Younger Readers: Board Book Reviews by Tanya Turek

Submitted By: Tanya Turke

Tanya Turek, mother of three, a Parent Connection member, bookseller and kid’s book lover, shares her knowledge, experience and opinions on books in her reviews for ages 3-13 that can be read at Books For Your Kids.


Board Books Worth Buying

Sometimes it seems like buying board books for little ones isn’t worth the money. They chew on them, spit up on them and outgrow them by the time they are three. However, the board books your child reads now are the foundation for a love of reading and learning that can last a lifetime. Even though I am passionate about reading and I adore picture books, I have been prudent when stocking the shelves with board books for my three children. Since my oldest was born over 15 years ago, the selection of board books available has tripled. That makes it even more crucial to buy the (few) books your babies will love. And remember, books can go anywhere! I always kept a few on the changing table, in the diaper bag, in the car, and at grandma’s.


For Newborns: Black & White features Tana Hoban’s high contrast images of simple objects–keys, spoons, a teddy bear. The accordion-style format makes this book perfect for spreading out in a crib or on a changing table. Since newborns respond better to black and white than color, this book is a MUST.


For Infants: Babies LOVE to look at other faces and especially those of other babies. In my experience, books with reflective mirrors aren’t necessary. Titles I like are: Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Faces by Jane Wattenberg and Babies World Board Book: Babies by DK Publishing, but there are many to choose from.


For All Board Book Readers

Hug, story and pictures by Jez Alborough. This is a very sweet story with superb illustrations. Bobo, the baby chimp, can’t find his mommy, but Mrs. Elephant and her baby help him.


Goodnight Gorilla, story and pictures by Peggy Rathmann. As the zookeeper walks through the zoo checking on the animals for the night, a clever gorilla steals his keys and unlocks the cages. Look for the little mouse with the banana on each page!


Everywhere Babies by Susan Myers, illustrated by Marla Frazee. A wonderful rhyme with magnificently detailed illustrations that depict a diverse range of babies, families and loved ones.


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, pictures by Helen Oxenbury. Great pictures go with this classic song that all kids love.


It Looked Like Spilt Milk story and pictures by Charles Shaw. High contrast pictures and a fun guessing game make this book worth buying.


Freight Train story and pictures by Donald Crews. Great simple pictures with trains in every color of the rainbow. Crews’ story is short and to the point.


Also, be sure to have a few classic children’s books in board book format to read to your baby. This will familiarize her/him with the concept of sitting, listening, watching and waiting, as well as making for great mom/dad and baby time. Some wonderful books that are slightly longer than those suggested above but work well in the board format are: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell (pictures by Patrick Benson), and The Napping House by Don Wood and Audrey Wood.
Nursery Rhymes

To a small child, words are magical. And what better words to sing or read to your baby than Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes? They have been used for centuries to entertain and teach anything from counting to the days of the week. With the tidal wave of media that washes over our lives these days, simple things like nursery rhymes have gotten buried under DVDs, flash cards, interactive toys, and all the other baby products on the market. But it is so important to share these rhymes with your baby/toddler! It’s simple, fun and can even be free.


Visit where you can read, print and even listen to all of the traditional nursery rhymes from your childhood.


If you want to purchase a book, here are a few I like.

For Parents: Humpty, Who? by Jennifer Griffin is a useful book. Griffin presents what to read as well as a how-to-read with her collection of 80 nursery rhymes that include songs and finger-plays. She also annotates each rhyme, giving its history, background and explanation of things like “tuffets” and “pease porridge.” She also has a fabulous section with suggestions for further reading from the poetry of greats like Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and William Blake to secret weapons, like the yoga Om. And, best of all, a CD featuring the “Hell’s Kitchen Moms and Babes Ensemble” comes with the book so you know just how to sing those rhymes. All this for only $11.95!!


To read to kids: Except for the Real Mother Goose, most collections of nursery rhymes are made up of the standards: “Hey Diddle Diddle,” “Jack and Jill,” “Pat-a-cake,” and a few extras. The most important thing, then, is finding a collection with illustrations that you and your child like. Here are some of my favorites:


My Very First Mother Goose and Here Comes Mother Goose, illustrated by Rosemary Wells, collected by Iona Opie. Wells’ large, colorful, whimsical animal-filled illustrations bring these rhymes to life.


Sylvia Long’s Mother Goose is also a beautifully illustrated collection of rhymes. Long’s delicate watercolors also portray playful animal characters.


Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever! If your child does not have any books by Richard Scarry on his/her bookshelf, run out to the nearest bookstore RIGHT NOW!
You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman with illustrations by Michael Emberley is a great collection for emerging readers. Three colors of text tell the readers what and when to read out loud. This book is so much fun and a great way to get kids reading on their own. Also, Hoberman is the newest Children’s Poet Laureate.

Leave a Comment

Powered by WordPress | Deadline Theme : An AWESEM design