Nifty Board Book Tricks

Fun format surprises in the board books below--color changes, mix and match, flaps and die-cuts--will likely capture the attention and spark the excitement of pre-readers. 

cdonutMudpuppy's Color Magic Bath Book series includes three waterproof "board" books--Color the Ocean, Cat Donuts and What Color Am I (each $9.99)--that will undoubtedly make bath time entertaining. Each title when dry appears to be filled with white-and-black pages; put the plushy plastic books in the water and vibrant colors appear. A "Chocolate Furosted" cat donut is fun--a Chocolate Furosted cat donut with bright blue stripes on a bold red background is way more fun.

In Zoom Space Adventure by Susan Hayes and illustrated by Susanna Rumiz (What on Earth Books, $14.99), die-cuts are used to blast Ava off to her "big space adventure." Once Ava is in her rocket ship, she waits for the final countdown, which happens over the next five (four, three, two, one!) pages. Lift off! Ava and her little white kitty are off to space, peeping through windows and behind flaps at all the beauty the cosmos has to offer.

Sara Ball's Flip-a-Feather(Abbeville Kids, $16.95) is a board book for children in the three to five range. Each page introduces a new bird--Pelican, Quetzal, Cockatoo--and is split into three panels that can be individually flipped. As children play with each different section, they have the ability to create hundreds of different kinds of birds: a Pel-quetz-too, for example. With explanatory text on every panel, this oversized board book is silly and educational.

--Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness