Board books are sturdy; their pages can’t be ripped, bent, or swallowed. Many picture books have been republished as board books so that younger readers can begin to enjoy classic texts at an earlier age. Children younger than 12 months and older than 18 months will also enjoy these stories when shared at bedtime or playtime or on the go. Before kids learn to “be gentle” with books and after they’ve graduated from cloth books that are mostly for the touchy feely crowd, it’s time to bust out the boards. Just about all of these books also come as paperbacks and hardcover picture books, but if you’re looking for something that can be gnawed as well as enjoyed by the whole family, it’s best to stick with the board book editions.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Everyone needs this book. EVERYONE. I can’t imagine how children ever enjoyed bedtime before this book was published. (Of course, ever since I saw the Simpsons episode in which Christopher Walken reads a portion of this book, I’ve read it – in my mind – in his voice, which is both hilarious and terrifying.) There are some odd things about the story (including, but not limited to, the coexistence of mush and a comb and brush set on the little bunny’s nightstand), but we shall forgive certain strange details in order to enjoy the rhythm and tradition of the text.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
More likely than not, someone read you this book when you were very small. After (more than) fifty years, this quiet story of a little boy out and about on a winter’s day is still a staple in early childhood classrooms and bedside tables. I’ve read it a hundred times, and after each reading I just feel all warm inside.
Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig
What does a creative and attentive dad do when his son is having a bad day? He turns him into a pizza. This book gives us all permission to stretch our imaginations and pretend anything and everything when stuck inside on a rainy day. Read the book and then turn your kid into a burrito or maybe some sushi.