My almost one-year-old and I are reading through every board book at our local library. For more about this project, check out this post.

Also, it turns out none of the board books are in alphabetical order, so we’ll just be going through the shelves as they are.

This week we skipped over one book we already own: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

I love this book, both because of childhood nostalgia, and for the way the words and pictures perfectly capture the soft quiet of a cold winter’s day in childhood. (Because we already own this book, I’m not counting it when I decide on best book of the week.)

Now for the new reads!

1. Duck & Goose Let’s Dance by Tad Hills

Cute book with dance moves I think toddlers would enjoy, but not ideal for younger babies. This seems to be part of a series, so I think it would be more fun if we were already familiar with the characters.

2. Little Owl’s Day by Divya Srinivasan

A baby owl accidentally wakes up in daytime and discovers the forest looks completely different. This is one of those brilliant stories where you go, “I can’t believe nobody thought of this before!” The art is super cute, too. Just look at Little Owl’s gigantic eyes. Loved everything about this one.

3. Baby Daisy’s Good Idea by ?

For a book starring TV characters, this was better than I expected. It’s a book about feelings, and it had a coherent story that illustrated a number of different emotions. Not the best feelings book out there, but not the worst, either.

4. Love is a Truck by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Sara Gillingham

This book lists a bunch of truck-related things and says love is each of them. The text didn’t really work for me. Some pages rhyme, while others don’t. It never really develops beyond the “love is a [insert truck here]” concept. I was hoping for something really special from such an awesome title, but the story didn’t rise to that. However, my son ADORED the illustrations. They’re in black, white, and red, a striking color palette, and he loved looking at and touching the pages.

5. Snow Friends by M. Christina Butler and Tina Macnaughton

A baby bear makes a snowman with some friends. Then they make another snowman so the first snowman isn’t lonely. The text is just okay. It lacks the atmosphere of Keats’ book, though it’s fine for reading on a winter’s day. The art is gorgeous – the sort of thing you could buy and frame. I dare say the illustrations belong with a story more epic than this one.

6. Jane Foster’s 123 by Jane Foster

A one-to-ten counting book. The author is a textile designer, which shows in her bold color and pattern choices in the art. There’s also a rocket ship countdown from ten to one on the last page, which I liked. Neat visuals and sturdy construction make this a better than average counting book.

7. Moby-Dick by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver

No. Just, no.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I absolutely hate Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Why on earth would anyone try to adapt this gruesome depiction of the whaling industry for toddlers? Who is this for? Why?

Unsurprisingly, this board book skips over pretty much everything from the actual Moby-Dick, instead showing pictures of sailors, ships, birds, fish, and … harpoons? And ends with a picture of the white whale with a harpoon sticking out of his fin?

I have no idea what to say about this. It’s weird, it’s uncomfortable, and it dredged up unpleasant memories. If you’re a really big Moby-Dick fan you might like it, but otherwise I’d skip this one and maybe check out others in the series instead. The idea of “classics for babies” is actually pretty awesome. Just not Moby-Dick.

8. Good Night, Baby Donald by ?

Baby Donald says goodnight to his one rocking horse, two stuffed dogs, etc. It’s nothing special, and it only goes up to five. Jane Foster’s 123, listed above, is much better.

9. Kiss, Kiss, Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna

A list of ways to show love. Cute, but not remarkable. A few of the illustrations are a bit awkward-looking. Apparently this derives from a New York Times bestseller called The Pout-Pout Fish, so maybe check that out instead.

10. Black & White Nighty-Night by Sarah Jones

Owl flies around wishing everyone good night, ending with you, the sleepy baby. Very sweet story, and the black-and-white illustrations will appeal to the youngest infants whose eyes are just starting to focus. Probably not ideal for older toddlers, though.


Best Book of the Week: Little Owl’s Day by Divya Srinivasan
Everything about this book was great, from the cute-tastic art to the creative story. This one is going on our wish list for sure.

Honorable Mentions: Love is a Truck by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Sara Gillingham
My son’s love for the illustrations made this one a near winner.

2 thoughts on “Children’s Book Reviews 2

  1. I just wrote about my family’s favorites, they aren’t quite as cute and sweet as these books are! I agree about the owl and truck books! They sound quite original. Smiles, Robin


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