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The Best Board Books
Board books are invaluable in the early years. Ranging from simple vocabulary books to stories with eye-catching illustrations, board books are a great way to introduce your child to literature without it being totally destroyed in under ten minutes.
But there are so many, it can be hard to know which ones to buy for your little one(s)! That’s why we’d like to share our recommendations of our most-loved board books – from our family, to yours.
Sam’s Top 5
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
A heartwarming book that celebrates pudgy little baby fingers and toes, while also honouring the similarities and differences of babies around the world. Full of sweet pictures showing diversity and baby toes, what more could you want?
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
This one makes me cry – but in a good way! The world celebrates the birth of a new baby, “the one and only ever you!” A great gift for a baby shower!
Pooh’s Honey Trouble by Sara F. Miller
A fantastic touch and feel book that follows Winnie the Pooh trying to fill his rumbly tummy. I had to buy multiple copies of this book because it was so well-loved by my boy.
Hi-Five Animals! (A Never Bored Book) by Ross Burach
We love how interactive this book is – every page is filled with fun and catchy rhymes, and lots of paws, wings, trunks, flippers, and more to high five as you read along.
Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles: A BabyLit Sounds Primer by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver
We love the BabyLit series! Classic literature turned into board books, each serving as a “primer” to teach words (for example, Dracula is a counting primer, The Wizard of Oz is a colour primer, and Frankenstein is an anatomy primer). So great for parents who are book lovers!
Cyn’s Top 5
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and Lois Ehlert
I first discovered this book when Sam was little and I was teaching Junior Kindergarten. Oh gosh how the kids loved it! It has such a catchy little rhythm to it. It never fails to engage the kids’ attention and quite frankly, it’s fun to read too!
Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
Not only does this book have rhyming going for it, but it uses favorite fairy tale characters throughout. Rhyming language is a great way to build predictive reading skills and kids just love to read them because they’re so much fun. Rhyming + familiarity is a formula that makes this a favorite.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Is there an Eric Carle that I don’t love? No. I picked this one because it’s a classic and lends itself to so many fun activities. The caterpillar eats a variety of foods and overindulges on sweets. It’s a great way to open up a discussion on healthy eating or to do followup activities like having a Very Hungry Caterpillar picnic. Eric Carle’s illustrations are loved by adults and kids alike.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
You’re going to think I’m a broken record when it comes to rhyme and rhythm but it really does help cultivate a love of reading in little ones. This book is a great example. Between the rhyming cues and the pictures, I had many Junior Kindergarten students who began to learn to read because of Brown Bear, Brown Bear!
Fun followup activity: Get the kids to write their own version. “Walter, Walter, what do you see? I see Meemaw looking at me. Meemaw Meemaw what do you see? I see the teddy bear looking at me.” and so on!
While You Sleep, Little Love by B & H Publishing Group
Everyone needs a good bedtime book in their library! The rhyming in this differs from the type in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. It’s of a gentle, soothing nature that can help lull little ones into a more relaxed state. Kids are incredibly curious about what happens while they sleep and how others handle their bedtime routines, making this a lovely way to answer that.
Board Books We Both Love
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore
“Mama, what if I were a big, scary ape? Would you still love me then?” A wonderful bedtime story about a mother’s unconditional love.
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge
Little Wombat spends the day doing his favourite things, like running and jumping and making silly faces (Walter’s favourite part). This book has lots of cute rhymes and is a big hit in our house!
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
The classic bedtime book. “Goodnight Moon” is one of the best books out there to curl up with your little loves and get cozy before bedtime.
Never Touch a Spider by Make Believe Ideas Ltd, Rosie Greening, and Stuart Lynch
This whole series is amazing. The ultimate touch and feel books! These have great rhymes and teach children to respect the boundaries of animals (except for the ones in the books!) while giving lots of different, well-made textures to explore.
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
A newer favourite that is very relatable for many children. Llama Llama is supposed to be falling asleep, but where is Mama Llama? Mama says she’ll be up soon, but Llama Llama can’t help but feel like it’s taking her forever! This book is great for children in general but especially those who sometimes get lonely at night – it shows that everyone gets a little scared sometimes, but that your mama will always be there for you.
Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure by Derek Anderson
This book is so fun! Walter wanted me to read it to him so many times, at one point I had it memorized. Any mother who isn’t able to even pee without an audience will empathize with the main pig in this book – all he wants is a relaxing bubble bath with his rubber ducky. Count along as the other pigs interrupt his me-time with their shenanigans!
Press Here by Herve Tullet
This interactive book teaches directions (like left from right) and colours while sparking the imagination – what’s going to happen next? There’s a reason this book became so popular so fast!
Poor Little Rabbit by Jorg Muhle
These interactive books are the best! Children can help Little Rabbit through all sorts of normal issues, like dealing with a scraped knee, by stroking his ears, blowing to dry him off after his bath, or fluffing up his pillow before bed. Lots of fun!
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
A classic featuring the lovable Grover (of Sesame Street). There’s a monster at the end of the book and you keep turning pages to get closer to him, no matter what Grover says or does to stop you. Very funny (especially if you can read it in a funny voice time after time, because this is definitely a book you’ll be asked to repeat 18-100 times…per day).
What are your favourite board books? Let us know in the comments!