The Top 100 Board Books Poll Countdown: #5 – 1!
We did it!
We really and truly did it. You voted. The votes were tallied. And now we’re finishing up the last remaining titles on the Top 100 Board Books Poll Countdown. Some of you have asked if this will appear in a nice printable format, so I’ll work with SLJ to see if we can’t make that happen. Until then, enjoy the last remaining books. I know I sure as heck have.
#5 – Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (1999)
One of the best ever lift the flap books, perfect for building suspense and engagement! – Gesse
The absolute favorite of both my children, this one has flaps and animals. How can you go wrong!? – Danielle, Ames Public Library
How indeed? Campbell’s classic was possibly the first board book I encountered when I took my library science courses in grad school. It has had a steady staying power ever since its early days as a standard picture book. The board book adaptation just made good clean sense after that. Plus, those little flaps have always been oddly sturdy, all things considered.
#4 – Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr., ill. Eric Carle (1996)
(The Version with the sliding panels.) – Dani
(the sliding windows one) – Allison Knight, Dayton Metro Library
I think this was the only time that folks made very clear that there was a specific version of this book that should be included on this list. If you are looking for this exact edition, the ISBN is 031250926X. Carle’s classic book has been around for decades, but the board book adaptation was particularly choice. I used to perform this during my toddler storytimes and remember the near uproar I caused the week I tried to switch it out with Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? Never made THAT mistake again!
#3 – Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton (1984)
I love sharing Boynton books with young people and this is one of my favorites. The pattern of: “expected thing, expected thing, expected thing, unexpected thing!” is just HILARIOUS to toddlers. – Gesse
the “oops!” gets the reader every time!– Paula Guiler, Greentown Intermediate School
This made my son (and myself) laugh every time. You can see here:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what’s the most popular Sandra Boynton title of all? You’re looking at it, toots. It’s the only book on today’s list that wasn’t a picture book first, and for that reason it may well be my favorite inclusion here today. Quite possibly the world’s most perfect board book.
#2 – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1994)
What can I say? We love the colors, the art, the way the pages get larger and smaller. Such a classic. – Danielle, Ames Public Library
This is one of my favorite picture book stories whether in board book or hardback format, because it teaches young children so many things in one book. – Beverly, San Antonio Public Library
My sister and I discussed this book on our podcast, when rating classics. I maintain that what it does is near perfect. It’s a counting/seasons/colors/healthy eating / life cycle of a butterfly book. And it has cool holes you can poke your fingers into. Amazing.
#1 – Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, ill. Clement Hurd (1991)
The oversized lap edition is perfect. The dream-like atmosphere and bold colors make this size something like watching a play for the youngest readers. – Emily Schneider
Because it should be here. – Paula Guiler, Greentown Intermediate School
We read this story as part of our bedtime routine every single night. We’ve had it memorized for months. I love watching him flip the pages back and forth between the colored page and the black and white illustrations. We also have two cats (one is now deceased) named White Cat and Brown Cat. The illustrations has one cat that’s mainly dark colored and one that’s white. We always say Goodnight White Cat, Goodnight Brown Cat when we read (even though White Cat is no longer with us). – Cheryl Gladfelter
And there you have it. This feels familiar. When I conducted my picture book poll back in the day, this and Hungry Caterpillar wrestled for the top spots there too. If you can find the lap edition, it’s well worth it (though I fear it’s out of print these days).
Thanks for reading!
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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