Goo-goo gaga for graphic design


All the artsiest toddlers (and their parents) will be clamoring for these “coffee table board books” published by Appleseed, a new Abrams imprint catering to aesthetics-minded birth-to-five-year-olds. French import Hippopposites (May) by Janik Coat brings the hip to opposites books. In every spread, a pair of hippos demonstrates the featured concept. The old standbys are […]

Sticky Fingers


Chloe (left) is a month old today so I’ve been perusing the new board books for some likely presents. I’m thinking she might (eventually) like two new Noodle books by Marion Billet, Noodle Loves to Eat and Noodle Loves the Beach, both published by Nosy Crow/Candlewick this month. Noodle is an ungendered panda-toddler who in […]

Gettin’ Bizzy

davies_on the farm

Benji Davies’s illustrations for the Bizzy Bear board books (Nosy Crow) are like catnip for young children. I defy any toddler or preschooler worth her salt to walk by a Bizzy Bear book and not pick it up. The wide-eyed, cheerful animals on the construction site (Let’s Get to Work!)  or traveling to the beach […]

Grown-ups behaving badly

keep our secrets

After spending fifteen minutes rubbing pages and getting curious looks from passersby in the office (“why, yes, I am one of the new interns, and yes, I rub board book pages in my spare time; why do you ask?”), I finished reading Jordan Crane’s heat-sensitive, color-changing board book Keep Our Secrets (McSweeney’s McMullens, November). Two […]


cloudy with a chance

Two new entries (both August) in Little Simon’s A Classic Board Book series, which repackages well-known picture books as board books, are on opposite ends of the adaptation spectrum. Emily Gravett’s Orange Pear Apple Bear makes by far the more natural translation. Gravett’s spare text, ample white space, humor, and eye-pleasing illustrations in a soft […]

Bonjour, Monsieur Tullet!

book with a hole

Hervé Tullet — the French author, illustrator, and ad agency art director known as the “Prince of Preschool” — has been popping up all over the office recently. Tullet’s new book Press Here directs readers to press, rub, shake, and blow on colorful dots which then “transform” with the page turn. Chronicle’s been promoting Press […]

My Very First App

my very first app menu

From coloring books to flash cards, baby journals to stuffed animals, adaptations of Eric Carle’s tissue collage illustrations seem endless. Night & Day Studios has reshaped Carle’s work for the iPad, releasing My Very First App in December. This was the first of the company’s two apps adapting recognizable artwork into children’s games (see January’s […]

The board Book of Sleep

Knopf recently released a board book version of Il Sung Na‘s The Book of Sleep. In the original edition, a playful and spare text accompanies sweet illustrations that, upon closer look, contain a multitude of textural and illustrative details (including the protagonist owl as a search-and-find character on spreads where another character takes center stage). An […]

For your little mensch

Laurel Snyder, probably best known for her middle-grade novels Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, or, The Search for a Suitable Princess, Any Which Wall, and Penny Dreadful, presents a Judaism-themed board book that’s preschooler-perfect. Nosh, Schlep, Schluff: BabYiddish records a day in the life of one young tot (could be either gender; one of […]

Puppy love

At this time of year, one can’t help but notice the heart-emblazoned kids’ books cramming the shelves in our local chain stores. Pawing through bags of candy hearts and other commercial love-related products, I decided to look at two board books pubbing just in time for Valentine’s Day. Dog food, frisbees, bubbles from a jar… […]