Monday, June 1, 2009

Turn heads with these board books

I was delighted to receive a fun set of four board books in the mail today.  The little guy loves getting mail and opening boxes, and what better contents for a mailed box than some new board books?  I'll post reviews of each of them below.  They all share the same, fun format. 

Carrots or Peas? (Pick & Choose) (Board book), by Anthony Lewis. Each page of this slightly oversized board book contains a bright, colorful illustration of a baby engaging in an activity. The head of the baby actually spins to depict a smiling baby on one side, and a baby with a frown on the other. Unlike tab books, which can sometimes be difficult to maneuver, and even easier than flaps, the head spins very easily. The baby faces are different shades and the names reflect a multicultural mix of babies (Shen, Jack, Jamal, Alika, etc.). This book, and the other three books in the series, are a fun way to begin discussing the concept of happy and sad, interactive enough to garner the attention of the youngest of readers.


"Does Jack like to shop? / Would Jamal like some more?"

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: He (of course) enjoys spinning the heads. He sits through the whole book. He also has started to try to say "frown" when we spin the face to the sad side.

Parent's Peeve: I think my only "peeve" is that none of the scenes are clearly frown inducing, so there is never a clear right or wrong way to turn the face. This can be viewed as a plus, though; as the back cover explains, "the open-ended questions mean that each reading of the book will be different, depending on how we feel. The perfect opportunity to talk about feelings and choices with your child."

Bath or Bed? (Pick & Choose) (Board book), by Anthony Lewis. This book in the "Pick & Choose" series focuses mostly on bedtime ritual activities, like reading books and taking baths, that children can easily relate to.


"Does Mia like having her hair washed?"

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: As with the other books in this series, the spinning heads are a hit.

Wind or Rain? (Pick & Choose) (Board book), by Anthony Lewis. This installment in the "Pick & Choose" series places the star characters out in the elements, while the text poses questions about the weather and related activities.


"Does James like the wind? / Is Ella happy in the mud?"

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: As with the other books in the series, he likes to spin the heads. He also likes to point out umbrellas and gloves.

Teddy or Train? (Pick & Choose) (Board book), by Anthony Lewis. Fun and games are the focus of this book in the four-book series. Mobiles, books, toy cars, and drums entertain page after page of bright babies.


"Will Roza hug the teddy? / Does Akira like the drum?"

Bookworm's interest at 18 months: So far the heads grab his attention more than the rest of the book, but I suspect that the novelty of that will wane just enough for us to focus a little bit more on the text soon enough. He always loves identifying items in books that we have in our house. He'll pause reading, jump up, and run to point at the item he just viewed. For that reason, I think he will really enjoy the variety of common toys in this book.

 The recommended age range for these books is 0-2 years, and I can see that these would be fun for the youngest readers, because of the spin feature.  I'm not sure that our son really understands smile/frown, happy/sad yet, so these will be a nice tool for me to teach him. 

Note: These books were provided by the publisher at no cost for our review.  

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