Some board books are so simple they leave parents feeling, well, bored. But their sturdy pages are perfectly suited to little hands. We asked Kristen Eaton, marketing and events manager at Phoenix Books, to recommend books that are durable enough for busy babies and toddlers — and fun for parents, too.
by Lolly Hopwood and YoYo Kusters; illustrated by Luke Flowers
This new release combines imaginative play with movement. You can put it up to your face like the jaws of a dinosaur or hold its handles and swing it like you're rowing a canoe. Eaton praises the book's "interactive text and vibrant illustrations that will inspire kids and parents to get up and move!"
Little Honey Bee
by Katie Hayworth; illustrated by Jane Ormes
Readers count the blooming flowers, then peek under their leaves to discover buzzing bees. It's "a gorgeous lift-the-flap board book, perfect for celebrating spring and summer," says Eaton.
by David McLimans
This Caldecott Honor alphabet book features black-and-white images of endangered animals and their scales, horns and wings. Though it has very little text, Eaton calls the illustrations "stunning."
by Lynn Parrish Sutton; illustrated by Hazel Mitchell
Written by Vermont author Sutton, this book takes readers on an adventure through the animal kingdom. Each line features a creature and an adverb that lovingly celebrate family togetherness: "I love you hugely like a whale"; "I love you shyly like a quail"; "I love you cleverly like a fox"; "I love you powerfully like an ox." Though not technically a board book, the card-stock pages make it a good choice for toddlers. Eaton says it's her "new favorite pick for baby-shower gifts."