Books are my favorite type of gift, no matter what the occasion. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. Plus, the smaller board books make great stocking stuffers.
My dear friend and children’s librarian, Beth Vuolo Gousman, compiled a list of some of her favorites. Enjoy!
~ Newborns ~
Black & White by Tana Hoben ~ $5
Tana Hoban’s Black & White series feature several books that are exactly what they sound like: wordless board books with black shadows on solid white pages, or white pictures on black pages, depending upon the selection. This is perfect for brand new babies who have limited vision – and attention spans.
~ Infants ~
1. Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan ~ $4
The illustrations in this book are my favorite of all board books. It’s a little longer than a typical board book, but the pictures are such that children will stick with it.
2. On My Leaf by Sara Gillingham ~ $8
Chronicle books offers this series of felt finger puppets books (leaf, flower, beach, pond, nest, meadow) with one line of text and the board cut away so readers can poke their fingers through. Great series for the short attention span of infants!
3. Big Box of Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton ~ $19
Sandra Boynton’s board books are beloved by all, but the Little Pookie series, about a young piglet and mother, do not get the attention that they deserve. There are five stories in all, four of which are bound together in this collection. I feel strongly that these should be required on every infant bookshelf.
~ Toddlers ~
1. Thank You Bear by Greg E. Foley ~ $5
Younger siblings in particular can relate to the feeling of being so excited about something and having those around them fail to share in their enthusiasm. Mouse is SO thrilled by what he has for Bear, but other forest friends put down his gift. But the gift is just perfect for its intended recipient, his friend Bear. Parents will be just as charmed as children.
2. Digger Dog by William Bee ~ $12
Dogs AND dinosaur bones; what’s not to love? It’s enough to blow a toddler’s mind. Plus, the book has a four page spread that folds out (cue the oooh and ahhs!). Lots of repetition is helpful for toddler comprehension.
3. Train! by Judi Abbot ~ $14
Got a toddler who resists sharing (who doesn’t?)? It is SO hard to compromise on what you want to do at this age, and Abbot captures it perfectly. The illustrations feature abundant white space and are well-suited to the author’s audience.
~ Preschoolers ~
1. The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak ~ $10
A book with no pictures, you say? Believe it or not, you and your kid/s are in for some fun with this one! The silly songs and words will have you laughing in no time.
2. Owen (Caldecott Honor Book) by Kevin Henkes ~ $6
“Fuzzy goes where I go,” says Owen of his beloved blanket. But what will he do when it comes time for school? Although you can’t go wrong with any book by Kevin Henkes, Owen is a standout due to its lovable protagonist, repetitive text, and feel good ending.
3. Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett ~ $13
Perseverance pays off in this story about two boys who are so close to their goal but just miss the mark. Jon Klassen also illustrated Barnett’s “Extra Yarn” and the illustrations are not to be missed, right down to the tiny expressions.