Librarians like to recommend books. Sort of their raison d’etre, if you will. Then WHAMMO! Stick a fetus in their belly and suddenly the tables are turned*. Because now I’m under the distinct impression that there are some gaps in my knowledge. Specifically, the baby knowledge. I’m good at picture books and middle grade but board books are this strange new land. A land I’m eager to explore, but I need some help first.
Yesterday I received the following comment from Ed Spicer of Spicy Reads: “I think you need to have a blog post requesting essential board books for Betsy; Moo Baa La La La would be on my list.” Well as it just so happens I recently finished reading A Family of Readers: The Book Lovers Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature by the esteemed Roger Sutton and Martha Parravano. In the course of the discussion they recommend a variety of different bb titles, many of which I shall be adding to my Christmas wishlist, you bet. The only problems come when they recommend books long out of print like John Steptoe’s Baby Says (a good candidate for a board book reprint if ever there was one) or Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s Peek-a-Boo!
I need help filling in the gaps. So help me out! What are the must-have board books that you cannot help but recommend? How did kids respond to them? What definitely didn’t work? Let me know and maybe I’ll be able to construct a list of must-haves. At the moment, here’s what I’m hoping to get at some point:
- Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet Ahlberg
- Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
- Freight Train by Donald Crews
- Gossie by Oliver Dunrae
- Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
- Where Is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox
- Black On White by Tana Hoban
- White On Black by Tana Hoban
- Smile by Roberta Grobel Intrater
- Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
- Let’s Make a Noise by Amy MacDonald
- I Love Colors by Margaret Miller
- The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell
- Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli
- Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
- You and Me, Baby by Lynn Reiser
- Max’s First Word by Rosemary Wells
More black and white board book recommendations welcome.
*Note: I have written more elegant sentences than this in my lifetime