March 11, 2012

Gift Ideas: Exceptional Board Books

Don't get me wrong, I love classic board books like Goodnight Moon and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. They're wonderful, and beloved for a good reason. But the mom-to-be got 3 copies of Goodnight Moon at a baby shower I recently attended. Looking to branch out and get a book that the parents will love reading to their baby? Why not get a book that touches the parents' interests, but is still well-designed and written with babies and toddlers in mind?

Our friends Ben and Amy are really good gift-givers. They gave Eleanor My First Batman Book: Touch and Feel for her 1st birthday. My husband Noel is a huge Batman/Christopher Nolan fan, so it was a perfect gift, because Noel loves reading it to her. And, as a result, Eleanor already knows Batman, and excitedly points him out whenever we see something Batman anywhere. She especially loves the page where Batman swings on the 'batrope'.

Or do you have a sister who loves classic literature? Why not get your niece or nephew Romeo and Juliet or Jane Eyre from the BabyLit Board Book series? We own Pride and Prejudice , and it's a beautiful, well-constructed board book. It's a counting primer ("1 English village...2 rich gentlemen...) I think any toddler's parents would be happy to add these books to their collection! "10...10,000 pounds a year" makes me giggle every time we read it.

For your friends who are bilingual (or who, like me, majored in another language in college) why not get one of the Usborne Flap Books? I found First Picture French at Bookmans last week, and I'm so excited! It's beautiful, and has French words on the main page, and then the English translations underneath when you lift the flaps. The à la ferme page includes numbered groups of animals "un chien, deux chèvres, trois vaches, quatre lapins...", all perfectly illustrated, which handily teaches animals and numbers at the same time!

Do you know someone who's passionately proud to be from Michigan or Texas or New Jersey? Check out the Little State series of board books. The series includes a book for each state, and as the publisher says, "State birds, flowers, trees, and animals brought to board book form for the youngest book lovers. Toddlers will delight in these books filled with rhyming riddles." I have the Arizona one bookmarked as a gift for Eleanor's 2nd birthday!

Do you give books as gifts? 
Do you know any other unique and beautiful board books that I've missed?

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