Board book recommendations
November 27, 2013 2:00 AM   Subscribe

My 4-month-old loves reading eye-catching books, but I am a bit bored with the ones we have. Help me find some more, with examples inside.

Baby McCatburglar will sit on our laps and read books for 15-20 minutes at a time. He pats them and grabs at them while I either read what is on the page or make up an alternate story to amuse myself. However, he is only interested in books with very bright colors or stark contrasts. He loves Who Are They? and Black on White. His absolute favorite book is That's Not My Robot, which is full of bright colors and shiny silver foil. When we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar he loses interest when the caterpillar eats his one nice green leaf, and brightens back up when he turns into a beautiful butterfly. As a counterexample, a book he does not like at all is Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear. I bought it because I thought it was beautiful, but the palette is much too muted for his taste.

What other board books with vivd colors, interesting patterns, or stark contrasts would you recommend? Foil inlays are a definite plus. Story and content are somewhat beside the point, since I often just make it up myself.
posted by lollymccatburglar to Grab Bag (23 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Who Loves You Baby? by Nina Laden has bright colors and a foil inlay that is visible on every page. My kids loved it when they were little.

Sandra Boynton's books tend to have bright colors, and are generally charming enough that a grownup doesn't mind reading them over and over again! I especially liked Moo Ba La La La and Hippos Go Berserk.
posted by yankeefog at 2:32 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: His tastes will change so rapidly, that if you're getting bored your best bet is regular visits to the library. I then bought our own copy of books we loved.
posted by viggorlijah at 2:49 AM on November 27, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Google "meg and mog" or Amazon. They're stories about a friendly witch and her cat and owl. About 10-20 books in all? Extremely bright, high contrast drawings and large writing. My daughter loved them at that age and up to about 2 years old. I'll be pulling them out again soon as she starts to learn how to read. I found them enjoyable too and they're not too long to read at bedtime. They were also adapted into short 5 minute cartoons on YouTube and TV.
posted by wackybrit at 3:33 AM on November 27, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: "Baby Sees" books are high contrast. Also Art for Baby. Neither has foil, though. There are countless other "That's not my..." books, which all have shiny or touchable distractions.
posted by beniamino at 3:38 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Also "Animaux de la Ferme" and other books by François Delebecque have silhouettes, flaps showing photographs of the animals (etc) underneath (see photo here), and sometimes labels (in French; could be a bonus or a problem), and will still be entertaining years from now.
posted by beniamino at 3:45 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: At that age, my son only liked books with photographs, not illustration at all. The only exception - and it could be because of the high-contrast preference you are seeing in your little one - was Peek a Who.
posted by Mchelly at 3:59 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: A specific recommendation in the 'That's not my...' series - 'That's not my baby'. Last page is a mirror (with apologies for giving away the twist...), which was popular with mine around a similar age. Another high-contrast, mirror-containing book my baby liked was 'Is this my nose?'.
posted by gnimmel at 4:08 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Red Train was a multi-year favorite in our house. Bright colors, counting, animals.
posted by belladonna at 5:09 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: My daughter has had Rainbow Rob since she was born and still reads it now she's 3. Also, have you thought of books that are a higher reading age but have good rhythmical rhymes? The books of Julia Donaldson are good from this perspective. For very little ones, something like Monkey Puzzle (I think it's called "Where's My Mom" in the US) may be nice start.
posted by apcmwh at 5:57 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: My little one loved Taro Gomi's Bus Stops (link goes to Kindle edition). See if that's the kind of palette he likes, and then go looking for Gomi's other books. And, yes, Gomi did Everyone Poops back in the day.
posted by hanov3r at 6:36 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Subway has great art with bold colors and flowing lines, and sing-songy, repetitive text.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:43 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Mine loved Hello bugs! at that age. Also check out Hello animals!
posted by cestmoi15 at 6:46 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: I Kissed the Baby! is sweet and high-contrast.
posted by purpleclover at 6:53 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Try Look, Look by Peter Linenthal. Baby Tafetta also likes thr Llama, Llama board books. Thr rhymes are great.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 7:03 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Baby Loves to Rock! was a fun one with lots of bright colors.
posted by graymouser at 8:00 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Taro Gomi's Spring is Here has bright colors and is a cute book. My son is 16 months old and it's been one of his favorites for months. He also likes the Bright Baby series of books; they are photographs with lots of vibrant colors. We have First Words, Animals, and Colors.
posted by JenMarie at 8:02 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Popular with Little Tigerbelly at that stage:

Hello Bugs!
Hello Animals!
Look, Look!
See and Say (has a mirror at the end)
I Kissed the Baby!

For bonus interest, we made various animal and bug noises for the Hello! books, and told stories involving the simple words in the See and Say book.
posted by tigerbelly at 8:16 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: Any of Eric Carle's books may fit the bill, most have a board book version. In particular:

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
The Mixed-Up Chameleon
The Very Lonely Firefly (darker colors)
A House for Hermit Crab
Mister Seahorse (bonus: a rare storybook about dads!)

I see that he had mixed response to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but I think these books are more consistent in their colors.

Leo Lionni has a similar style, also bright choices!
Matthew's Dream
A Color of His Own
posted by nelleish at 10:19 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: No foil inlays, but a simple story with very bright colors and contrast: Perfect Square by Michael Hall.

Not a board book, though.
posted by mefireader at 11:40 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: That's not my Dragon is adorable, and will probably pass muster since he likes the robot version.
posted by that's candlepin at 11:44 AM on November 27, 2013

Best answer: I think the colors might be too muted, but since Rainbow Fish is practically the ur-book for shiny foil, I thought I'd mention it anyway. It does come in board book form and there's a whole series of sequels (some in board book form, some not) so it might be worth checking it out from the library to see if it works and then buying it if does.
posted by librarylis at 3:07 PM on November 28, 2013

Best answer: There's a series of books by Margaret Miller that are all photos of babies. I love them for lap-sit storytimes because the little ones really respond.
As a children's librarian, I of course agree with the advice to check out some books at the library. You'll be amazed how his tastes change over the next months and years. Books that he ignored will suddenly become favorites when he hits those developmental sweet spots.
Have fun!
posted by Biblio at 3:44 PM on November 28, 2013

Response by poster: These are all best answers. We do actually use the library a lot, but we don't live in an English-speaking country so there are a lot of books we check out that are not avaliable in English (which is the language we're focusing on).

His Amazon wishlist now has 70 books on it, thanks in part to your help!
posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:55 PM on November 29, 2013

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