January 2016 Baby & Toddler Picks


I have to say that I was surprised by how few highly recommended board books I came across while putting together this first list for babies and toddlers. There were few professional reviews on new board books and not many reviews from readers. It seems kinda weird to me, since doctors, teachers, experts of all types encourage parents to start reading to their kids from the time that they’re born. So these early books are important, right?

I’m not sure if there’s a seen one, seen ‘em all mentality amongst reviewers regarding board books. As if maybe reviewers read these books thinking something like, oh gee, "dog... cat... mommy... daddy..." GRIPPING!! Or maybe it’s just that the staying power of good classic baby/toddler books takes these new books out of the spotlight. Example... Brown Bear, Brown Bear was published in 1967.

On top of the shortage of reviews, I had a hard time locating these books at my library, which doesn’t have as many books as, say, the New York Public Library, but they have a lot. It’s important to me that the books on this site are available at most libraries. Cuz, ya know, you can read them for free. I know people who don’t use the library for different reasons, but for a lot of people, myself included, the library’s the only way they can bring home a ton of fantabulous stories, annddd prevent their house from turning into one big pile of books (actually that’s not true – mine’s still a big pile of books, but I could take them back, so I think that technically means I can’t be declared a hoarder.) Definitely.

I was especially bummed that I wasn’t able to get my hands on a copy of I Can Roar!, Look, and A Surprise for Tiny Mouse. I am looking forward to reading Early Bird, which looks so beautiful and amazing and my library does have it. (YAY!!) I was also able to read Where Do I Sleep? It's wonderful. The book is centered around wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, but most of the animals in the book can be found throughout North America.

Anyhow, I’m going to dig deep next month to see if I can find some great resources for new board books, but if there really is a shortage of board book superstars, I might just switch to theme-based recommendations, written throughout the years – hmmm, thinking something sun-centered sounds perfect right about now. :)


 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Duck & Goose Colors Book Cover
Duck & Goose Colors
by Tad Hills
published January 6, 2015

Learn colors with New York Times bestselling odd couple Duck & Goose! Duck & Goose introduce basic colors in this sturdy board book, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Here's another concept book starring our favorite feathered friends.

"Duck and Goose have taken their places alongside Frog and Toad and George and...READ MORE

A Surprise for Tiny Mouse Book Cover
A Surprise for Tiny Mouse
by Petr Horacek
illustrated by Petr Horacek
published September 8, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews  

Follow Tiny Mouse through all kinds of weather in a delightful, interactive concept book by award-winning author-illustrator Petr Horacek.

Tiny Mouse loves nibbling corn in the sunshine. She loves the crackle of the leaves in the wind. She even loves the snowflakes when they tickle her nose. But when...READ MORE

Boats Go Book Cover
Boats Go
by Steve Light
published March 3, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews  

All aboard! Sail away with 8 noisy boats, as they toot, chug, clang, and splash their way across the water! The sturdy pages feature a fireboat, tugboat, cruise ship, paddleboat, speedboat, sailboat, submarine, and gondola, and encourage young readers to chime in with all the noises each makes—ssshhhh cling-clang FLAP...READ MORE

Good Night! Book Cover
Good Night! (Animal Sounds)
by Ethan Long
published September 1, 2015

A string of comically stylized parent-and-child animal pairs say “good night” and “sleep tight” to each other in masterful couplets—a chick’s “cheep cheep” is answered by a chicken’s “cluck cluck”; a puppy’s “ruff ruff” is returned with a dog’s “woof woof”—all leading up to a human toddler and her dad...READ MORE

Look Book Cover
by Édouard Manceau
illustrated by Édouard Manceau
published March 17, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly  

This oversized board book is an invitation to play: when the book is opened, a die-cut in the middle of the book frames the world around the reader, allowing him or her to compare what they see on the page with what they see through the die-cut. Each spread presents...READ MORE

Crybaby Book Cover
by Karen Beaumont
illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
published August 18, 2015

Hush, hush! Rush, rush! When Baby cries, her family and neighbors try to stop her tears and help her to sleep. But all their rushing and hushing, tickling and rocking, and feeding and burping can't stop Baby's tears. Roy, the old retriever, knows what Baby needs to fall asleep―her little white...READ MORE

Early Bird
by Tony Yuly
illustrated by Tony Yuly
published January 27, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist

Early Bird wakes up before the sun. She is hungry. What will she have for breakfast?

With language that emphasizes action words, this is a fun story for morning, nighttime, any time.READ MORE

Toes, Ears, & Nose! Book Cover
Toes, Ears, & Nose!: A Lift-the-Flap Book (Lap Edition)
by Marion Dane Bauer
illustrated by Karen Katz
published January 6, 2015

Play peekaboo with Baby in this bestselling lift-the-flap concept book, now available in a lap-size board book edition!

Inside my mittens I’ve got...

Baby is bundled in a mountain of clothes! As little ones lift the large, sturdy flaps to find out what’s underneath each piece of...READ MORE

I Can Roar Cover
I Can Roar!
by Frank Asch
published August 1, 2015

This engaging board book offers a unique interactive experience for young children. Each page introduces a different animal with a suggestion for how a child can imitate that animal, such as .I can roar like a lion. and .I can snap like a turtle.. In place of the animal's face...READ MORE

Where Do I Sleep?: A Pacific Northwest Lullaby
by Jennifer Blomgren
illustrated by Andrea Gabriel
published August 4, 2015

Based on the best-selling picture book of the same title, this adorable board book features colorful illustrations of sleeping baby animals accompanied by a melodic lullaby.READ MORE

Add new comment

Share This Page

Hello there!

Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of three -- a teen daughter, a preschool-aged son, and a newborn boy.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

Sarah's Photo

Let's Keep in Touch!

  • Find us on Facebook
  • Find us on Pinterest
  • Follow us on Twitter