SILVER SPRING, Md, August 10, 2013 – Board books are a staple of homes with infants and young children. Their thick cardboard pages do not get damaged as easily as the thin pages of a standard picture book making them resilient to eager little hands. They also tend to be written for younger audiences, resulting in short reads with simple words.
The trick tends to be finding anything new in the world of board books.
The bookstore shelves are filled with the classic Eric Carle and Sandra Boyton options. While these are all great books, sometimes parents want something new or different.
Luckily, Chronicle Book and author/illustrator Taro Gomi has given parents a couple of new options.
The first is Wiggle!. This is a very simple book that can be read to young infants through toddlers. Each page offers a part of an animal that moves, such as “The cat wiggles her tail.” The fun thing about this book is that there is a hole that goes through it. And while there are other books that do similar things, what makes this unusual is that the hole removes the part of the animal being pointed out by the narrator.
The finger replaces the cat’s missing tail, the elephant’s trunk, the penguin’s beak, and so on. The book uses simple illustrations and two to three bright colors per page, allowing parents to add some lessons in color recognition without too much distraction.
The second is Hide and Seek, and it is a search and find book designed for very young children.
On each set of pages there is a picture of an item and a question, asking which animal is hiding the pictured item. The pages start off simple, a rooster hiding a glove on his head instead of his comb and a crocodile hiding a toothbrush in his mouth instead of his teeth.
As you progress through the book, the objects become more camouflaged by the animals hiding them and the number of animals on the page increases, thus increases the difficulty and making it more of a challenge.
This book is great for a toddler who is beginning to play hide and seek and starting to recognize the difference between colors and shapes.
Taro Gomi is the author of over 350 books for a wide range of readers. In the United States his best known work is Everyone Poops, which has become a staple in the bathrooms of potty training parents.
His doodle books including Scribbles, Doodles and Squiggles have met with rave reviews, and are designed to promote kids creativity in ways that normal coloring and activity books do not. In fact, Scribbles won the 2008 Fat Brain Toy Award. Gomi lives in Japan and has had his work translated into 15 different languages.
Neither of these books are new, published in 1992 in Japan, but they are new to American audiences. Published on July 23, 2013 by Chronicle Books, Hide and Seek (ISBN: 978-1-4521-0840-7) and Wiggle! (ISBN: 978-1-4521-0836-0) are both available as board books.
Brighid Moret also writes children’s picture book reviews at Big Reads For Little Hands. Read more about parenting issues in Parenting the First Time Through at The Communities at The Washington Times.