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. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Another enjoyable classic from this duo. I love the twist at the end where the animals are kids dressing up.

2. Baby Goofy Catches a Fish by ?

This book is about rhyming, and it actually does rhyme, so that’s a plus. (You’d think doing what the book says it does would be obvious, but it’s not always a guarantee with branded products like this.) That said, it’s just the Disney babies doing outside activities. Goofy’s fish catching is more of an afterthought than a point worthy of being the title.

3. Baby Dance by Ann Taylor, illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden

Baby’s crying, so Daddy dances with her. The illustrations beautifully capture Baby’s transition from sadness to joy. The story is simple, but I found myself smiling along with Baby by the end. This is also a positive father-baby bonding book, and we need more of those in the world. Check it out.

4. Hungry Beasties by Neecy Twinem

Animals eat stuff. Sounds simple, but as with her other books, Twinem’s art makes this well worth checking out.

5. I Went Walking by Sue Williams, illustrated by Julie Vivas

This is basically the same book as Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle.

Seriously. It goes, “I went walking. What did you see? I saw a [color] [animal] looking at me.” Except there’s no twist at the end. And they’re all farm animals. And it’s shorter. And the art is less visually pleasing. And the kid in the pictures looks really odd.

For some reason this has over 2200 five-star reviews on Goodreads, but in my opinion it’s an inferior knockoff in every way. “Board book, board book, what do you see? I see a lawsuit looking at me.”

6. Little Monster’s Book of Opposites by Frances Thomas and Ross Collins

Good variety of opposites demonstrated, and the monster characters are fun. I feel like this is probably a spinoff to a book we would enjoy.

7. Beep, Beep, Maisy! by Lucy Cousins

Now THIS is a lift-the-flap book! A mouse named Maisy drives around, encountering other vehicles. And there are flaps everywhere, small, big, up, down, sideways. The flaps are clever, too, making helicopter rotors turn, doors open, smokestacks puff, stoplights change color, and more. This was a ton of fun. Oh, and my kid liked it, too.

8. Tom and Pippo Go for a Walk by Helen Oxenbury

A boy and his stuffed monkey go for a walk in the cold. Straightforward, sweet and relatable for little ones.

9. Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Marla Frazee

A rhythmic, rhyming book about babies doing baby things in families everywhere. I was expecting a focus on different cultural experiences, but it’s more a list of things babies do, like crawling and eating. That said, the rhythm and meter are fantastic, making this a perfect read-aloud.

10. Ollie by Olivier Dunrea

Ollie the gosling doesn’t want to hatch. Gossie and Gertie try everything to make him come out, but he refuses. Finally they tell him not to come out, and what do you know? He decides it’s time to hatch. Funny, with illustrations perfect for toddlers’ limited attention spans.


Best Book of the Week: Beep, Beep, Maisy! by Lucy Cousins

This is a tough week, with many strong contenders. In the end, though, the imaginative flaps in this book won me over.


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