4 Must Have Board Books

I am always on the lookout for board books that I can use for Baby and Toddler Storytime sessions at the Library or to give as gifts.  These are just 4 of many books that I think have something special about them and want to share with you.

Sing It With Me! Five Little Ducks

Illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang|Published by Nosy Crown\Allen & Unwin|R.R.P. $12.99

There are so many reasons why I love this book and it is my favourite to use for Storytime with babies and toddlers.  Apart from the reason that children love the Five Little Ducks song and doing the actions, this book is also hands on and enables the children to become actively involved in moving pieces of the books.  

There is a lot to look at on each page, from the ducks to the farmers in the background and animals rowing on the lake.  This book is particularly good for children’s fine motor skills because of the pushing and pulling of slides. Arrows guide the reader on the direction that each part needs to go and surprises with a new part to the picture.  As with a lot of nursery rhymes, Five Little Ducks teaches children number recognition both on the page and being able to sing the numbers as well.

One of the wonderful additions to this book is connecting to the QR code in the book, this gives the reader an audio version of the Five Little Ducks.  When I read Five Little Ducks to a group of toddlers they loved the interaction with the book and the fact that they got to push and pull the sliders just made it all the more fun for them.

It is quite a sturdy book and the sliders are chunky, this was a smart move by the publishers as it will last a long time with babies and toddlers.  This is very important for me when choosing a book that will be handled a lot.

This is a Nosy Crow book (who partners with Allen & Unwin in Australia) and they are by far becoming my favourite board books that are being made at the moment.

Where’s Mrs Zebra?

Illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius|Published by Nosy Crown\Allen & Unwin|R.R.P. $12.99

The simplicity of this book is what makes it a really lovely introduction to lift the flap books.  The flaps are made out of soft felt and are easy to lift up and down, particularly compared to cardboard flaps that are often harder to pry open.  The animals make it fun for discovering what noises they make, however you may need to find out what noises a flamingo and Rhino make – or make up your own.  The mirror at the end of the book is great for baby or toddler to look at their face.

Each page is bright, particularly the felt pieces which make each page stand out.  I like how the illustrator has gone against the norm and made tufts of grass orange, trees blue, and ant hills pink.  Some pages have patterns incorporated into the pictures, including zig zags and lines which are subtle but still recognisable to the reader.  As a whole this board book introduces concepts of colour, shapes, animals, discovery, texture and repetition.

My one concern about this book is that the felt looks as though it will easily come off. While there is always this risk when it comes to Look & See books, the felt is decidedly more fragile than board.  Apart from this one issue it is a lovely book to introduce to your baby or toddler.

Can You Say It Too? Tweet! Tweet!

Illustrated by Sebastien Braun|Published by Nosy Crown\Allen & Unwin|R.R.P. $12.99

This lift the flap book is very true of Nosy Crow’s form where they use clean and simple presentation to teach children, engage them through illustrations that make way for discovery on each page.  The blossom on the first page is particularly eye catching and the two flaps on the last page give your baby and toddler a little bit of a challenge.  This sweet book about birds encourages children to tweet along with the different species, each one different – Who’s that in the birdhouse? It’s a beautiful dove! Coo! Coo!

While there are some animals that won’t be easily recognised by children, there are also familiar animals on the pages such as cat, dog, dove, sparrow and caterpillar.  This provides you with the opportunity to introduce your child to new concepts and is perfect for children who are just starting to learn to talk.

This is one of my top books for sharing with a group because there is a lot of engagement opportunities outside of the set storyline, such as how the birds might fly, what noises they make and where they make their nests.

Look, There’s a Helicopter

Illustrated by Esther Aarts|Published by Nosy Crown\Allen & Unwin|R.R.P. $12.99

This books follows a helicopter on its journey, from starting the ignition to rescuing a family and their dog and as with most Nosy Crow books it is colourful and fun.  I think this book is more suited to a toddler than a baby as it has a bit more of a complex story line compared to the other three books above.

There is a lot on each page that you and your toddler can point out on the pages where the images are a helicopter, boat, balloons and birds flying.  At first I was unsure of what the purpose of the circles that are on each page was, however if you look more closely there are different patterns, the occasional bird and dog  that can be discovered by looking through the hole.

Overall, this book is another lovely book by Nosy Crow.

 You can find more board books like these at both Allen & Unwin and Nosy Crow

Thank you Allen & Unwin and Nosy Crow for the opportunity to read and honestly review these board books.

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