The Top 100 Board Books Poll Countdown: #25-21
Today I’ll be including my very first board book from 2019 in the mix. How is it possible that it got so many votes already? Read on and I’ll divulge all.
#25 – The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (2015)
My first introduction to this book came by way of, of all things, Publishers Weekly. Though I never saw it on the New York Times bestseller list of picture books, consistently this book would crop up on PW’s top picture book list week after week, month after month. It was fascinating and baffling to me. I’d never even read it! Just now I scanned through all the original reviews, and they were pretty universally positive. As for the adaptation to the board book format, good old Horn Book Guide had this to say on the matter: “Schertle’s bouncy rhyming text and McElmurry’s amiable old-fashioned-looking illustrations fare well in the smaller format.”
#24 – Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton (1993)
Is it just me or are these animals dancing the hora? I hope so. There’s something about the concentration of the cow and the jauntiness of the pig that’s so appealing. In 2011 they supersized the title to a lap-sized board book (all the better for those baby storytimes).
#23 – Press Here by Hervé Tullet (2019)
I had a bit of a dark moment of the soul, figuring out whether or not I should include this book here. Technically the original Press Here isn’t really what you’d call a board book. Its pages are stiff but not thick. This is particularly striking when you consider how Tullet’s true board books are a genre in and of themselves. I think my daughter potty trained almost exclusively while reading Tullet’s “Game Of” series.
In any case, with so many votes in its favor I was going to include it anyway, but then I saw that it really will be released as an official board book by Chronicle in March of 2019. That’s good enough for me. On it goes!
#22 – Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, ill. Patrick Benson (2003)
“Oh, the pathos!” – Paula Guiler, Greentown Intermediate School
I’m with Paula on this one. Pathos (without a shred of bathos) is on full-throated display here, thanks to that little mommy-missing youngest owl. It was cute in its full picture book sized format. It’s even cuter as a board book. With their gigantic eyes, owls are custom-made to be relatable. And as for you storytime presenters, happy news. The lap-sized board book edition came out this past February so look for that.
#21 – I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry (2004)
“The pictures are simply gorgeous. The seasons were fascinating to me as a child who grew up in San Diego without seasons. When I looked this up, I found there is a whole series that never got reprinted. Mouse, puppy, kitten, and bear.” – Elisabeth
Okay. Did not see that one coming. At this point in the proceedings you’re going to see a lot of familiar faces and covers. There isn’t a lot of room for surprises where famous board books are concerned. But just on the cusp of the Top 20, this little Risom/Scarry number managed to edge its way forward. With an original publication date of 1963 in its picture book form (you can tell by the early Scarry pass at realism – the vestiges remain). And Elisabeth’s additional information about there being a series attached to this that has yet to see the reprinted light of day means that maybe someday Random House will bless us with further titles. Maybe.
Top 100 Board Books Poll Results
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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