September 1, 2020

Favorite Board Books

Below are my favorite board books, selected because of their overall design qualities and illustration styles. And don't forget to check out my other favorites lists:


click on a book cover to see more:

By Suzy Ultman

Meet Masha, Larisa, Olya, Galya, and Natasha on five die cut pages that are nested within each other to mimic a Russian doll. The girls are bound at their feet, and each sister has her own unique set of hobbies that are presented textually and visually.

By Maryse Guittet

Die-cut to the shape of a tree, the pages of this book come from different layers in the tree's greenery, with one page for each season of the year. Both the flora and fauna of the trees progress as the seasons go by, and there are pull-tabs and flaps to play with on each of the four pages.


By Elsa Mroziewicz

Each spread in this creative board book ask the question,"Who says?" about an animal noise, and readers lift away the page flaps to see the answer/animal. The flaps move in different directions depending on the animal, and amazingly the book stands up on its own (ie you can shelve it with the rest of your board books!).

You can see a full review of the book here.



By Tupera Tupera

The title of the book says it all! Every flip of the page alternates between baby's face (which gets increasingly more distressed) and objects that might hold Baby's attention. Mother can't seem to find what Baby wants until it hits her -- Baby is hungry!

You can see a full review of the book here.

By Ingela P Arrhenius

A die cut look at the four seasons. Each page is a different shape to emphasize the unique seasons and a variety of landscapes a baby might encounter throughout the year.

Read my interview with creator Ingela P Arrhenius here.


By Hannah Eliot and Susie Hammer

Full of heartfelt and inspirational thoughts, the whole book is shaped like a rainbow. Each color peels away in increasingly larger pages, and the whole book is embedded with glitter (but not the kind that rubs off!).


By Little Bee Books

This die-cut book visits every color of the rainbow on the Pride flag. Each spread features the handiwork of a different queer artist and suggestions of how children and adults can practice kindness and inclusion in their everyday lives.

You can see a full review of the book here.

By Tristan Mory and Stephanie Babin

Ten animals are revealed through pull-out tabs as readers are given a description of an animal and then the question, "Who Am I?" The animal choices are creative enough to allow for a variety of equally creative flaps to pull up, down, and out.

You can see a full review of the book here.


By Janik Coat

A witty and creatively nuanced book, we explore opposites through the lens of a hippo. The book is a little larger, at 8x8" and thick, but every single page will have readers giggling with delight.

Rainbow Chameleon

By Yusuke Yonezu

A highly interactive book with color dials and pull-tabs that help Chameleon work through his insecurities. Readers follow Chameleon as he changes to adapt to the world around him--and eventually adapts to find himself a mate!

By Kimberly Ainsworth and Daniel Roode

As the subtitle says, this is a playful look at opposites through the lens of moustaches! At the front of the book is a pouch with several cardboard moustaches, and each spread asks readers to determine which moustache is the best fit for the scenario. Little slots allow readers to plug in the cardboard moustaches to test which is the right fit.

By Tim Lahan

A witty example of superb of gutter play, this super tall book introduces readers to book anatomy as well as a humorous story with an unpredictable ending. A couple moves in to their new house on the right side of the page, and more and more characters stop by to welcome them to the neighborhood, ultimately stacking up and filling the entire right side of the book.


By Albertine and Germano Zullo

This large format board book is a search-and-find with the idea that a woman is looking for someone named Eric on every page (and that's pretty much the extent of the text). What makes this one unique is that every single character appears on all of the pages with their own full-fledged story that ends when the "main" story does. Needless to say, this is one to come back to multiple times.

By Jean Jullien

You might think you're holding an ordinary board book, but when you look inside it's actually a monster. Or a lap top. Or -- yes -- a butt crack. Everything lies in the eye of the beholder, and this book is the perfect primer to help kids see things from a different angle.

By Christopher Franceschelli and Peskimo

This super chunky board book takes readers through the ABCs with die-cut letters and creative words to match them.



By Lotta Nieminen

A step-by-step guide that takes readers through the process of making pancakes, and every spread features interactive elements, like pull-tabs, dials, and even a punch-out pancake that readers can flip when it's done cooking.

You can see a full review of the book here.

By Innosanto Nagara

A board book for activists young and old, this book helps readers see the value of community, equality, and justice. Text and images both advocate for the environment, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and more with stunning illustrations to be pored over time and time again.

By Marthe Jocelyn

The book opens with a yellow ribbon loosening itself from a child's hair and blowing away into the book's interior where it becomes everything from mustard on a hot dog to a jellyfish tentacle to a pencil. Eventually the ribbon turns into the moon, bringing the quiet and thoughtful experience full circle and back to bedtime.  

You can see a full review of the book here.

By Patty Rodriguez, Ariana Stein, and Citlali Reyes

This board book is a stunning bilingual concept board book that explores shapes through an Aztec lens. Readers join Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor, on a journey through the city of Tenochtitlan, learning about shapes in both English and Spanish.

By Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin

Rethink what you know about colors with this clever board book. Each spread features a statement about an "object" on the lefthand side of the book and a series of twenty-five color swatches on the righthand side that support the statement. So while we learn that "grass is not always green," we simultaneously see twenty-five other colors that grass can be, and the color possibilities are surprising.The last spread is notable for its inclusive die-cut!

You can see a full review of the book here.

By Aaron Becker

This board book explores color through light, with 21 die-cut circles filled with translucent colorful plastic. Readers can hold the book up to the light to see how the light plays off each color in the rainbow. The text focuses on the phenomenon of light and how we see the word around us.


By Andrew Tobin

With gentle watercolor illustrations and adorable smiling fruits, this board book is a handy-dandy guide for measuring the size of a baby in the womb by comparing its size to a piece of fruit. Each spread also features additional facts about the fruits in question that add to the whimsical nature of the book and make for some funny moments.

You can see a full review of the book here.

Written by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by Cynthia Alonso

This 12-page board book by Argentinian illustrator Cynthia Alonso beautifully captures key moments in Alice's story through die-cut, layered pages. Each spread has its own shape, and many pages have holes for curious fingers to flip pages and sneak a glimpse at what's to come. See more here.

By Elsa Fouquier

This is a unique board book with four different wooden shapes that facilitate a tactile experience for Baby. Each of the four pieces is a unique shape and color, and the interactive experience with each piece is different, too. See more here.

Written by Motomitsu Maehara

Birds is but one of many in a beautiful, collage-style board book series called Words of the World. Each book in the series focuses on a theme and pairs the illustration with a primer word in six different languages. See more here.

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