15 of Ian's Favorite Board Books Right Now

Mar 22, 2019

In my last monthly update, I shared the good news that Ian has finally joined the literary ranks in our family. He is happy listening to books for long amounts of time (we actually don't know what his limit is because we always seem to give up before he does). Luckily, he has six people willing to read to him, so he can usually find someone available for a book (or ten).

Here are fifteen of his most recent favorites. Some will undoubtedly be familiar to you; I wasn't necessarily going for a new and original list--instead, I was trying to give a pretty solid representation of his favorite books at this moment in time. But I hope there will be at least a few on here that you haven't heard of before that you'll want to share with your own little one.

Dinosaur Dance by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton's Barnyard Dance has long been a favorite of our family's. If you feel similarly, then you will most certainly love this companion hoe-down, especially the tiny little dino who loves to cha-cha-cha!

Bird, Fly High! by Petr Horáček
One of Mike's cousins recommended this to me as one of her all-time favorite board books (and that's saying something because she has ten children . . . can you imagine how many times she has probably read this one???). It is no longer in print, but I ordered a used copy. I love the simple cutouts and repetitive text, and I will always, always enjoy Petr Horáček's illustrations.

Where's the Dog? by Ingela P. Arrhenius
I just have two words for you: felt flaps. Little hands can't bend, tear, or rip them, which means this book is basically indestructible. There is a whole series of these sweet, felt-flap books, and if I'd discovered them two years ago, I think I would have bought them all. As it is, we only have this one because the text is very simplistic, and Ian has almost outgrown it.

Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins
When Daddy Woodpecker teaches his young son the vital skill of pecking, Junior Woodpecker takes it to a whole new level. He pecks everything in sight: the tennis racket, the sink, the clock, and seventeen jelly beans. And each thing he pecks becomes a hole in the book. This is one of Lucy Cousins' lesser known books but very clever nonetheless.

If You See a Cow by Ana Larranaga
This is a simple board book that encourages lots of interaction (beyond just lifting up the flaps): "If you see a cow, say MOO!" The companion book, If You See a Tiger, invites even greater participation, including stamping feet and whispering "Shhhhh."

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
A classic board book, but one that wasn't a part of our home until Clark was a baby. Now our whole family loves it, and Ian can get just about anyone to read it to him. He has now heard it enough times that he has memorized most of the different adjectives and can decisively close up each flap while declaring: "He was too fierce!" or "He was too naughty!"

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
I hadn't made a point of pulling out this book for Ian. But he found it one day and instantly fell head over heels for it. I am repeatedly amazed at the universal appeal of this book. It continues to delight the newest generation of littles.

Pelican's Bill by Kathy Knight and Kate Stone
I bought this book purely because of its unique construction. On each page, you slide up Pelican's head to reveal what is inside his bill. Even though one of my kids somehow managed to slide the piece beyond its stopper and pull it all the way out, we were able to put it back in, and it has held up remarkably well.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambalt, illus. Lois Ehlert
I wish I could peek inside Ian's mind and see what he's actually thinking about when we read this book. He is too young to understand what letters are or what they can do. Does he just think they're cool shapes trying to get up a coconut tree? Regardless, he loves this book, and I can't think of anything cuter than hearing him say, "Chicka chicka boom boom" and "Flip flap flee."

Doggies by Sandra Boynton
Just going to be honest here that this might be my least favorite Sandra Boynton book of all time. The text is made up almost entirely of different dog sounds that build on each other and are repeated over and over again. It's a pain to read, especially when I don't know what things like "nnn...nnn...nnn" or "Rrowff" are even supposed to really sound like. But I've obliged and read this to Ian probably at least fifty times because it makes him so happy. Maybe I could get him to take over with the sounds?

Little Cloud by Eric Carle
Not one of Eric Carle's most popular books but still a sweet and simple story about a little cloud who gets separated from his family and spends the day turning into all sorts of random shapes. For some reason, I'm always surprised that Ian likes this one, but he continues to ask for it.

Run Home, Little Mouse by Britta Teckentrup
This is not a new book, but it is a recent discovery for us. A little mouse has to hurry home through the dark forest. On every page, he encounters a pair of menacing eyes that he has to run away from. A little bit scary, but don't worry, he makes it home safe and sound.

Pizza by Lotta Nieminen
If you have not yet been introduced to these interactive recipe board books, allow me to be the first to do so! In this one, the reader gets to pour in the ingredients (I love sliding out the salt and sugar tab and watching them sprinkle into the bowl), stir up the dough, knead it, and finally take out a slice of pizza and enjoy. Other books in the series are Pancakes, Cookies, and Tacos.

Faster! Faster! by Leslie Patricelli
What kid doesn't love to get a ride on Daddy's back and say, "Giddy up, Horsie!" In this book, a little girl urges her dad to faster and faster speeds--first a dog, then a cheetah, even a falcon--until he just runs out of steam and turns into a turtle. Such a cute story and one that I have loved for many years.

Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
As far as I know, there is not a board book edition of this book, but I wish there was. Each page has intricate cutouts that gradually build the monster up before shouting "You don't scare me!" and then breaking him back down. I am always fearful that overeager hands are going to tear the pages, so a sturdy board book would be a winner. But Ian cares nothing about that. The only thing that matters to him is saying, "And don't come back! Until I say so."

Are any of these favorites at your house, too? Do you have any others to share with me? (I can only read Brown Bear Brown Bear so many times . . . )

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