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  • Kelsey Marie Paff

14 Board Books for the Holidays!


It's that time of year! Here are my 14 board book picks for this year (one not pictured above). As always, please consider ordering your board books from your local bookstore. They would love your business!


1. Christmas Cheer by Ingela P. Arrhenius.

Published in 2020, Christmas Cheer is such a fun one. Inside these pages you'll find Christmas cheer is everywhere---inside the house, outside, and coming from afar. With very thick, sturdy pages, little hands will be delighted by easy to turn pages and the cover's tiny fireplace.


2. Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel with Illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka.

The kind of story you want to read to your little ones while huddled by the fire, Hanukkah Bear will throughly delight little ones as an unexpected visitor shows up at Bubba Brayna's house for Hanukkah Latkes. The illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka highlight the warmth and cheer of the season with laughter, smiles, and good company (no matter how unexpected).


3. If I could Give You Christmas by Lynn Plourde with Illustrations by Jennifer L. Meyer.

New to board book format, If I could Give You Christmas is a holiday gem. "If I could give you Christmas, it would be pops of red on green---here, there, everywhere." A board book that captures the spirit of the season, the final pages will pull at parents' heartstrings: "If you could give me Christmas, there's something you should know, my favorite gift at Christmas doesn't have a bow!"


4. Count My Way to Jesus by Laura Richie with Illustrations by Ian Dale.

I like the idea of this board book -- and the illustrations are lovely -- but the text isn't my favorite and some of the illustrations are used more than once in the book (as well as in My First Advent Storybook). It's also hard enough for very little ones to count to five in the right order so the idea of making a board book where you have to count down from five seems a bit much.


5. My First Advent Storybook by Laura Richie with Illustrations by Ian Dale.

Again, I like the idea of this board book but as a board book the text is meant for very, very young children and after reading and rereading the text, I don't think a child under the age of four would understand it. You will also notice that again illustrations are reused.


6. The Animals' Santa by Jan Brett.

Also new to board book format, The Animals' Santa is full of budding excitement as the forest animals ponder the coming of Santa and who that might be. Is Santa a polar bear, a moose, a wolf? Beautifully illustrated as always, The Animals' Santa speaks to every child's eager anticipation of Christmas and that mysteriously magical bearer of gifts: Santa.


7. The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell with illustrations by Catalina Echeverri.

Many of you are likely familiar with this one but since I've never featured it before I thought I'd include it this year. A board book that tells the story of the coming of Jesus, The Christmas Promise keeps information short, simple, and humorous. For instance, little ones might giggle when they hear "Woosh" on almost every page as author Alison Mitchell uses the onomatopoeia to move the story along to the next piece of information about the coming of Jesus.


8. You're My Little Christmas Cookie illustrated by Natalie Marshall.

A board book with text that rolls right off the tongue, You're My Little Christmas Cookie is a board book that every parent and child can relate to. "You're my little Christmas Cookie, you're sugar and you're spice. You are the sweetest treat, you're everything that's nice! The book goes on to highlight a star, a snowman, a snowflake, and a fawn---all loved by their family.


9. You're My Little Latke illustrated by Natalie Marshall.

Another fun one!! The illustrations are adorable and the text is just so, so sweet. "You're my little Latke, and everyone can see, just how much I love you, you're a miracle to me!"


10. Hurry, Santa! by Tomie dePaola.

Not one of my favorites by Tomie dePaola but a story that's all too familiar to parents of little ones as Santa is seen getting ready to go out when suddenly, oops, he needs to go to the loo! Sound familiar? When my son was younger there were times when I'd get him all suited up in his hockey gear (skates and all!) only to have him tell me that he forgot to go the bathroom first and needed to go. The parting message: don't forget to go before you get suited up to go out!


11. One Snowy Night by M. Christina Butler with illustrations by Tina Macnaughton.

Another one that I thought I'd feature since I haven't featured it before, One Snowy Night tells the story of a little hedgehog who receives a red hat from Father Christmas. The hat then goes on to be gifted to a rabbit, a badger, a fox...and then back to Little Hedgehog as a blanket. A story of friendship and thoughtfulness, One Snowy Night is also a touch-and-feel book.


12. M is for Manger by Crystal Bowman with illustrations by Claire Keay.

This post has been a bit critical but when you've looked at as many board books as I have that starts to happen! M is for Manger has very sweet illustrations and would make a good picture book in its current format but as a board book there's just too much text. If I were to read this to a little one I would read the first part: "A is for angel, B is for believed, C is for carpenter" etc.. The added text under the header text includes additional information such as "An angel said to Mary, you are the favored one. You're going to have a baby boy, and he will be God's Son." and a biblical passage. To me this added information makes the board book too long.


13. Jingle Bells by Nicola Slater.

Musical board books have really been impressing me lately and Nosy Crow's Jingle Bells doesn't disappoint! With an easy to press button on every page, children can listen to five different instruments---a xylophone, a banjo, a saxophone, a cello, and bells all play jingle bells. Filled with energetic and cheerful illustrations, little ones will have a blast with this one. Another piece of good news is that for those with a musical ear, I'd say the only instrument that sounds a tad unbearable is the cello. Overall a really well done board book and one that will entertain and excite little ones.

14. All Aboard the Holiday Train.

Complete with a press-out train, I wasn't too sure about this board book but I had my four year old and almost seven year old look at it and they thought it was super exciting. With a train track on every page children can pop out the train piece and then use it to zoom around the tracks throughout the book. With things to find along the way this is a great book for parents and kids, or as a book for little ones to interact with when parents need a little break.

That's all for now! Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!