Scholastic. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781338504279.
PreS –A tutu enthusiast recruits nine friends in this comical concept book. Featuring an irresistible text (“I know a ewe/with a new tutu./You do?/I do./Woo-hoo!”), bold numerals, and cartoon characters in a flurry of pink, purple, and yellow costumes, the book’s diverse troupe gathers to, what else? Dance! Wacky and wonderful.

BURTON, Jeffrey. The Wheels on the Dump Truck. illus. by Alison Brown. S. & S./Little Simon. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781534442481.
Toddler-PreS –The familiar bus is replaced by construction vehicles in this sing-along board book. “The drum on the cement mixer goes spin, mix, pour,” and more. Soft, colorful mixed-media illustrations showcase each construction vehicle and diverse workers doing their tasks. Readers will love the new verses and enjoy examining their favorite vehicles. For all libraries.

CARLE, Eric. My First Busy World. illus by author. (World of Eric Carle). S. & S./Little Simon. 2019. ISBN 9781534443914.
Baby-Toddler –Familiar objects and scenes are presented in an oversize, sturdy book with multiple tactile elements: A bed has a soft red coverlet to pat; a ball, a green plastic finish to touch; and a bird proffers a furry blue wing to stroke. Signature, collage-style labeled illustrations are effectively spotlighted against the glossy white pages.

CROW, Katrine. Bellies. May. 2020. ISBN 9781486718184.
––––. Butts. Apr. 2020. ISBN 9781486718191.
––––. Coats. 2019. ISBN 9781486716616.
––––. Horns. 2019. ISBN 9781486716609.
––––. Scales. 2019. ISBN 9781486716623.
––––. Wings. 2019. ISBN 9781486716593.
ea vol: illus. by author. (Whose Is It). Flowerpot Pr.
Toddler-PreS –Stunning close-up color photos of animals will draw children into these question-and-answer volumes. Pages posing questions (“Who has hairy scales like these?”) zero in on the featured body part presented against a solid white background. Answer spreads (“An armadillo!”) showcase these magnificent land, air, and aquatic creatures in their natural habitats.

DEE, Noor H. I Say As-Salamu ‘Alaykum. ISBN 9780860376484.
––––. I Say Mashallah. ISBN 9780860376439.
ea vol: illus. by Iput. (Good Little Deeds). Islamic Foundation. Mar. 2020.
Toddler-PreS –These short board books follow a family’s activities and focus on different Arabic phrases. Nabil and Noura observe nature around them, and their father reminds them to say, “Mashallah,” or “God has willed it.” A few pages have special starburst shapes that prompt early literacy interaction such as, “Let’s Count the Stars.” The last page of each book depicts the phrase, the English translation, and the Arabic spelling. These titles will fill holes in library shelves that are looking to diversify their board book collection and add more selections featuring Arabic.

D’Haene, Maria. Who Is Making a Mess? illus. by Charlie Eve Ryan. Amicus Ink. Feb. 2020. ISBN 9781681525037.
Baby-Toddler –A board book built for giving every family a glimpse of faces like theirs. Mama is the mechanic under the car. Grandpa, the bronzed baker with a broom of a moustache, wears a floral apron, carries a glowing mocha baby on his back, and splatters dough everywhere. The seamless collection of good cheer, great efforts, call-and-response wording, and the conclusion that “Life is messy” will resonate with every household, bar none.

GILLINGHAM, Sara. Animals in the Sky. illus. by the author. Phaidon. Mar. 2020. ISBN 978183660246.
Toddler-PreS –This guessing game board book identifying constellations will be a winner on library shelves. Though introductory, it does a great job of balancing developmentally appropriate text and pictures. Each spread features a two-sentence clue (e.g., “I glide through the sky with my mighty wings. I have a sharp beak and powerful claws.”). The opposite page includes a full-page flap identifying the animal and shows what the constellation actually looks like in the sky. The blue palette and simple illustrations make this book perfect for one-on-one reading or small groups.

GRANT, Shauntay. My Hair Is Beautiful. photos by various. Nimbus. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781771087667.
Toddler-PreS –Afros, cornrows, and more are highlighted in this wonderful board book all about hair. Each page features a photo of a young Black child with the hair described in the spare text, while a mirror feature at the end encourages little ones to view their own hair. This celebration of natural hair is a first purchase.

​​​​​​​HEGARTY, Patricia. Flamingo. illus. by Fhiona Galloway. (My Little World). Tiger Tales. 2019. ISBN 9781680105988.
Toddler –Stopping for a drink, cooling off in the breeze, and swooping through the sky, a flamboyance of long-legged, brilliantly colored wading birds make their way through the day until night falls and it’s time to snuggle up. Vivid colors, a rhyming text, and die-cut pages (for fingers to lift and turn) add to the fun as numbers one to 10 are introduced.

HO, Jannie. Animal Parade. illus. by author. ISBN 9781947458819.
––––.LEMAY, Violet. Happy Baby. illus. by author. ISBN 9781947458796.
ea vol: (Tummy Time) duopress. 2019.
Baby –In the first few months of life, babies see only in black-and-white. These wordless concertinas feature an array of jaunty animals playing musical instruments and a bevy of round baby faces peering at viewers. On one side, images are seen in black-and-white; flip the books over and similar pictures appear in color. In both titles are reflective pages for infants to see themselves.

HO, Jannie. Vehicles ABC. illus. by author. Candlewick/Nosy Crow. 2019. ISBN 9781536208153.
Baby-Toddler –On each page in this book, brilliant background colors contrast sharply with the clearly rendered, full-page images. Accompanying each labeled vehicle is the corresponding upper- and lower-case letter of the alphabet. An essential primer on all things that go.

HOPGOOD, Tim. Wonderful World ABC. illus. by author. Holt. Jun. 2020. ISBN 9781250238818.
Toddler-PreS –An alphabet primer that stands out for its beautiful watercolor illustrations. While some letters have the traditional animal with them, such as an elephant for the letter “E,” most of the words differ from those found in traditional alphabet primers. Babies will appreciate the novelty mirror included for “Y,” which represents “you.” An alphabet board book that belongs on library shelves everywhere.

​​​​​​​HUANG, Yu-Hsuan. Peek-a-Boo Little Dinosaur. illus. by author. S. & S./Little Simon. May 2020. ISBN 9781534451797.
Baby-Toddler –In this small board book, a young dinosaur hatches from an egg; readers then follow their day. The bright, simple illustrations will keep little ones intrigued. The felt flaps show enough of each illustration to encourage young children to figure out the answers before they reveal each flap. A winner for board book shelves.

​​​​​​​JOOSTEN, Michael. My Two Dads and Me. illus. by Izak Zenou. Doubleday. 2019. ISBN 9780525580102.
Baby-Toddler –Told from the perspective of a young child, this book highlights multiracial families of three. Each spread features another trio in daily activities: There’s a trip to the farmers market and time for toys and crayons, a bubble bath, and lots of love. Painterly watercolor art radiates warmth.

JORDEN, Brooke. Flamingo Flamenco. illus. by Alex Zhdanov. Familius. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781641702355.
Toddler-PreS –From hippos doing hip-hop to sloths slow dancing, this board book is a colorful introduction to dance. On each two-page spread, readers are shown alliterative animals and dances. “When the wallabies waltz, it’s a fancy affair. But it doesn’t compare to the flamingo’s flamenco.” Each individual dance style is celebrated, and the lively illustrations will hold a young child’s attention. A great addition to board book shelves or for a dance party read-aloud.

JOYCE, Melanie. Wake Up, Farm! illus. by Jonny Lambert. DK. 2019. ISBN 9781465486097.
Toddler –One by one, Rooster wakes up the barnyard denizens who pop up from behind large, easy-to-manipulate flaps. When all the animals are awake, off they go to discover Farmer Jenny already hard at work heading off to the fields on her tractor. Bathed in sunshine yellows and verdant greens, this artfully engineered book is sure to please.

KASTNER, Emmy. Weather. ISBN 9781250312327.
––––. Rocks. ISBN 9781250312242.
ea vol: illus. by author. (Nerdy Babies). Roaring Brook. May 2020.
Baby-Toddler –In Weather, readers are invited to explore with the baby characters. Engaging text prompts answer questions as they learn. “Feel that breeze? That’s the air moving through the sky. Wind is moving air! Sometimes it moves fast, and sometimes it moves slow.” Various speech bubbles are on every page as well, adding more context to each new subject. These books contain great, developmentally appropriate information for older preschoolers who are always asking, “Why?”

KENDI, Ibram X. AntiRacist Baby. illus. by Ashley Lukashevsky. Penguin/Kokila. Jun. 2020. ISBN 9780593110423
Baby-PreS –In a mere nine steps, babies and toddlers can be on the way to being part of the solution. Kendi unpacks in concise language the elements for building a better human, right out of the womb. Despite simple steps, the goals are lofty—a more equitable world where people are valued for who they are, capable of life-changing conversations.

​​​​​​​LO, Rich. One, Two, Three Dim Sum: A Mandarin-English Counting Book. illus. by author. duopress. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781950500017.
Baby-Toddler –Items and small dishes restaurantgoers are likely to find on their table are served up in this delectable offering. Each picture of an object (one menu, two chopsticks, etc.) or food (four shumai, eight rangoons, and so on) presents the corresponding numeral with labels in English and simplified and traditional Chinese. Yum.

​​​​​​​LOEWEN, Nancy. One More Time. illus. by Hazel Quintanilla. (Bright Start). Quarto. 2019. ISBN 9780711244412.
PreS –A day out with Grandpa provides a lesson in perseverance for a child learning to ride a scooter. The first-person narrative explores the range of emotions that can surface when attempting something new and challenging, from anticipation and excitement to disappointment and, ultimately, pride. Black line drawings featuring blue and gray tones illustrate this can-do message.

​​​​​​​MCEWEN, Katharine. Who’s Hiding in the Woods? ISBN 9781536208207.
––––. Who’s Hiding on the River? ISBN 9781536208214.
ea vol: illus. by author. (Who’s Hiding). Candlewick/Nosy Crow. 2019.
Toddler-PreS –Peeking behind rocks and logs and under trees and bushes yields views of woodland and river creatures sleeping, nesting, eating, and caring for their young. Each flap also reveals a fact about the subject animal’s anatomy, habits, or habitat. Both diurnal and nocturnal critters are featured in these information-rich volumes filled with collage art.

MCLEAN, Danielle. I Believe in Bunnycorns. illus. by Prisca Le Tandé. Random. Jan. 2020. ISBN 9780593126431.
Baby-Toddler –For babies who love bunnies, unicorns, rainbows, and glitter, this is the book for them! A bear takes readers on a bunnycorn hunt in this delightfully silly board book. “Have you seen a bunnycorn? They bounce so high they fly! Bunnycorns ride rainbow slides and skip across the sky.” Glitter adorns various pages, and a slowly shrinking flower cutout will create a sensory experience for readers. Brightly colored digital illustrations complement the text perfectly. Recommended for most libraries.

MCLEAN, Danielle. Snuggle Tight, Kiss Good Night. illus. by Denise Hughes. Tiger Pr. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781680106015.
Baby-Toddler –A soothing text illustrated in sunset colors and shades of nighttime blue will lull young listeners to sleep as the wind sings their animal counterparts “soft lullabies” when they cuddle up to their parents in nests and dens under a luminous moonlight. Sweet dreams.

MORGAN, Sally. I Love Me. illus. by Ambelin Kwaymullina. Andrews McMeel. 2019. ISBN 9781524851163.
Toddler-PreS –In this celebration of self, characters enumerate all the things that they love: “I love my eyes, I love my nose, I love the way my curly hair grows!” The empowering text also embraces sensations and moods as the electric artwork brings home the positive message. Both author and illustrator are of the Palyku people of Western Australia, and the images are a nod to the Aboriginal art of the Pilbara region.

MOYLE, Sabrina. ABC Dance!: An Animal Alphabet. illus. by Eunice Moyle. Workman. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781523507467.
Baby-Toddler –Alliteration abounds in this silly alphabet book. Brightly colored digital illustrations depict various animals dancing in costumes. “The dolphins are dabbing. The elephants enchant. The foxes fandango—just look at them dance!” Young children will enjoy reenacting the dance moves and caregivers will appreciate introducing new vocabulary words such as vivacious and exuberant. A first purchase for libraries.

NUMEROFF, Laura. Happy Birthday, Mouse! illus. by Felicia Bond. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9780694014255.
Toddler-PreS –Given the choice of anything he wants for breakfast on his special day, Mouse can’t decide. Will it be pancakes, muffins, or a cupcake? In the end, none of those will do, but fans of this character may have a clue to what this critter favors. Shimmery cover art, featuring Mouse surrounded by balloons and confetti, adds to the fun.

PIXTON , Amy. Te Amo, Bebé/Love You, Baby. illus. by Stephan Lomp. ISBN 9781523509881.
––––.Hola, Granja! Hello Farm! illus. by Maddie Frost. ISBN 9781523509898.
ea vol: (Indestructibles). Workman. Mar. 2020. BL
Toddler-PreS –The “Indestructibles” line of board books adds new titles to the lineup, including Spanish/English titles. These board books are made with paperlike chew-, rip-, and tear-proof material; spare text and bright illustrations make them appropriate for the youngest patrons. A great series to add to library shelves, giveaways, and story time choral reading shelves.

PLOURDE, Lynn. Go, Grandma, Go! ISBN 9781534452220.
––––. Go, Grandpa, Go! ISBN 9781534452244.
ea vol: illus. by Sophie Beer. S. & S./Little Simon. Mar. 2020.
Baby-Toddler–Grandparents take an active role in these children’s lives, from puddle stomping and sledding to playground visiting and grocery shopping. A spare but lively text and a buoyant palette mirror the energy of these on-the-go adults and kids as they zip, zoom, slide, and dance through the day.

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PORTER, Mackenzie. In My Heart. illus. by Jenny Løvlie. Little Simon. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781534454330.
Toddler-PreS –This charming title follows a mother and child through their day, starting with an early morning wake-up and ending with bedtime for the child. The book’s refrain will speak to the heart of caregivers while providing reassurance to children. Lyrical scenes of diverse characters make this a first purchase for libraries.

PRIDDY, Roger. First 100 Words. (Bright Baby). Highlights. 2019. ISBN 9781684376605.
Baby-Toddler–Crisp, colorful photos illustrate pages devoted to “Farm Animals,” “Mealtime, ” “Home,” and more. Each spread poses a question: “Who says MOO?” “Which Food is YELLOW?” “Can you find a CIRCLE?” The queries are extended by pairing other animals with their sounds, foods with their colors, or additional objects with their shapes, found and identified under flaps. Visually delightful with an interactive element.

RAYNER, Catherine. Harris Finds His Feet. illus. by author. Tiger Tales. Feb. 2020. ISBN 9781680105964.
Toddler-PreS–A young hare is complaining about his big feet when his grandpa decides to show him everything he can do with them. From bouncing up high to running fast, the grandpa teaches the hare why his feet are important and how fun it can be to explore. It ends on a slightly sad note with the hare getting faster and outrunning the grandpa hare. Readers will learn about discovering independence, accepting themselves, and exploring the world.

RODRIGUEZ, Patty & Ariana Stein. The Solar System with Ellen/El sistema solar con Ellen. illus. by Citali Reyes. (Bilingual Edition). Lil’ Libros. Mar. 2020. ISBN 9781947971400.
Toddler-PreS –Take a trip around the solar system with Ellen, a brown female astronaut, in this bilingual astronomy book. Ellen travels from the sun to Pluto and back to Earth while making observations along the way. “78 moons go round and round with so many friends, Jupiter will hardly ever frown./78 lunas giran y giran con tantos amigos, Jupiter se anima.” Vibrant illustrations complement the text.

ROEMER, Heidi Bee. Hide-and-Seek at the Construction Site. illus. by Jannie Ho. Highlights. 2019. ISBN 9781684376506.
Toddler-PreS–Excavators, dozers, loaders, mixers, flatbeds, and forklifts—truck aficionados will squeal with joy as they follow a parade of vehicles onto a construction site, learn about each vehicle’s specific role, and watch as a school building goes up. Forty flaps send children hunting for hidden objects.

​​​​​​​SALGUERO, Andrés. Hello, Friend, Hola, Amigo! illus. by Sara Palacios. Scholastic. Aug. 2020. ISBN 9781338343687.
Toddler-PreS –This bilingual board book will have readers singing along. It encourages readers to welcome everyone into their life regardless of what they look like or what language they speak. Bright, acrylic illustrations featuring a diverse array of children and adults help further the message while complementing the text. A first purchase for libraries.

SIROTECH, Erica. Mail Duck. illus. by author. Abrams. Apr. 2020. ISBN 9781419739897.

Toddler-PreS–A quacking duck delivers packages to his friends in this lift-the-flap board book. Each friend loves a particular shape that starts with the same letter as their first name, and their house shape and the items inside reflect that. Every house and package has a flap to peek inside. Older readers will deduce that the animals are preparing for a party based on the packages. Filled with bright and cheery illustrations, this will be well loved by toddlers and preschoolers.

SPIRO, Ruth. Baby Loves Political Science: Democracy! illus. by Greg Paprocki. Charlesbridge. Apr. 2020. ISBN 9781623542276.
PreS-K –This timely addition to the series focuses on democracy in a developmentally friendly way. This nonpartisan introduction focuses on a mayoral race and depicts people making signs, sending letters, and going to a polling place. Colorful illustrations help contextualize some events that a little one may not have experienced yet. While this book will be well appreciated by traditional board book readers, it is also a great tool to explain this process to older children.

​​​​​​​SURPLICE, Holly. Snow Still. illus. by author. Candlewick/Nosy Crow. 2019. ISBN 9781536208344.
Baby-PreS –Soft illustrations depict a spotted fawn across a winter landscape as the creature chases a hare, slides on an icy patch, and spies an owl gliding high above. Browns, grays, and touches of green and red pop against scenes of wintry white. A mood piece, as quiet as freshly fallen snow.

TORNQVIST, Marit. Wake Up, Let’s Play. illus. by author. Floris. Jun. 2020. ISBN 9781782506263.
Toddler-PreS–This simple board book is all about playing. Each page contains spare text such as “Let’s play castles.” The vivid illustrations expand on the text, and little ones will enjoy looking and talking about them at length. This book invites imaginative play and is a great addition for library shelves.

​​​​​​​VAN HOUT, Mies. From 1 to 10. illus. by author. Pajama Pr. May 2020. ISBN 9781772780840.
Baby-Toddler –Graphically sophisticated, utterly charming, and a tad cheeky, this is one stunning concept book. Large, friendly animals limned in bright hues greet viewers across spreads of saturated colors, as youngsters are encouraged to count such things as crocodile teeth, insect spots, and cat whiskers. Delightful.

WALTERS, Eric. Bath Time! illus. by Christine Battuz. Orca. Apr. 2020. ISBN 9781459821309.
Baby-Toddler–Turtles twirling, raccoons rinsing, penguins parading, and more are described in this alliterative bath time tale. Each spread focuses on an animal and includes one sentence like, “Seals splashing in the sea”. At the end of the book, it is revealed that a young child is playing in the tub with animal bath toys. Cheery digital illustrations full of bright colors depict each animal in the water.

WEBSTER, Christy. Pterapunzel. illus. by Gladys Jose. Andrews McMeel. May 2020. ISBN 9781524858230.
Toddler-PreS–This dinosaur retelling of “Rapunzel” is just right for older board book readers. Readers are introduced to Pterapunzel and a mean witch who keeps her locked in a tower to sing. Following the traditional tale, a prince arrives and spends the day with Pterapunzel but is discovered as he leaves. However, Pterapunzel does not wait for her prince to come back and decides to saves herself. A bright palette and expressive facial illustrations will appeal to young readers. A great first fractured fairy tale.

WILLEY, Kira. Bunny Breaths. illus. by Anni Betts. (Mindful Moments). Rodale. Feb. 2020. ISBN 9780593119853.
Baby-Toddler–Willey and Betts provide easy, developmentally appropriate meditation practices to help children calm their bodies and minds. The book follows a bunny who is searching for carrots. “She sits up tall and holds very still. Can you sit up tall and hold very still?” A great choice for yoga story times or quiet reading.

WILSON, Katie. Colors. illus. by author. (Discovery Concepts). Flowerpot Pr. 2019. ISBN 9781486715664.
Baby-Toddler –Nine spreads, each highlighting a color, feature eye-catching watercolors, and an embedded textural element. The uncluttered pages depict a row of red vehicles, a copse of green pines, a parade of purple sailboats, and more. The minimal text and soothing palette make this perfect for young children, and suitable at bedtime.


Daryl Grabarek, former editor at SLJ, has held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Brooke Newberry is an early literacy librarian in La Crosse, WI.

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