More Than Just Durable Reading Material
Board books are ideal for babies and toddlers because their thick covers and pages make them more durable than your average picture books. Beyond their seemingly indestructible format, they serve as a great foundation for reading skills: learning to turn pages, basic concepts (ABCs, colors, & shapes), introducing new vocabulary on a variety of topics, bonding between caregiver and child, and learning the sounds of words.
Follow these adorable and industrious spiders as they introduce the new vocabulary by way of word opposites (i.e. day/night). The use of high contrast colors, black and white with the addition of bold colors like yellow and red, make the images on the pages stand out which in turn is easier for babies developing eyes to focus on. Toddlers will also benefit from a book like this by practicing opposites, identifying items on the pages, and gradually learning new words.
This board book is a great example of basic concepts for your child including identifying colors, shapes, and building their vocabulary. Since this book is jam-packed with different concepts it’s a great option to read multiple times, each in a different way. For instance, first go through and look at the pictures asking what each object is. Then you could read it again and identify the colors. Each read through offers an opportunity for practicing and building reader confidence. You may also enjoy “My First 100 Technology Words” by Chris Ferrie.
Reading board books is also a great opportunity to introduce your child to non-fiction books. From books about space to biographies about famous people such as George Washington Carver, non-fiction board books present a wide array of vocabulary from “sun” to “spacecraft” as well as nurture your child’s natural curiosity about the world around them. Just like other board books you can read these books in different ways - focusing on highlighted vocabulary, focusing on shapes, or reading it cover to cover. You may also enjoy “ABC Universe” by the American Museum of Natural History.
It’s never too early to begin reading with your child. Reading together promotes bonding - demonstrating how to read books and sharing in the joy of sharing books together. In addition to Together, a story about a parent and child otter spending the day together, author Dodd has a series of books including Forever, When I Grow Up, and Always that are sweet stories about the special bond between caregiver and child. These are perfect bedtime reads with illustrations in soft, soothing colors and lovable animal characters. You may also enjoy the more lively collaborative title “Peek-a-who?” by Nina Laden.
Learning the alphabet is a foundational step to learning the sounds of words and developing reading skills. Lots of alphabet board books will have vibrant illustrations that coordinate with an image that starts with the letter on the page (i.e. H for Hat). Letters A to Z goes a step further and presents on opposing pages the upper and lower case letter and the word in English and Spanish with the corresponding image. A great way to practice language skills whether English or Spanish is your first language. You may also enjoy the bilingual story “How Do You Say Good Night?” by Cindy Jim.