In the past, I've nearly always bought picture books as paperbacks, occasionally buying a hardback copy of a book I love in the hope of preserving it for posterity.
All that has changed with the arrival of my two baby granddaughters. Sammy is 1 year old this week and Angelina turns 2 next month. They both love books. They love being read to - but they also love turning the pages (in any order), bashing the book, trying to pick the illustrations out of it and chewing and dribbling on the pages.
It’s a joy seeing them interact with books, but it doesn’t do the pages of a conventional picture book much good, especially when they’re also being shared with a puppy.
So, recently, I’ve found myself buying board books. Board books specifically written and designed for the under 3s tend to have simpler text, not so many pages and not as much story as picture books. These delight my granddaughters, and I’ve loved writing some of them myself, but (whisper it) they’re often not such a satisfying read for the adult as a good picture book is.
Happily, lots of classic picture books are available in board form, and some (but not all) work really well in this format. I couldn’t resist getting some I read to my boys when they were small.The corners get a big splayed out and soggy, but they survive much better than the paperbacks ever did.
I’d love to hear what picture books you think work well as board books, so I can add to my collection.
Jane’s latest picture book
Old Macdonald’s Things that Go,
illustrated by Migy Blanco.
Out this month in hardback in the UK.
Jane's four very yummy and chewable board books,
tastily illustrated by Georgie Birkett.