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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'board-books'.

Mister Seahorse struck me as kind of repetitive when I first read it (and it is), but my two-year-old really likes it and requests it often, so it's grown on me. 

The illustrations are amazing as usual, with bright, nontraditionally colored seahorses. The narrative itself is interspersed with some fish that "hide" behind nearly-transparent pages, which is fun for kids. 

The other great thing about this story is that it focuses on fathers in the animal kingdom. Even though the fish here are anthropomorphized enough to talk to each other, they are still representatives of actual fathers in the animal kingdom who take care of their own eggs/children. I think this is much needed in the often mother-dominated depictions of animals and their babies in children's literature (and everywhere else). 

Scrounged From: Our local library first, board book version from Amazon

Format: Board book
Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle
Pages: 34
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

The BabyLit series is any literature-lover's dream come true. Whether you have children of your own, or nephews, nieces, godchildren, or friends, this is such a cute way to introduce babies and toddlers to some of your favorite classic books. While I think some entries in the series are better than others, one of my favorites so far is Jabberwocky. Probably that is partly because it includes large portions of Lewis Carroll's original poem, with such recognizable phrases as "the frumious bandersnatch," and "O frabjous day, callooh callay!"

Of course, this book has managed to omit any references to "vorpal swords" or slaying. Which does make the last bit somewhat choppy. But this is still a fun "nonsense primer," with cute, colorful images of nonsense creatures and a sweet final image of a father and son.

Scrounged From: Amazon (a Christmas present for our kids)

Format: Board book
Author: Jennifer Adams
Illustrator: Alison Oliver
Pages: 22
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

This Is Sadie is a really cute book about a girl with an active imagination. The lovely illustrations show us some of the things that she has been in her mind (mermaid, Mad Hatter, etc.), and some of her daily activities (reading, tree-climbing, pretending she has wings, etc.). Makes me miss being a kid! If there's one thing kids don't need to be taught, it's how to have an imagination, which is why this book feels like a celebration rather than a how-to.

(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review.)

Scrounged From: A LibraryThing giveaway

Format: Board Book
Author: Sara O'Leary
Illustrator: Julie Morstad
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Beautiful Oops! is a board book with bright colors, flaps to open, and other fun features, which communicates the idea that when being creative it's okay to mess up. Rather than coming right out and saying "It's okay to mess up" though, the book gives examples of how seeming mistakes or imperfections can be used as a starting point to create something wonderful.

Whether it's a stain from a coffee mug, a tear in paper, a smudge of paint, of even a wadded up piece of paper, everything has potential if you choose to see it that way. This book's mixed media images and interactive features work well together to help children view their art in a more positive way (in the tradition of Peter Reynolds' Creatrilogy), as something with potential rather than simply a rote task with only one possible outcome. A fun book for young kids, and possibly older ones as well! (Some of the elements in the book might not work out well with toddlers who don't yet know how to treat books "gently," so parents may want to play it by ear.)

Scrounged From: Amazon (a Christmas present for our five-year-old)

Format: Board book
Author/Illustrator: Barney Saltzberg 
Pages: 28
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

My kids have really enjoyed Leslie Patricelli's bright-colored board books, featuring a smiley, almost-bald baby who experiences holidays, helps demonstrate some simple concepts, and expresses love for some popular baby objects (blankie, binky). I can see why these books appeal to toddlers, with the simple words, exuberant baby, and textured color on the pages. Surprisingly, even my four-year-old enjoyed them, when I thought he was "beyond" these kinds of board books. Here are five of our favorites so far (but there are many!):


BIG Little compares the sizes of different (often related) things, with the repeated phrase "_____ are big, ______ are little." Things such as heads vs. toes, boats vs. rubber duckies, and ladies vs. ladybugs. At the end is a two-page spread featuring more big things and more little things that a toddler might recognize.


Binky is probably one of the books we've checked out of the library the most. It's a very simple search for a lost binky -- the baby looks in all kinds of places, like in a cereal bowl and under the rug, then begins asking family members before having a meltdown. My toddler gets especially happy when, at the end, the baby finally finds the binky in the crib -- "just where I like it best." Even though my kids never used binkies, they can still identify with the frustrations of losing a special object and not knowing how to find it, so they especially like the happy ending. My daughter has even decided that "Binky" must be the baby's name.


Quiet Loud is a cute comparison of related things that are quiet and loud. It's fun to read the first part in a quiet voice and then raise my voice a bit for the loud comparison. Some examples are "Snow is quiet. Rainstorms are loud." "Birds are quiet. Airplanes are loud." The last two pages contain several more examples on each page of quiet and loud things. The book doesn't make judgments about whether loud things are good or bad, but if I ever do need to ask my kids to do something quiet, this book helps to give them some examples!


No No Yes Yes is a nice, gentle way to demonstrate things that are not good to do, contrasted with the positive, correct way to do those things. For example, one "no no" is running away from Daddy -- the "yes yes" is holding hands while walking. Another "no no" is dumping water out of the tub, while the "yes yes" shows the baby dumping out water in the tub. The illustrations serve as the explanation -- the only words on the pages are "no no" and "yes yes," but I will usually add some explanations here and there. Sometimes these kinds of books make me worry that they'll introduce bad behaviors that children haven't thought of yet, but this one seemed pretty basic and familiar.


Again with very simple text (primarily just "Higher! Higher!"), this book introduces what appears to be either a new character or an older iteration of the almost-bald baby. The little girl's father is pushing her on the swing, and the higher she goes, the more amazing heights she reaches -- from as high as a giraffe to a skyscraper, and airplane, and even outer space where she meets an unusual creature. Fantastical, but fun. Along a similar vein is Faster! Faster!.

A few other favorites are Blankie, and Potty, and Boo!, but there are many more.
Scrounged From: Our local library
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