I’m going to be honest. If you have had a baby in the past year or two, you have probably been given one or more of these books from me. These 15 board books are some of my most recent favorites. All of them have come out, within the past 6 years.
Now, why am I writing this post? As a bookseller, it gets difficult seeing patron after patron, ask for the same books repeatedly for baby shower gifts. Some of these include:
- Goodnight Moon (board book edition, 1991)
- Pat the Bunny (board book edition, 1940)
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar (board book edition, 1994)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (board book edition, 1996)
All of these books are AMAZING don’t get me wrong. However, it makes you wonder, how many returns or exchanges are made after the receiver is given one. Do they keep all 5 copies of the same title? Maybe I am wrong. Maybe because I live in a book world and know that a lot of friends will get me books for my baby shower, I am over compensating. Maybe a lot of the non-bookseller’s friends focus on blankets and diapers? Either way, here are my picks, one by one for you to discover!
What a Wonderful World (2014)
The minute I look at this, I immediately start humming Louis Armstrong’s song. Every page is filled with his lyrics and just gives you some hope as you flip through them.
Boy + Bot (2016)
Ame Dyckman is a genius, when it comes to kid’s books. When Boy + Bot first came out I was obsessed. I tried to put it in everyone’s hands that came in. It is just such a precious friendship story between a little boy and a robot. The way that they care for one another is priceless. When it came out as a board book last year, I couldn’t contain my excitement. It is definitely a treasure to behold.
Kenny Harrison started this super cute series, that are perfect for little ones. The Hippo Harry desperately tries to hide in various places around the house, but is always easy to find, because of his build. It is hilarious for little eyes and endearing at the same time.
Shark Vs. Train (2015)
This is a masterpiece. Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld struck gold when they came out with this insanely imaginative story. As readers flip through pages of a shark and train battling it out (of who is better), they discover that both are actually toys! It has that wonder factor that you look for in kid’s books.
Make a Wish, Midas! (2015)
This book is part of another series (Mini Myths), that I adore. Make a Wish Midas, is a retelling of King Midas for children. As they watch Midas get a little too carried away with his yellow paint, they will find similarities to the actual tale, told in summary on the last page!
This is a book that I deeply cherish. It is religious based, as it is from the hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful. This is great for baptisms and christenings, but also for non-religious people as well. Naoko Stoop’s illustrations are so delicately beautiful and fit the story perfectly.
This book has always been my favorite alternative to, Love You Forever. That book has never quite sat well with me, but Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds, captures what I think people who like that book, really wanted to see in print (I apologize if you completely disagree with that statement!). 😉
Please, Mr. Panda (2016)
This book by Steve Antony, makes me crack up every time I see Mr. Panda’s face. This little board book, teaches the concept of saying, “please”, so well. I also love that Antony’s books feature animals that aren’t commonly found or seen a lot in children’s literature, like a lemur!
This is the book, that I have gotten the most compliments on when given to my friends as a gift. This story is set up like the game, “telephone”. When Blue dot is late for a party his friends are hosting, the other dots guess where he might be. As they hear things wrong, illustrations depict crazy adventures that Blue could be having. It is funny and also slyly captures the “you can be anything you want” message. I absolutely love it!
A B See (2015)
This was an awesome book to discover. A B See, isn’t your normal alphabet book. In it, the alphabet is made up of small, colorful images that capture reader’s attention. As your little one grows, you can play a look and find game with them, opening the world of discoveries!
Old Bear (2011)
Written by my favorite children’s author, Kevin Henkes, Old Bear is about a bear who remembers his youth through different seasons. Kevin’s illustrations are wonderful and I love that it teaches concepts (like hybernation) for such young ages.
Baby Animals Spots & Stripes (2015)
This is another unique one, similar to Shark vs. Train. It has the black and white pages, that are supposedly better for babies eyes. Furthermore, each page has a realistic version of an animal, and then a toy version, so that children can learn association.
Plant a Kiss (2015)
Today would have been Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s birthday. If you aren’t familiar with her, she passed away from ovarian cancer on March 13th of this year. She was a brilliant children’s writer, and what appears from everyone who knew her- a great mother, wife and friend. We loved her/ and continue to love her as booksellers. Her books are extremely easy to sell, because each one is packed with so much love and care. Plant a Kiss, is about a little girl who spreads good things (her garden crops), with the world (neighbors), even when she has little. It is super sweet, rhymes and would be great for helping put that little one to sleep.
A You’re Adorable (2011)
This is another book based on a song. I remember my mom singing this to me as a child, and have always held it close to my heart. When I started working in the Kid’s Dept. and saw this was a board book, it felt like fate.
This is another favorite. It is super silly and great for a laugh. Don’t features all the things that you shouldn’t do! For example, “don’t play hide and seek with a chameleon!”
Below, you will find some groupings, that I think might make some great gift baskets/sets. Of course, you can mix and match everything, as all are Jen in the Bookstore-Approved!
Lyrically Wonderful-each of these books are based off of songs or hymns, that can be sung to your child, as well as read-aloud.
Clever Meets Seek and Find-These books all have a seek and find element, or just have something that kids can interact with.
Friendship Is Key-These are some fantastic friendship stories, that have more words than a normal board book, but capture what it’s like to be a kid perfectly.
All the Feels-Ugh. All of these books have some element that you just want to hold on to forever. These would all be perfect for new moms (their first child), as they are all about goodness and growth.
Something Different- These are all of my quirky picks. They are all different than a traditional board book and all have something extra, or funny about them.
I hope you liked my picks! Since it is also Independent Bookstore Day, I hope you can get out there, shop local & read some of these amazing titles!
Jen in the Bookstore ❤