Books open a child’s world in so many diverse and enchanting ways. This adventure can begin for a child even as a baby with the sharing of board books. Sharing books with a baby or young child encircled in ones arms not only creates for her a warm and secure space, but also stimulates with color, shape and even texture. And, of course, besides inciting the visual, the books simple words expose children to developing vocabulary, rhyme and sometimes even the fun of letters combined to create familiar or nonsensical sounds. Originally, board books were simply popular picture books reformatted. Today, however, many radiate creativity and produce truly unique experiences. Below is a sampling of just a few board books we have in our collection.
Hippopposites by Janik Coat
An imaginative, consistent use of a simplified hippopotamus shape is used to visually convey opposites such as in front/behind or thin/thick. But Coat’s creation goes further than the traditional opposite words by introducing such words as clear/blurry and invisible/visible. Even a 4 or 5 year old might find these pages fascinating.
Rhyme Flies by Antonia Pesenti
“With Foldout Pages!” announced on the front, one knows something engaging is bound to happen within this book’s covers. And sure enough beginning with the first page, we are not disappointed. The word Alarm Clock in bold print on the left is faced by a simple picture of a nightstand upon which sits an alarm clock and to the right the partial depiction of a bed with a teddy bear’s face peering up from the bottom corner. Unfold the page and the rhyming word is Alarm Croc with the accompanying picture identical to the first except now a crocodile stands in front of the nightstand with the alarm clock cleverly standing in for his face. My favorite is Spoon of Marmalade transforming to an ingenious work of art for Moon and Starmalade upon unfolding the page.
The Game of Patterns by Hervé Tullet
Tullet’s books are creations that exhibit innovation and whimsy. If you and your young child have not discovered his interactive books, make sure to check our catalog for some. A couple are board books but most are filed in the Easy section. Press here gives a child a sense of magical control, as he follows the simple instructions with the turn of each page. The board book, The Game of Patterns, introduces children to patterns that are subtly changing. The author challenges the child to find as many differences as she can. This book is actually directed to children 3 years plus.
Gallop! by Rufus Butler Seder
Gallop! has been around for 12 years continually fascinating young children. Through the technique of scanimation, animals appear to be galloping, strutting and soaring across each page. The rhyming text and the nonsensical words rounds out this visual, auditory adventure that children will want to experience again and again!
I can’t conclude this month’s column on board books without giving a nod to Sandra Boynton’s charming books filled with her silly, endearing animal characters. Whether it’s Pajama Time, Hey! Wake Up! or Belly Button Book!, there will be chuckles and giggles as adults and children have fun sharing them together.