It has been quite some time since a look at board books! I have three lovely titles here on the review docket: Time to Go Home (A Little Snail Book) by Shasha Lv ,and Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel, both courtesy of Raincoast Books; as well as My Favorite Color (I Can Only Have One?) by Aaron Becker, courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada. Happy reading, all!
I love an unanticipated treat of a children’s book, and Shasha Lv‘s A Little Snail Book: Time to Go Home checks the box! The first board book title in a planned series, Time to Go Home spotlights the different ways in which friends make the trip home after school. As Little Snail gathers up her school papers and packs her bag, she waves and says goodbye to each of her friends. Readers then to follow each friend and see what method of transportation they take with their respective grown-up. We see everything from walking, riding an electric scooter, taking a bus, and more! Readers see some routines which may be very familiar, and others which might not be so familiar! But…what about Little Snail? She has been cheerfully packing and saying her goodbyes to each of her friends, but how will Little Snail make it home- and how will she make it home in time? With its warm amber tones, almost 70s-like palette, and the unfussy yet cozy feel of the animal-centered art, Time to Go Home makes for very sweet reading. The book also makes solid use of repetition within its clear and concise text, making for a great read aloud option with littlest ones. I have been reading (and rereading!) this title with my two year old, and it has become one of his favourite bedtime stories- ticking the boxes of adorable animals, a school setting, transportation, as well as a cute surprise of an ending!
Next up we have the board book version of acclaimed picture book author and illustrator Brendan Wenzel‘s Hello Hello! I had the pleasure of reviewing the picture book format of Hello Hello, so please take the time to look over my thoughts there if you’d like a more expansive view! Losing none of the original work’s earnestness and depth in this new smaller format, the board book version of Hello Hello is just as beautiful, bright, and enlightening. From the opening spread of a white cat and black cat saying hello, to animals bright, colourful, giant and not-so-giant, Hello Hello offers readers a stunning overview and look at just some of the variety and diversity in our planet’s animal kingdom, The last few pages of the board book spotlight notes regarding the ever-pressing, if not increasing need for conservation efforts, as well as a full listing of animals ‘in order of appearance’, with an icon corresponding to each animal. For the littlest ones, the sturdy, firm pages, lively artwork, and easy rhymes are indubitably appealing and part of the books massive charm; but it is also worth noting that Hello Hello– even for the littlest readers and listeners- offers further ways to learn about, think about, and consider ecological conservation.
You may be familiar with New York Times bestselling author Aaron Becker‘s Journey trilogy, or picture book A Stone for Sascha. Outside of the creator’s beautiful and acclaimed wordless picture books, Aaron Becker has terrific board books to his name! Following the interactive die-cut You Are Light, the creator’s latest board book offering is My Favorite Color: I Can Only Pick One?. A wonderful (and deceptively simple) dive into colours, shades, and more colours, the board book begins with a look at yellow- the narrator’s initial favourite!- and follows with a study and consideration of blues, pink hues, purples, reds, and more incredible colour options. With so many colours in the world, and the fact that different things we love are associated with different colours, how can we just pick one colour as a favourite? With straightforward and easy black text on a background of white, small squares of colours on every spread saturate and bloom at every turn. Featuring die-cut technique throughout the book, and at different levels of use, the novelty and joy of its surprise and how it works with light to enhance/modify colours is constant. Pair with Becker’s own You Are Light, Tamara Shopsin and Jason Fulford’s Find Colors, or Bàrbara Castro Urío’s Goodnight, Rainbow Cats, for even more wondrous adventures in colour.
I received copies of these titles courtesy of Raincoast Books and Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions and comments are my own. Titles have been published and are currently available.