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

1. The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer by Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Sanja Rescek


A cute Christmas story to the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Lovely, vibrant art. This could become a holiday regular.

2. Bow-Wow Orders Lunch by Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash


A dog layers bread and cheese … and that’s about it. This book is supposed to illustrate patterns, but I found it too simplistic, and my son didn’t like the art.

3. Baby Donald Makes a Snowfriend by ?


Donald makes a snowman. Also there’s a page listing shapes. Disorganized ideas and lackluster storytelling.

4. That’s Not My Kitten by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells


This isn’t my favorite “That’s not my …” book. The touch-and-feels are small and not as varied as other titles in the series. Check out “That’s Not My Monster” from last week instead.

5. Merry Christmas, Cheeps! by Julie Stiegemeyer, illustrated by Carol Baicker-McKee


A family of chickens gets ready for Christmas. The illustrations are actually photographs of scenes made of fabric and other craft supplies. A cute and unique idea. If you like the cover art, you’ll like the rest of it.

6. Busy Baby by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Catharine A. MacKinnon


Baby is busy with various activities, and carries his blanket through all of them. The touch-and-feels are all the same felt, representing baby’s blanket. But one page has a piece of felt that flaps off the page, and my son LOVED this. So this book gets high marks for interactivity. The “I’m busy” storyline was cute, too.

7. Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jayne Church


Touch your toes, wiggle your fingers, and more along with this rhyme. This is a fun idea, but best for older toddlers who can do all the motions.

8. Shake Shake Shake by Andrea and Brian Pinkney


Introduces an African instrument called a shekere, which you shake, shake, shake. The rhyme is very simple, but the art looks nice and the instrument itself looks like a lot of fun. Bonus points for educational value and diversity in literature.

9. Sense & Sensibility by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver


Another “classics for babies” book. I haven’t read the Jane Austen novel by the same name, but I imagine there are in-jokes throughout the art in this board book. Unlike the other two, this one has no quotes from the original. But it illustrates a variety of opposites, and does that well, so it serves its purpose.

10. A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson


A baby raccoon goes to bed. But the sun gives him nightmares of monsters creeping into his room, and mama raccoon soothes him to sleep. A clever take on a bedtime story, with a nice art style.

Conclusion:

Best Book of the Week: The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer by Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Sanja Rescek

It’s hard to do something new with “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and hard to do something new with the Christmas theme. This book combined the two and did both. Since Christmas is around the corner, consider checking this one out.

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