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Board Books Aren’t Just for Babies

Board books aren’t just for babies. Yes, you read that right. Just like experienced readers may have preferences on the format for their books, so too may early readers.

Many think of board books as the books you’d give your baby or toddler, because board books are great for littles. Young children can easily hold them in their chubby hands and stick them in their mouths, and the books are easier to clean and harder to destroy than those with thin paper pages.

What you might not know about board books is that many publishers are printing them as merely a different edition of popular hardcover picture books. Nothing has changed about the book other than its size and binding.

Are you familiar with the classic picture book Llama Llama Red Pajama? My family loves it and we own it in several formats. We have a well-loved hardcover, with pages tattered, torn, and taped together, and missing the book jacket. We also own a lap-sized board book edition. The board book is easier for my younger readers to hold. It does have a few dings from being pulled off the shelf, read, and shoved into book bags; but it has survived three kids much better than our hardback copy.

There are now several dozen different titles in the Llama Llama story-verse. The author has created special board book titles that DO have shorter sentences or focus on concepts like colors, counting, and holidays. While they are wonderful for short reading sessions with babies and toddlers, these books are also perfect for beginning readers in Pre-K to 2nd grade. Those readers can easily hold the board books in their hands AND practice reading independently, especially if the book is a favorite.

Our middle child has Llama Llama Red Pajama memorized. That’s a great thing. The best way to encourage reading is by giving your child opportunities to shine. If they have the story memorized, repeat reads will help them discover the letters that build the words, and they’ll be able to match the word they say with the words on the page!

Next time you’re browsing in the children’s department and walk past the board book bins, take a peek. You and your readers of all ages might really enjoy what you discover!

Browse board books in our catalog >

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