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  • Where the Board Books Are

What's on Your Shelf? Interview with Faith E. Hough

I am long overdue with posting something but thanks to the impeccable timing of Faith, I have something for you! You can follow Faith at Life's an Art or on Instagram.

More posts to come soon.

Kelsey: As a mother of six, are there certain board books that have been popular with all of your kids?

Yes, definitely! As much as I love discovering new books to enjoy with my children, the classics are classics for a reason; we keep coming back to them. A few perennial favorites are:

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen (this gets the number one place in terms of my children’s preference balanced with my own enjoyment!)

Eating the Alphabet, by Lois Ehlert

The Mitten, by Jan Brett

Goodnight Moon, by Clement Hurd, illus. by Margaret Wise Brown

Eric Carle’s treasury of Colors, Shapes, Letters, etc.

Kelsey: What do you enjoy most about board books and is there something particular you look for when buying board books?

I think of all the many qualities that board books have to offer, the ultimate test for me comes down to chewability. ;) Seriously, they should be good quality, they should fit in my diaper bag (I’m not a fan of the very oversized board books), they should be a reliably quick read, to hold a baby’s attention. (I don’t want to argue with a one-year-old about when to turn a page--I just want to enjoy a story with them!)

I also highly value books that are beautiful in art and language, because I want to be filling my children’s heart with beauty from the beginning.

And humor is a definite plus!

Kelsey: If you had to recommend five board books, one for each of the following categories, (bedtime story, first-concept, letters, rhyming, and best story) which ones would you choose?

Bedtime: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, by Sherri Rinker (I wouldn’t choose this for everyone, perhaps, but it’s a no-brainer for certain toddlers who love trucks!)

First Concept: BabyLit Emma: an Emotions Primer, by Alison Oliver and Jennifer Adams (this has been tremendously helpful in allowing my very young children to label their emotions!)

Letters: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin, Jr. (Possibly for my children’s preference more than my own--but it has helped them learn their letters.)

Rhyming: Each Peach Pear Plum, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Best Story: Room for a Little One, by Martin Wadell (this is a Christmas story, but it so encapsulates our love for our growing family that we read it year-round!) or Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell. (Ok, I cheated and had to include two. Also, I just realized when typing this up that both these books are by the same author! Apparently I need to research more of his writing, because he has the board book story writing down!)

Kelsey: Which board books are your little ones currently loving?

How about I stick to ones I haven’t mentioned already above? (Or I’d be waxing eloquent about We’re Going on a Bear Hunt again!)

Gabriel loves anything about cars and trucks and vehicles in general, and I love beautiful illustrations, so we are both enjoying Things that Go, by Alain Grée (We discovered this through your site, Kelsey, so thank you!). Evie adores Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann, and BabyLit Pride & Prejudice (even though I get a little annoyed about the spoilers). I’ve yet to see whether it will become a long-standing favorite, but they also enjoy One Ted Falls out of Bed, by Julia Donaldson and Anna Currey--and their big sisters enjoy reading it to them!

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