Great Board Book (Great Gifts)

I meant to start posting a gift idea a day after Thanksgiving, but, well, life.  So I have some catching up to do! I wanted to share some lovely and exciting kid lit books that I’ve encountered that would make wonderful gifts for any holiday, birthday, or purpose. We celebrate Christmas, but we love to give the gift of beautiful, inspiring or informative words and images year-round …


A note: I will post items from Amazon because the site has a handy Look Inside feature. That said, I encourage you to purchase books from brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as independent and used stores (b-a-m or online). One of my favorite online book spots is http://betterworldbooks.com. If you haven’t visited them, you should. Really.


So, first up, board books …


Most folks go for the classics by Eric Carle and Bill Martin, Jr., Margaret Wise Brown, Mem Fox, and Sandra Boynton, as well as popular new series titles like Chris Ferrie’s Baby University books, Irene Chan’s Baby Loves Science books, and interactive books like those by Herve Tullet. Not to mention Jon Stone and Mike Stollin’s The Monster at the End of This Book. Those are wonderful, but I wanted to toss out some great titles you might have missed.


In no particular order …

  • Whistle for Willie, by Ezra Jack Keats I’m gambling most of you have read The Snowy Day, also a classic. If you love its simple perfection as much as I do, then you’ll enjoy Whistle for Willie, too.

  • The Wheels on the Tuk-Tuk, by Kabir Sehgal, Surishtha Sehgal and Jess Golden A lovely and fun twist on the classic Wheels on the Bus that takes you through the streets of India.

  • Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, and Snow White, by Chloe Perkins and various amazing illustrators I am SO excited about these titles. I’m not a princess book sort of parent, but these are beautifully illustrated and endearingly written. If you love the princess fairy tales, please consider these.

  • All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee Just a lovely, hopeful poetic jaunt through the best of our world. Also available in larger picture book format.

  • Hush Little Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, by Sylvia Long These have been favorite early reads for all three of my children. We still sing these versions of the lyrics, and Sylvia Long’s illustrations are enchanting.

  • You and Me, by Giovannia Manna One of my kids favorites. Are you a flower or a tree, a tower or a cave? Find out! This large board book is characteristic of the stunning illustration style of the Barefoot Books collection.

  • Haiku Baby and Haiku Night, by Betsy Snyder As toddler, my kids loved these illustrations, and I enjoyed reading the short, sweet but powerful haiku.

  • It’s a Firefly Night, by Dianne Ochiltree and Betsy Snyder I love this as much for its rhyming narrative as I do for its illustrations. Betsy Snyder has a standout style that my kids and I adore. (See her haiku books above.) And fireflies! Enough said.

  • Think Big, Little One and Dream Big, Little One, by Vashti Harrison There are lots of great new bio and lit board book sets out there as well as mighty girl titles. These two are probably my favorite.

  • Little Blue Truck, by Alex Schertle and Jill McElmurry If you haven’t found this one yet, you should. It’s another that I can recite because we’ve read it so much.

  • Bear on a Bike, by Stella Blackstone More from Barefoot Books! This one’s a favorite, colorful journey of ours, but we love all the Bear books by Stella Blackstone.

  • Grumpy Cat, by Britta Teckentrup He’s just too grumpy, but sweet, not to love. Britta Teckentrup has several great titles with her distinctive illustration style.

  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider, by Iza Trapani Our favorite version of this delightful nursery rhyme/song.

  • Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann We wore this very-few-words title through. Everyone needs to meet this cheeky gorilla!

  • Don’t Push the Button!, by Bill Cotter Another interactive reminiscent of that lovable monster, Grover.

  • Black Cat & White Cat, by Claire Garralon Simple and wonderful.

(from December 13, 2019)


Here are some additional links to more board book recommendations:

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