105 Ways to Give a Book

Thursday Three: Board Books 2011

Clackers: Monkey
by Luana Rinaldo

Clackers: MonkeyIf this book holds up, than this is genius. Add a handle to a little board book and you’ve already got my interest as a baby mama... I mean, as a mom of a baby. But then you make those pages foam with drool-resistant paper, and thus softer and also less likely to dissolve in the chew marks of those old-school cardboard books. Nice. Plus the books are cute, with sweet illustrations and fun text. We’re not talking a classic here, but a nice little monkey tail... I mean, tale. And baby can hold the handle and wave the book around to make a clacking noise — hence the name Clackers. Is it a book? A toy? A durable teether? I won’t know for sure until I see how it holds up, so I’ll send it to a fellow blogger with an actual baby and get an updated report. For now, I’m a fan.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: A Counting Nursey Rhyme
by Salina Yoon

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: A Counting Nursey RhymeThis title comes from the “baby likes bright colors” theory. Lots of bright colors intensified by the white space on the number pages. Lively — and did I mention bright? — illustrations take us through the familiar rhyme, slowly revealing a circus scene. Cut-outs in the number pages show hints of what to expect. So, we see a color block with six stars, turn the page, and find the star-covered blanket on the back of the elephant. Nicely done. However, if you’re thinking ahead on the rhyme you can already see the plot problem ahead. Yeah, big fat hen. In a circus. So we can chalk this up as whimsy, surreal, or they’re-babies-and-won’t-care. Honestly, I can live with it, and the book is a fun take on an old rhyme. One question though — why make the “good fat hen” change? Seriously, if a word was going to be replaced there, wouldn’t fat have made a better candidate? I’m just asking.

Grandma Calls Me Gigglepie
by J.D. Lester, illustrations by Hiroe Nakata

Grandma Calls me GigglepieAh, you had me at Nakata. Love this illustrator. Here’s a board book that will be enjoyed by the reader as well as the read-to. Because yes, board books will be read by an adult to a baby, and there’s no reason that they shouldn’t hold some interest for the grown-ups. Filled with beautiful illustrations of animal pairs, this title celebrates the loving relationship of a grandma and child. Let’s not split hairs about the unlikely connection of grandmothers in the animal community. I’ve certainly never heard of the affectionate nature of snake families. But the message of love is nicely conveyed, along with tiny bits of information about the animals themselves. For instance the flamingo page says, “Grandma calls me Tricky Chick... hey, look! I’m on one leg!” Sweet sentiments and pretty pictures make this a brilliant board book.

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.


Mike said...


Regarding Hiroe Nakata you wrote: "Ah, you had me at Nakata. Love this illustrator."

Make that two of us! I love her picture book art.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I left that comment attributed to Mike. I was using my husband's computer.