The Top 100 Board Books Poll Countdown: #20-16
This is the first of the last four posts of our poll! How time does fly. Initially I was going to release each of the Top 20 books in its own separate post, but life is short and I’m looking forward to posting something else for the remainder of the month of August. Not that going through these books hasn’t been a blast. And don’t worry. When the list is officially done I’ll make a post of all of them together for easy reference. Which brings us to . . .
#20 – Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz (2009)
This one goes out to all those folks who wondered what the top Karen Katz book on the list would be. Well, spoiler alert, this is the last Katz book you’re going to see. Kind of crazy to consider that she only just barely made it onto the Top 20. I was a little thrown by the publication date. I think, technically, this book may or may not have originally been released in 2000 as a picture book, but I’m definitely more than willing to be corrected on this point. What I can say with certainty is that I’ve owned a lot of Karen Katz board books over the years. This was one of the few that managed to survive attempted manglings by two of my children. I won’t say that it remained pristine to the end, but pretty darn near close.
#19 – Dinosaur Roar by Paul Strickland (1997)
This is a great intro to opposites and such a fun look at dinosaurs. I read the paperback version to my son so often I can still recite it and he turns 27 this summer! – Amy, Central Arkansas Library System
Oh dear. It appears that this classic board book, a staple in many a home and public library, is out of print. Oh, Dutton, Dutton. Rescind the error. Bring back this most perfect dino BB. It’s the only one to break into the Top 20 and it’s such a cheery opposite book that you won’t be able to help but sell it. I’ll say it. The best dinosaur board book ever made.
#18 – The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton (2005)
This is a favorite for many reasons, including all of the many subtle visual jokes. (Like the hippo wearing a shirt that says “Naval Academy!”) – Gesse, Love the rhythm in this book! Amy – Central Arkansas Library System
Soon after dark, upon the beach, we sing a hippo song, and if you’re feeling in the mood, we hope you’ll sing along: “Belly Belly Button, you’re oh so fine. Ooo, Belly Button, I’m so happy you’re mine.”
Only a heart of stone alone could disregard the beauty of those little lines. Combine this with the previously mentioned Katz book and you’ve got yourself one heck of a belly button baby storytime right there! Extra points to Amy here for pointing out the “Naval Academy” joke. I’ll confess, it went completely over my head the first time I saw it.
#17 – Global Baby Girls by A Global Fund for Children (2013)
Babies love pictures of babies and this one shows a great diversity of girls. – Gesse
Board books illustrated with photographs are a huge win not just with toddlers, but with babies under 1, as they are keenly interested in faces! Photographs are vibrant, clear, and adorable. – Jennifer, Fauquier County Public Library
The series that understood that just because babies love faces, that doesn’t mean those faces need to be identical. The girls in this book hail from Canada, China, Guatemala, France, India, Liberia, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, and the United States too. I very much liked the Kirkus review of this book, which pointed out, “From the girl on the cover wearing a hijab to an American tyke wearing overalls, the girls mostly sport everyday wear in a broader range of colors than pink and purple.” A brilliant idea for a series.
#16 – Global Babies by A Global Fund for Children (2007)
Babies love pictures of other babies, that’s for sure. What I adore about this book is the multicultural babies from all over the world, with such positive text. – Danielle, Ames Public Library
Yay, diverse pictures of babies! And the country is listed prominently on each photograph. The kids have a variety of expressions, and a variety of gender expressions — and the text never includes any mention of gender. (I think the only country they repeat is USA, and honestly I am glad that my white USian nibling will see the USA represented not just by a white kid in “Western” clothing but also by a brown kid in traditional non-Western gear.) And points for including a Black African baby on the “are beautiful” page. – Elizabeth Sweeney
I swear to you on all things high and holy that I didn’t mean for the two Global Baby books to end up next to one another on this list. Honestly, this chaffs against all my list-based organizational instincts. In a better world I could have had one of these two end up in the Top 10. But since we’re going by a point system with these results, I wasn’t able to tweak the order. Ah well. At least they’re both in the Top 20 AND they just look so doggone nice together. This book was around for both of my children, so I’ll always be grateful to it. It officially kicked off the series. Well done, Charlesbridge.
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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