Board books provide learning, fun for children

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17 2013 3:10 p.m. MDT

Board books are smaller — just right for little hands — strongly constructed, contain beginning concepts and finger activities for young learners. Many also include lift-the-flaps and other beginning concepts for young readers. Following are a few of the new board books for sharing with little readers:

SHERLOCK HOLMES: In the Hound of Baskervilles — A BabyLit Sounds Primer,” “ANNA KARENINA: A BabyLit Fashion Primer,” and “JABBERWOCKY: A BabyLit Nonsense Primer,” by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver, Gibbs Smith, $9.99 each (ages 3 and up)

This trio of board books by Salt Lake City author Jennifer Adams is the newest for her BabyLit series, which uses stories from classic literature to teaching concepts like weather, counting and opposites. “Sherlock Holmes” matches sounds with the what makes the noise (“hounds” and “howl”). “Anna Karenina” identifies different pieces of clothing with another object to find and is sprinkled with quotes. “Jabberwocky” is filled with phrases, some of which make sense and others that don’t, but are fun to say.

Author Jennifer Adams will be doing a book signing 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, at the King's English Bookshop.

"SPOT THE DOT," by David A. Carter, Scholastic, $12.99 (ages 3-5)

David Carter, an accomplished paper engineer, combines flaps for lifting and searching, turning wheels, pull tabs and a giant pop-up to introduce colors. On one page, dozens of cut-out shapes change color with a wheel to “spot the blue dot.” The final two-page pop-up is an extravaganza of color with dozens of punky circles and “spot the black dot.” Eye-popping color and strong construction makes this a book, which is due out Sept. 24, to be enjoyed time after time.

"AT THE BEACH," by Elizabeth Spurr, illustrated by Manelle Oliphant, Peachtree, $6.95 (ages 2-4)

This is one in a series of small board books that follow a young boy’s outdoor excursions. In "At the Beach,” the child pats sand and sticks into a birthday cake until “Splash! Crash!” a wave causes “Cake smashed.” Each scene uses simple word clues for a read-it-again experience. Also in the series are “In the Garden” and “In the Woods.

"BRING ON THE BIRDS" (board edition), by Susan Stockdale, Peachtree, $6.95 (ages 2-5)

First published in picture book format, Stockdale introduces 21 different kinds of birds: “skimming birds, swimming birds, birds with tails held high...” From brightly colored peacocks to humming birds are framed with the concluding statement “All have feathers and hatch from eggs." The small size and durable pages make this a favorite for sit-on-my-lap sharing time.

"ARLO’S ARTrageous ADVENTURE!" by David Larochelle, Sterling Children's Books, $14.95 (ages 3-8)

Arlo’s trip on an art adventure isn’t by choice. It's: “We’re going to the art museum, whether you like it or not!”

When the lion sculpture outside the entrance grins at him and the paintings in the galleries begin coming to life, Arlo is most excited. As the reader lifts the 50 flaps, unusual things seem to appear; a modern art piece becomes a forked tongue and a bathing lady appears in an ancient crock. A teddy bear is found in a mummy case, and monkeys are hidden in numerous drawings and display cases. There’s such a variety of surprises, readers will read and flip the flaps time after time. They may even ask for a trip to an art museum, hoping to find a surprise or two.

"OPPOSITES," by Xavier Deneux, Chronicle/Handprint, $14.99 (age 3 and up)

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