September 1, 2020

Favorite Board Books


click on a book cover to see more

...and don't forget to check out my other favorites lists:


Masha and Her Sisters

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!). This is the first in the Peek-a-Who series, which also has Peek-a-Who Too?, and you can see a full review of this 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. This is one book of many in the Bookscape Board Book series, including Fun at the Fair, Wild Animals, and A Marvelous Museum. You can also 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!). The other book in the series is Happy Heart.


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. The entire suite of books in the Grammar Zoo series is delightful, I recommend checking them all out: RhymocerosLlamaphones, and most recently Comparrotives.

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. This book has a companion called Glasses to Go.

By Tim Lahan

A witty example of superb 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 laptop. 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. Technically there is only one companion book to This Is Not a Book called This Is Still Not a Book, but honestly every board book Jullien makes is a winner and many have similar lift-the-flap elements.

By Christopher Franceschelli and Peski Studio

This super chunky board book takes readers through the ABCs with die-cut letters and creative words to match them. Text is sparse for maximum time spent on each spread, talking through and pointing at the letters and what they correspond to. Alphablock is the first book the Block Book series, which has a ton of titles including Countablock, Buildablock, Cityblock, Loveblock, Farmblock, Dinoblock, Star Wars Block, Sharkblock, and a few others I'm sure I'm missing.



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. Pancakes! is one of the books in the Cook in a Book series, which also features Tacos!, Cookies!, and Pizza!. You can also see a full review of Pancakes! 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. Counting on Community and Together are companion books.

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. There are a few books in this series including One Patch of Blue, One Piece of String, and One Red Button. You can also see a full review of One Yellow Ribbon 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. There are dozens of books in the Lil Libros series about all sorts of subjects from numbers to vowels, and you can see those here.

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! Fulford and Shopsin have worked on a few board books together including A Pile of Leaves and Find Colors. You can also see a full review of These Colors Are Bananas 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 world around us. Becker has also released a companion book called My Favorite Color.


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 Carly Madden and illustrated by Cynthia Alonso

Argentinian illustrator Cynthia Alonso beautifully captures key moments from The Jungle Book story through layered die-cut 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. This is one of many in the Layer-by-Layer series, including The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and Alice in Wonderland, which you can see more of 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.

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.

It's Useful to Have a Duck 

By Isol

This leporello is two-sided, with one side focused on the boy and the other from the duck's point of view. See and read more here.

Out the Window 

By Cybèle Young

This is a nearly wordless leporello board book that follows a small animal and its ball as it moves through a room. See and read more here.

By Sarah Hutt, Dave Ladd, and Stephanie Anderson

Three leporellos take readers through the food chain. See and read more here.

By Claudio Ripol and Yeonju Yang

This book is actually three leporellos that each fold out into a mask! See and read more here.


By Nina Laden

Readers board a rainbow train! See and read more

By Robie Rogge and August Ro

This die-cut board book is in the shape of a cat! The story inside is about a cat on Halloween looking for his perfect witch.

By Pantone

This set of 6 miniature board books explores the Pantone rainbow. Each chunky page turn reveals a new die-cut image and set of Pantone colors that match with the die-cut.

By Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins

This board book version of a book by the same name contains aphorisms for young Black children, all with Pippins' signature bright illustrations. Best of all: there's a mirror in the back so kiddos can become their own hero!

By Helen Dardik

This flowery, die-cut board book takes readers through a variety of flowers. This alone is enough to be beautiful, but what really puts this one over the top is the embossing! Every bit of this book is filled with carefully selected embossing that makes for a fun tactile experience that won't soon be forgotten!