Board books, in case it’s been awhile since you had/were a baby, are small, durable picture books printed on heavy cardboard, designed to survive the occasional trip into a gummy mouth or drop from a high chair. While originally developed to support the early literacy development of babies and toddlers, the scale and scope of the board book world has exploded in recent years, and more and more board books are appearing which have obviously been designed with grown up audiences in mind….
Here are a few board books that will still make excellent teething toys for a drooly baby, and which might help keep caregivers entertained as well.
Got a Colin Firth devotee in the family? Delight them with this parody of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, featuring characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Of course, if you haven’t read the book/seen the film this little book is unlikely to make much sense, but at least the vibrant illustrations are eye-catching.
This series of board book adaptations by Canadian brothers Jack and Holman Wang, featuring incredibly intricate needle felted dioramas, is visually spectacular. I’ve seen elementary school kids go nuts over these little works of art. The pair has also adapted such classic works of literature as War and Peace and Moby Dick into little felted board books. Perfect for getting your babies up to speed before the next Star Wars movie comes out….
Speaking of Moby Dick – hey kids, let’s explore the wonders of aquatic life with the help of this dense existentialist tome (which is about as close to reading the original as most of us will ever get….)! Cute illustrations, though.
Sure, A is for Apple is good enough for some babies, but what if you want to make sure your child knows their way around a farmer’s market before they’re actually physically able to maneuver themselves around said market? Fear not, hipster parent, My Little Foodie’s got you covered. Your baby will be distinguishing between Kobe Beef and Regular Old Beef in no time, and will be able to tell you exactly where saffron comes from, as soon as they master speech, that is.
This cheeky little board book (the Amazon listing even comes with a humorous parental advisory warning) will be right up the alley of any grown-up Metal head longing to relive their glory days. A is for Angus, K is for KISS, you get the gist (Q is for Queen, though? I love Freddie Mercury as much as the next girl, but I would hesitate to classify Queen as metal….). Pedagogically driven? Perhaps not, but at least parents and caregivers might have a chuckle.
All teasing aside, reading to your baby is one of the most important things you can do to help support their healthy growth and development. Whether you read aloud from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Baby War and Peace, the weekend sports section or the nutritional information on the back of the cereal box, reading aloud exposes your baby to spoken language and a rich and varied vocabulary. So, read what you like, read in the language you’re most comfortable with, read from a variety of sources, and read often. And if you can read something that makes you smile, well, that’s even better.