Boardbooks introduce young readers to colors, dinosaurs & homophones


Boardbooks are an amazing way to introduce babies and toddlers to books and reading. The following are some fun new releases that are already out or are scheduled to hit shelves in a few weeks.

BLACK BIRD YELLOW SUN, by Steve Light, Candlewick, March 6, 2018, Boardbook $7.99 (ages 2-5)

Black Bird Yellow Sun follows a solitary black bird as it makes its way through the day one color at a time. From the yellow sun and orange leaves to purple grapes and pink flowers, this book is a vibrant color primer. Steve Light’s renderings immediately draw you in, and his highly texturized paintings add depth to deceptively simple illustrations. This is one book I would have chosen for my daughter early on. At 4, I feel like she’s outgrown it.

LLAMAPHONES, by Janik Coat, Abrams Appleseed, March 6, 2018, Boardbook, $15.99 (ages 2-5)

Llamaphones, is the third book in Janik Coat’s Hippopposites and Rhymoceros series. It features a hard concept to understand — words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. My daughter was immediately drawn to the book’s bold illustrations. She loved the added textural layer sprinkled throughout. Pairings include: rose and rows, pear and pair, knight and night. As it’s an introduction to homophones, this book definitely requires some conversation. And some illustrations aren’t as straight forward as you’d think — piece and peace turned into a three-minute discussion for us. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this fun book.

101 DINOSAURS: AND OTHER PREHISTORIC REPTILES, by April Jones Prince and Bob Kolar, Cartwheel Books, Jan. 30, 2018, Boardbook, $8.99 (ages 2-5)

Every child I’ve ever met has liked dinosaurs, which makes this book a great option for just about anyone. The book is divided into two-page spreads that offer a short description of the kinds of dinosaurs (long-necks, flyers, boneheads, duckbills, swimmers, armored, horned, plated, and sharp-toothed creatures) on the left. The right-side pages feature small pictures of those dinosaurs with both correct and phonetic spellings underneath. The final spread brings all the creatures together and invites young readers to count as many as they can.

BEDTIME, TED! by Sophy Henn, Abrams Appleseed, March 6, 2018, Boardbook, $8.95 (ages 2-5)

It’s time for Ted to go to bed, but Ted’s not ready yet. First he has to take a bath, have a snack, brush his teeth, and get all the wiggles out. Sound familiar? We go through a similar routine every night at my house, making this a perfect pre-bedtime routine book. The book features five spreads, all with big flaps that are just the right size for toddlers. Ted is a cute character young readers will find delightful. The second book in the series, Let’s Go, Ted! will release in Fall 2018.

MY FIRST TOOLBOX: PRESS OUT & PLAY (PRESS-OUT AND PLAY), by Jessie Ford, Abrams Appleseed, March 13, 2018, Boardbook, $14.99 (ages 3-5)

My First Tool Box is an innovative hands-on book that introduces children to tools. The book’s removable cardboard elements including: a wrench, screwdriver, hammer and four cardboard nails and a saw. Also included are a sliding tape measure and screws and nuts to turn. This book is simultaneously too young and too old for my daughter. At the age of 4, she’s already used real tools as well as toy ones. Dexterity-wise, however, she struggles making the tools in this book work. The suggested age here is 3-5 because of “small parts,” but there’s nothing included that’s small enough to be choked on.

© 2018, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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