Category Archives: Board Books



This book used to be very popular and (rather amazingly) survived the boys’ toddler years without significant damage. There are some cute bouncy rhymes, but the big attraction were the sturdy interactive features: textures, scratch-and-sniff skunk, pull tabs, flaps, and lots of fur.

Author: Matthew Van Fleet
Illustrator: Matthew Van Fleet

Harry the Dirty Dog


Harry, a white dog with black spots, hates baths. But he loves exploring and getting dirty. After becoming a black dog with white spots (that his family doesn’t recognize), bathing suddenly becomes more appealing.

We enjoyed the Scholastic Video version of this simple, cute book a great deal when the boys were younger.

Author: Gene Zion
Illustrator: Margaret Bloy Graham

The Going to Bed Book


This was the book we read every night to our youngest when he was a young toddler. Like Goodnight Moon (the book we read every night to our oldest when he was that age), it isn’t about telling a story or making sense; it is about setting a mood that is cheerful, calm, sleepy, and safe. When you are picking a book to read over and over again, this is a very good choice. I especially enjoy the final lines:

The moon is high. The sea is deep.
They rock
and rock
and rock
to sleep.

Author: Sandra Boynton
Illustrator: Sandra Boynton

Curious George and the Puppies


I don’t think the original Curious George books have aged well. They strike me as sad, dark, and scary; they weren’t my favorites when I was a kid and I haven’t read them to the boys. But this book (although written by a ghost writer and drawn by a committee) has a really sweet story and stands well alone. George’s curiosity doesn’t lead to him being kidnapped, endangered, and/or jailed; instead it frees a mother dog to find her lost puppy. The lap sized board book version is perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers.

Author: Unknown ghostwriter
Illustrator: Vipach Interactive in the style of Margret & H.A. Rey

The Napping House


There is a house,
a napping house,
where everyone is sleeping.

And in that house
there is a bed,
a cozy bed
in a napping house,
where everyone is sleeping.

A beautifully-illustrated rainy day, cozy bed, sleepy family, and unexpected visitor combine with gently-rhythmic prose to create a warm and funny book.

Author:  Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Don Wood


Moo, Baa, La La La!


“No, no!” you say,
“that isn’t right.
The pigs say
all day and night.”

This book has eleven sentences; there isn’t really a plot. It is just an excuse for spending time with toddlers making animal sounds, telling jokes they can understand, and sending them off to bed giggling.

Author: Sandra Boynton
Illustrator: Sandra Boynton

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear


An adorable mouse, a succulent strawberry, a possible threat to the strawberry, and a narrator with an ulterior motive make for a cute tale that charms kids and amuses adults.  This is a great one to read aloud with much dramatic flair.

Authors:  Don and Audrey Wood
Illustrator:  Don Wood

Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo


‘Round the mountains, high and steep.
Through the valleys, low and deep.

Into tunnels, underground.
See the darkness. Hear the sound.
Chugga-chugga choo-choo, echo calling,



This simple, rhythmic story of a special journey works best at bedtime and is perfect for little ones who are interested in trains. It is a real pleasure to read aloud.

Author: Kevin Lewis
Illustrator: Daniel Kirk

Skip to My Lou


This book is a charming extension of the old song. The board book version has six fewer pages than the picture book, but contains the essence of the tale. Whichever version you end up with, it is great for toddlers.

Author: Nadine Bernard Westcott
Illustrator: Nadine Bernard Westcott



A gosling’s beloved bright red boots turn up missing (literally) one day.  This sweet book has a lot of character and a very satisfying ending. It would make a great last-minute addition to an Easter basket, especially if your toddler has had enough of bunnies.

Author:  Olivier Dunrea
Illustrator:  Olivier Dunrea