So, you can't wait to start reading to your baby. But your audience tends eat everything they can get their hands on including the books you're trying to read.
Not a problem, board books are the answer! They are smaller, durable, and should stand up to the average book-eating child. They're perfect for babies and toddlers, right? Well, the answer tends to vary.
Typically when hardcover books are reformatted into board books, they are abridged and changed from the original. Not every picture book transfers to a board book edition gracefully or effectively.
The board book version of Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney cuts out many of the original illustrations and combines several pictures together. The hardcover edition is much easier to read and the pacing works far better.
Chicka Chicka abc is an abridgement of the wonderful Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. The poor lowercase letters never recover from their fall from the coconut tree the way they do in the original. Plus, we never get to meet the uppercase letters.
But all adaptations aren't bad. Goodnight Moon makes a delightful board book that preserves all the charm of the original. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? has just the right mixture of white space, rhyme and repetition to be a great board book for babies.
Also, there are many wonderful board books that were written as board books from the start. Sandra Boynton is an author that writes almost exclusively in board book format, with funny, effective, and enjoyable results.
Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy: a touch, skritch & tickle book is one of my favorite examples, because it's truly written for babies. It's slightly larger than typical board books, which makes it easier for babies to see and turn the pages. The pictures are simple, bright and straightforward. There's something to touch or feel on every page, which is a big hit with babies. And best of all, it's funny, something Sandra Boynton was able to accomplish with a mere 26 words.
The version I own currently looks quite different from the publisher's picture. (That's just the outside, the inside looks worse). Which goes to show you, even board books can't always withstand the love and rough handling of a baby.
I'm going to be posting a longer list of board book recommendations, but first I want to know which board books you like. Are there particular authors you enjoy? Are there board books your children are fascinated with?