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.

This is our second-to-last post in this series, friends! That’s right, we’ve reached the end of the board books. We’ll wrap up the final books this week and next, and then tell you the top books you should check out from the entire project.

Here are this week’s books.

1. Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker


Count through the “one, two, buckle my shoe” rhyme, with some added rhymes about baby chicks. Very colorful art, though the book is pretty simple.

2. Lunch by Denise Fleming


A hungry mouse eats food. Toddlers might enjoy guessing what food comes next based on hints in the book, but I wasn’t fond of the art. It has rough edges and doesn’t really lead the eye in a pleasing manner.

3. Mimi and Bear in the Snow by Janee Trasler


A bunny named Mimi plays with her bear in the snow. But when she goes inside, Bear is missing. She finally finds him in the melted remains of her snowman. A good story with toddler-level complexity and stakes, with a sweet ending and pleasant art.

4. Dig In! by April Jones Prince, illustrated by Michelle Berg


Mice build something at a construction site, with moveable sliders for kids to play with. What are they building? A pizza. The sliders are kind of flimsy and not as imaginative as other interactive books, but the ending made me laugh, so I still say check this out.

5. Llama Llama Sand and Sun by Anna Dewdney


Llama and mama go to the beach in a touch-and-feel book. Good variety in textures, and as usual the story and pictures are upbeat and vibrant.

6. Llama Llama Easter Egg by Anna Dewdney


We start in the standard Easter story of candy and egg hunts, but at the end we watch a baby bird hatch, which was pleasantly unexpected. The entire Llama Llama series is really strong and has a lot of effort put into it. I can’t recall a single title where I thought, “Eh, they phoned this one in.”

7. Look Look Outside by Peter Linenthal


Cars, bugs, rain, and other stuff that’s outside. There’s no real story here, but the book’s high contrast art makes it perfect for newborns. It’s less effective for older babies and toddlers.

8. Baby Penguins Love their Mama by Melissa Guion


This is a cute story about Mama penguin raising her baby penguins, and their appreciation of her. My only problem with it is Mama penguin has like a gazillion babies. In real life penguins only lay one or two eggs at once, and often only one of the chicks survives. This story would have worked just fine with only one baby penguin, so I’m not sure why the author decided to have a whole bunch of them.

9. Playful Beasties by Neecy Twinem


Another in this series. As usual the art is great, the text simple but good for toddlers. The novelty of the beautiful drawings does fade over time, but Twinem’s books are all lovely and worth checking out.

10. The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Pamela R. Levy


I like that this book doesn’t shy away from the religious origin of the holiday. The art is fine, though some of the character poses are a little awkward. There also might be some theological issues – you’ll have to decide for yourself how much discussion you want to have with your kid after reading.

Conclusion:

Best Book of the Week: Mimi and Bear in the Snow by Janee Trasler

Everything about this story worked great. A child-level conflict was introduced, explored, and resolved, with vibrant art and emotions even the youngest kids can understand.

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