Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Easy-open board books by Michel Blake and Candlewick Press


[This review has been edited and republished]

I originally looked at these years ago - back in 2010 I think. I was meaning to start reviewing more board books, but nothing really caught my interest....until these. I don't even remember why I ordered them for the library in the first place, except I was looking for board books with more photos. Anyways, when they arrived I was completely captivated.

First, they have excellent and beautiful photos, mainly black and white with brilliant splashes of color, as you can see on the covers. Babies love photographs and with the gradual push to publish older board books (think about how many cut-down picture books you've seen recently, billed for babies and toddlers!) these are a welcome relief, perfectly created for little hands and heads. Numbers and Colors have gorgeous full-color photographs of natural phenomena like animals and natural items. A flamingo is labeled "pink" and four adorable barn owl chicks poke their heads out of a hollow tree trunk for "four". Numbers includes both the written and regular number, "four" and "4". (Yes, I've forgotten the exact word for it)

Secondly, and this was what completely entranced me, is these are "easy-open." What does that mean? Well, the page edges are different lengths. Duh! Why did no one ever think of that before? Haven't you ever seen little fingers trying to get the pages open? They have a cool little texture-thingy going on on the cover too.

They're classic board book size, about 8x6, with Numbers and Colors being a slightly smaller format. 

Verdict: These are kid-tested on library patrons and my colleague's baby and definitely make the grade! Definite must for your board book collection. These would also make great baby shower gifts! Only one thing brings me sorrow - several of them are out of print.

Out to play
ISBN: 978-0763627676; Published October 2005 by Candlewick

Baby's day
ISBN: 978-0763633684; Published April 2007 by Candlewick

Off to bed (out of print)
ISBN: 978-0763627669; Published October 2005 by Candlewick

Let's play (out of print)
ISBN: 978-0763633691; Published April 2007 by Candlewick (out of print)

Colors (out of print)
ISBN: 978-0763627461; Published June 2006 by Candlewick (out of print)

Numbers (out of print)
ISBN: 978-0763627478; Published June 2006 by Candlewick (out of print)

All borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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