When I signed up for the Cannonball Read, I waffled between doing a half-cannonball, and the full deal. See, when I signed on, I was a month away from having my first child. So the question of whether or not I would be able to read 52 books, much less review them, was a very real concern. And now, here we are. It’s 2012. I have successfully read and reviewed 41 books for me. In a shameless attempt to make up the remaining 11 books, I am going to tell you all about our favorite board books. You can give me grief and tell me they don’t count if you want, but my counterargument is that, if I’ve read a book upwards of 25 times, and can probably recite it for you from memory, it bloody well ought to count. So there.
Plus, there are Pajiblettes on the way! And so, in honor, and for the benefit of, our own Courtney and TK (and any other expectant Pajibans!), here are some of the K__ family’s favorite board books.
Sheep in a Jeep (and any of the Sheep books), Nancy E. Shaw and Margot Apple
The Sheep books are so much fun. Less is more, and the simple stories, paired with the right amount of cleverness and perfectly straightforward rhymes never get boring. I think I might like these more than my daughter does.
Hop on Pop (and any Seuss), Dr. Seuss
Do I really need to justify Dr. Seuss to you? No, I didn’t think so. Hop on Pop gets requested daily in our house, usually more than once.
But Not the Hippopotamus (and any Boynton), Sandra Boynton
Boynton is another person who just kills the rhyme. Her books aren’t stories so much as little poems, similar to much of Seuss, I guess. Seuss tends to carry on a little bit, though, while Boynton knows just when to stop.
CAT, Matthew Van Fleet and Brian Stanton
This was a Christmas gift, but I’m pretty sure both my husband and myself have read it at least twice a day since then, and the little girl will look at it without us, too. It’s pretty much just photos of a wide variety of cats in various poses and with props, and there are some pop-up type features, and what can I say? The kid likes cats.
Goodnight Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann
This is a bedtime book for us, and it’s been in the rotation all along. Very simple, but with fun animals!
Bunny and Me, Adele Greenspun and Joanie Schwarz
Kind of a strange little book, but we get a kick out of it. It’s sort of artistically half-photographed/half-illustrated, and while my husband finds the image of a stricken baby who’s lost her friend somewhat disconcerting, it totally cracks the little girl up. Also allows for a little bit of interaction in the form of questions.
Yum Yum, Dim Sum (and any World Snacks), Amy Wilson Sanger
It’s a book all about dim sum! There’s a sushi one, and an Indian one, and a Jewish one … these are seriously adorable, but may serve to strengthen your dependency on take-out in the first year or so.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (and any Eric Carle), Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
Another classic. The repetition definitely wears on parents after a while, but the kids will love it regardless. You can also graduate up to a slide book later on.
The Paper Bag Princess, Robert N. Munsch and Michael Martchenko
We have a board book version of an apparently longer story, and it is AWESOME. It’s about a princess who doesn’t care about fancy clothes who goes out and outsmarts/defeats the fierce dragon who burned down her castle. Princess Elizabeth. Accept no other princesses.
Mama, Baby, & Other First Words (and other Art from the Start books), Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober
We don’t actually have any of the other books in this series, but we ought to get some. There’s no story, just the presentation of easy-to-learn words paired with famous works of art. Seriously cool.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
This one is maybe a little sappy, but the illustrations are darling, and I’m not sure you can start ’em too young on the message that we’re all the same, really.
All done! See you for Cannonball IV! I have learned my lesson, and will only be endeavoring to account for 26 books this year. Cheers!