Board Book Round-up

This post was prompted by my friend Sarah who will soon have a new baby in her life. The new baby’s parents have decided to ask for books instead of other gifts (brilliant idea), and I was thrilled to be Sarah’s go-to for children’s book advice. We decided that as other people were already gifting the baby with many classics old and new, Sarah would go with some contemporary board books (because as great as the Harry Potter series is, it’s going to be a while until the kid gets to it). Here are my suggestions for recently published board books to give to a new baby:

I have to begin with Chronicle Books. They publish the “In My…” series of finger puppet books by talented collaborators Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich. I wrote about my love for this series before in my mixed-media artist post.

Simms Taback is another artist whose board books Chronicle sells. A completely different type of style and design from mixed-media work, these books are genius in their simplicity, and can be used to grow with the baby.

Blue Apple Books, distributed by Chronicle, sells DwellStudio board books. Dwell is a designer baby boutique, and while normally I’m not into that sort of thing, I just love the look of these books.

More mixed-media board books are created by Kate Endle for Publishers Group West. I blogged about What is Green? and Who Hoo Are You? here.

Alison Jay does these gorgeous crackle-painting illustrations and has a few board books, like the one on the left, as well as 1,2,3 and ABC-themed with nursery rhyme-inspired pictures  (as well as a full-length Alice in Wonderland).

Going back through old posts of mine, I noticed an Ode to Christopher Wormell. While his woodcuts and darker color palate may not be to everyone’s taste, I’m personally a fan, and would recommend picking up any one of the 4 books of his available in board book format.

Another ode I wrote was to Gyo Fujikawa, one of my all-time favorites from my own childhood. One of the first illustrators to include babies of all races in her work, her pictures are timeless classics, being slowly republished today by Sterling Publishing.

Matthew Van Fleet is published primarily by Simon & Schuster, and he creates incredibly interactive board books great for all baby/toddler ages. You can touch, feel, pull, look, hear, etc. everything about these chunky, funky board books.

The most recent board book review I wrote was about Patrick Hruby’s ABC is for Circus. Read the review if you want to hear how much I gush over his design, color choice, and use of shapes & contrasts.

If you’re looking for something a bit older, in 2010, I had a series of posts featuring my favorite picture books by season by publisher. Feel free to read those posts (listed below) for some picture book ideas.

Summer 2010 Harper Collins
Summer 2010 Random House
Summer 2010 Houghton Mifflin
Summer 2010 Simon & Schuster
Summer 2010 Workman
Summer 2010 Little Brown
Summer 2010 Scholastic
Summer 2010 Publishers Group West
Summer 2010 Candlewick
Summer 2010 Penguin
Summer 2010 Marshall Cavendish

Fall 2010 Random House
Fall 2010 HarperCollins
Fall 2010 Candlewick

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