Fall Board Books

fall books for kids The leaves are already changing on our trees outside so I thought it was time for a good fall book round up. These aren’t just any old books there are great fall books for babies and toddlers because they are all board books. Yes they are bulky but they are also chunky enough for not so nimble hands to hold and strong enough to stand up to your toddler who like to chew things like books. Here are some of our favorite fall board books.

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Big Fat Hen

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker is a cute little counting book that has a few layers of reading and learning in it’s pages. The text is the familiar 1, 2, buckle my shoe rhyme but it’s the illustrations that will blow you away. They are so autumnal and they also correspond to each number in the rhyme. My 3 year old and I had a great time trying to find the items then count each one. While the text doesn’t speak of fall specifically the colors and illustrations will make you feel like you are visiting a farm in autumn.

halloween books

Maisy’s Halloween by Lucy Cousins is a cute board book for toddlers that follows Maisy’s search for the right Halloween costume. There is something about this little mouse that children just love. My daughter will reach for a Maisy book over just about any other if given a choice. The story is also a cute introduction about the fun we have dressing up for Halloween.


In My Tree by Sara Gillingham is such a sweet book I wish my daughter would let me read it to her . The book is all about a little owl and what that owl does in it’s tree. The novelty is that the pages have cut outs in them and the owl is a finger puppet that is in the middle of the cut outs . My daughter who at the moment is 6 months old, only wants to grab and try to bite the owl. Do not let this turn you off, it’s such a pretty little book and my 4 year old loved it. Perhaps when my daughter is done teething I will read it to her again! UPDATE Now that my daughter is 3 she thinks this is a great book and no longer tries to chomp down on the owl.


Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?by Karen Katz. Is a Halloween favorite at our house and has been for years. I don’t think the book has ever been really put away since buying it when my son was a toddler. Karen Katz’s lift the flap books are more than just cute , the flaps and different textures keep little hands busy and little bodies calm enough to sit for the whole book.

it's pumpkin day mouse

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! (If You Give…) by Laura Numeroff is a Halloween themed book about emotions. Mouse is busy painting his pumpkins and paints different faces representing different emotions on each. This is a great little book that gives parents a wonderful opener to talk about different emotions when things are calm. There is one scary pumpkin but I doubt it will frighten any readers.

my little pumpkin pie

You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie by Amy E. Sklansky is a cozy book that will have you craving a pumpkin spice latte for sure. It’s simple rhyming text is a good length for toddlers but older preschoolers will enjoy it as well. The books shows babies and their parent(s) in all different fall settings from the pumpkin patch to snuggling by the fire and of course eating pumpkin pie. The illustrations by Talitha Shipman are perfect and showcase a diverse set of families. Lovely book but don’t think I was joking you will be aching for a fall treat after reading it.

fall leaves

Fall Leaves by Liesbet Slegers is a little book that covers all different parts of fall from the perspective of a child. Boots, raincoats, nuts, squirrels and of course falling leaves are all covered. The book itself is not a story but rather a collection of pages devoted to these different parts of the fall season kids can expect to encounter. It was cute and and my daughter liked it well enough but I wouldn’t rush out to buy this.


Leaves by David Ezra Stein is such a sweet book about a young bear who doesn’t understand what is happening when he sees leaves falling from the trees. He even tries to put them back on but it doesn’t work.  Eventually he lays down for a nap and hibernates until Spring when he happily notices that there are new tiny leaves budding on the trees. Both my kids loved this book. I got it out of the library for my toddler who loved it and while reading it to her I had to start over so her almost 6 year old brother could listen from the start. We each took our own things from it, my daughter has been noticing the changes of Fall for the first time just like the bear in the story. My son took the chance to tell me all about hibernation and everything he knows about it . I thought it was bittersweet, and related to how quickly the years seem to pass and how quickly my little bears are changing too. A really lovely book!

The Busy Little Squirrel

 The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri is a great book for babies and toddlers. The readers follow along with a squirrel as she gathers nuts , seeds and berries for the winter. As she hunts for her treasure she encounters many animals who all make their respective sounds and ask her to play, of course she is too busy and continues on.  Even though the idea is not groundbreaking  I like that this book can be used to introduce animal sounds without simply sitting down with let’s say flash cards and teaching them to your toddler. Even if you have no real animals near by books like this one are a great way to authentically teach very young kids.

Owl Babies

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell was an instant hit with my son. I knew it would be, much like little Bill the smallest of the three baby owls my son is fond of saying “I want my mommy”. The three birds are distraught when they discover mama owl is not there. I love how they huddle together, and worry a lot before mama Owl returns nonchalant about the fact that she’s back. The illustrations of the owls are so expressive , which with very few facial features is impressive. Patrick Benson did a wonderful job bringing all three owl’s personalities out visually as well as making the setting ominous without being frightening to young readers. Great book!

apple farmer annie board book

Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington is a simpler version of the full size Apple Farmer Annie. The board book follows Annie who is an apple farmer and what she does with the apples she grows. Baking, cooking but most of all selling the apples at the farmer’s market. I have always loved this book because when you ask a child who a farmer is I bet you they will say it’s a man who lives on a farm. There are no mentions of men, husbands, or fathers it’s just Annie the apple farmer. I LOVE it.

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21 Board Books For Babies and Toddlers

board books Many books have board book editions but aren’t always available at your library or bookstore. The 21 board books for babies and toddlers listed here are generally found in this format anywhere you find books. If you have a favorite board book you don’t see listed here please leave a comment for me and other readers about why it’s your favorite!


How Big Is a Pig? by Claire Beaton is a favorite in our house and has been for both my kids. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text. My daughter loves taking this one in the stroller while I run and because it’s a board book I can give it to her without worrying that after a few miles it’s ripped and ruined.

Doggies by Sandra Boynton has been one of my daughter’s favorite books for ages. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a simple counting book about dogs, their different barks and one pesky cat. Toddlers love barking along with it so it’s a great book for places where they don’t have to be shushed, it’s not a great one for quiet only places like a church service.

Moo Baa La La Laby Sandra Boynton always makes me laugh. There is something about the facial expressions her animals always have that crack me up, and lets me honest if the book is good for the adult reading it, it’s always a plus. Super bright colors on each page is a huge plus for my baby girl as I flip the pages, and even though she doesn’t get the humor yet she will soon enough and it’s a book that will grow with her.

Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton.  This author is a preschool parents dream, short and easy to read melodic books with illustrations to die for. The story is simply a little love song about all the ways the dog loves the puppy, simple and touching. As an educator something I love is that the dogs don’t have an obvious race , they don’t even have an obvious gender which is perfect. Regardless of who loves who in your family your child can see you in the dog and themselves in the puppy! I think that is the perfect valentine! My son didn’t warm up to this book right away, but now not only does he love it he is very very specific that only I can read it to him . It’s become a big favorite in our house.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown isn’t an innovative choice but I make babies who love this book. My son could be “Goodnight Mooned ” to sleep as a baby if we simply recited the words and while my daughter isn’t at that point yet she sits happily listening to our voices as we read it to her. I will be the first to admit I didn’t always love this book but as a mom it’s been more than a book, it’s been a signal to my son that it’s bedtime and I hope that it becomes part of my daughter’s routine soon too.  The story is simple , it’s not even really a story so much as a baby bunny saying goodnight to all the objects in his room including the moon peeking in the window.

The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle was one of my son’s favorite books to read before bed when he was a toddler, not so much because of the story but because the board book version has flashing lights at the end ! The story is all about a firefly looking for another firefly but mistaking all different light for a friend. Toddlers love this book because it gives them a chance to be bossy and say ” No that’s a flashlight” to the firefly. The text is the right length for little guys but not boring for older kids , and I need to mention the little lights are really quite magical in a dark bedroom, especially if you are in a place that doesn’t have fireflies!

Learn the Alphabet with NorthWest Coast Native Art by Ryan Cranmer (and others) was an amazing gas station find. Yes I said gas station. I ran in for some diet coke and came out with an alphabet book ! This book is amazing, bright beautiful and even though I bought it for my daughter since it’s bright colors and sturdy pages are perfect for a baby, my almost 4 year old son adores it. What I love is when he reads it to her . The Native art is gorgeous and if you are unfamiliar with North West coast art you are in for a treat.

Clap Your Handsby Lorinda Bryan Cauley is a rhythmic rhyming book that suggests movements for the readers ( perhaps when she is sitting or standing she will follow along) with fun and silly pictures of kids mixed with animals doing the actions. What probably appeals to my 3 month old are the bright colors on the white background and the rhythm of the text.Also it’s a fun book to have an older sibling join in with and do the actions as you read.

Beddy-bye, Baby: A Touch-and-Feel Bookby Karen Katz is a cute bedtime book for the toddler crowd.  I like the rhyming text and that it’s a feel and touch book  but with the exception of the final page the textured pieces are too small . Fumbly flappy infant hands have a a hard time hitting the small textured sections. Ideally they would be larger so the child can explore as the adult reads . It’s not a huge complaint and I love Karen Katz so I would still recommend this book for families with little ones.

Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?by Karen Katz. This lift and flap book is the newest addition to our Karen Katz collection. My son adores these books. I read this in the check out line 3 times and he was asking for more before I could get my groceries in the fridge. I like this book because it’s a cute and gentle introduction to Halloween and all the creatures that go along with it. Also there are fun textures to many of the illustrations which help keep little hands busy! Edited for 2012 : Even though this is a Halloween book both my kids loved it and it’s never been put away since I bought it in 2009. It’s easily one of my daughter’s all time favorites.

This Little Chick by John Lawrence is just about the perfect board book for my daughter right now, she didn’t even try to eat it! The rhymes are melodic the text full of animal sounds is spot on for our littlest readers . My son and I had fun reading this old favorite to my daughter for the first time.  The illustrations are fantastic with lots of contrast and is the perfect length for  a quick snuggle and read for wiggly babies who are eager to move.

Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski is a cute cowboy book for the younger set. We have the board book edition and it’s been loved for a long time at our house, although since our return from the Calgary Stampede it’s been read constantly. The text is simple, the drawings are charming and the book covers all the basics of what a cowboys does day and night. My son loves that Cowboy small has a guitar, and is pretty fond of the part when he gets bucked off a bronco as well.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. is a book that can go with a baby from infancy through toddlerhood and into the preschool years. The bold colors of the illustrations by Eric Carle are perfect for catching infant’s attention and will continue to grab it through the years. With the turn of each page the reader is left wondering what’s next, and if the reader is my son he will cut you off to tell you what’s coming next before you have a chance to turn the page. There are other titles in the series , including ; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? , and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? but this one is my very favorite! My daughter actually sits looking at these pages instead of simply trying to eat the book, which in my opinion is a great review from a 6 month old!

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault  is a fantastic board book and shorter version of the longer book. My son loves this book and it’s the perfect amount of text for a toddler, the illustrations by Lois Ehlert are so bright and bold that even very young babies will respond to it! A must have for all bookshelves.

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee .This  book celebrates all sorts of babies and all the every day things babies do.  My daughter points out all the babies on each page as I read the rhyming text . So maybe you are thinking ” What’s so great about babies and text that rhymes?” nothing, that isn’t what makes this book so awesome. I love this book because of it’s diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of all babies and families.  The illustrations are full of depictions of all sorts of families showering their smallest most precious member with love . What I adore about the diversity of the illustrations is that readers are left to put whatever assumption we wish on the families in the book. What I assumed were two mommies my husband thought was a husband and wife, I thought a lady was a grandma and my son said it was just a older mom. This is why I love this book, my daughter doesn’t see why this message is outstanding, what she does see is all sorts of happy babies in all sorts of  families being the norm and this is the world we want her to know.

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann is simply one of my favorite books ever. I love it and love that my daughter doesn’t fuss when I read it to her because it was a special book for my son when he was little and it’s a book he will still curl up and read quietly with us, making it fun cuddle time for all three of us. If you aren’t familiar with this book it’s all about a sneaky gorilla who unlocks all the animals at the zoo and they quietly follow the zoo keeper home and climb into bed with him, until his wife wakes up! I love this book cause I relate to the zoo keepers wife , when I wake up there is always a sneaky 3 year old gorilla in my bed!

One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book , but inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline, that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! See a duck gets stuck in the muck and while others are eager to help the duck isn’t unstuck until they all work together. My class was nuts about this book a few years ago and my son has greatly enjoyed it since infancy. Don’t pass this book up.

Dinosaur Roar! Board Book by Paul and  Henrietta Stickland and is a board book that I’ve read often enough that I don’t need to look at the book. The premise is simple, using 2 different dinosaurs every page illustrates a pair of opposites. Toddlers and young preschoolers adore this book and I can’t blame them, it’s adorable and a great tool for teaching ! My son loves how funny the illustrations are and clearly enjoys the rigidity of the opposite concepts.

 The Busy Little Squirrelby Nancy Tafuri is a great book for babies and toddlers. The readers follow along with a squirrel as she gathers nuts , seeds and berries for the winter. As she hunts for her treasure she encounters many animals who all make their respective sounds and ask her to play, of course she is too busy and continues on.  Even though the idea is not groundbreaking  I like that this book can be used to introduce animal sounds without simply sitting down with let’s say flash cards and teaching them to your toddler. Even if you have no real animals near by books like this one are a great way to authentically teach very young kids.

Bye-Bye Time by Elizabeth Verdick is a great book for toddlers who are anxious about separation.  It goes through drop off time at school between a little girl and her dad. When I worked in a childcare setting bye bye time was a huge source of anxiety for many students, books like this one are such great tools for parents and teachers. There are wonderful tips at the back that in my experience are all great advice. This book is just one of many by the same author that are all wonderful tools for families and classrooms. My favorite being Teeth Are Not for Biting and Words are Not for Hurting

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell was an instant hit with my son. I knew it would be, much like little Bill the smallest of the three baby owls my son is fond of saying “I want my mommy”. The three birds are distraught when they discover mama owl is not there. I love how they huddle together, and think a lot before mama Owl returns non- challant about the fact that she’d returned. The illustrations of the owls are so expressive , which with very few facial features is impressive. Patrick Benson did a wonderful job bringing all three owl’s personalities out visually as well as making the setting ominous without being frightening to young readers. Great book!

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Board Book Review & Giveaway from Scholastic

As part of Scholastic Parent’s Circle of  Book Club book reviewers I get the chance to choose books every month to review and giveaway to one reader. Last month we did Lego City books for new readers but this month I wanted to focus on the baby crowd. My daughter who is 19 months adores books with babies.  I love board books because she can’t rip them and chewing on them only cause minimal damage.

The selection we chose this month was a set of 4 classic nursery rhymes beautifully illustrated by Annie Kubler.   The pack includes Ring Around the Rosie , Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes , Humpty Dumpty and Pat-A-Cake!  As you can imagine the text is familiar and it’s supposed to be. The sing song way that most adults will read this to their children is wonderful for read alouds with tiny ones.  The illustrations are filled with babies and toddlers of all ethnicities happily playing and acting out the rhyme in bright cheery colors. The thing I love best about these books are their small size. They fit in my back pocket, in my smallest purse and my daughter can easily grab and walk around with it. It’s easy to put a few in your stroller or Ergo carrier to keep your little one engaged while running errands .  My daughter loves these books and grabs them to read many times a day.

Do you have a baby or toddler that would like these books?

Enter our sweepstakes and you might get the chance!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling us the title of a book you read with your child today.


Official Rules – entries now closed.

This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post answering the question “What book did you read with your child today?”  1 winning commenter will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Saturday February 4th  at 8:00pm PST. The winners will receive all four books listed , valued at $20. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for Scholastic to ship their books to.or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes  including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
I was not paid for my review, I was provided a copy of the books to review and copies to offer as a sweepstakes prize. All opinions are mine .

Holiday Book Picks

by Carrie Anne

The days are busy, full of learning and fun. I love winding down with my kids by enjoying a book together. Here are a few holiday books and new books you might be interested in adding to your personal library.

 My Little Stocking
by Sara Gillingham
Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
Board book
12 pages

If you celebrate the holidays with stockings full of treats for your little one, you might enjoy My Little Stocking. This layered board book explores the question in a child’s mind when it comes to a full stocking Christmas morning: what could be in here. Each layer you turn in the book reveals colourful possibilities made out of felt and posing more questions. All the while, a little Elf peeks out, the head being a finger puppet you can move around as you read the story. The finger puppet concept is very similar to the Paul Frank Colors book reviewed last month .

Snow Baby Finger Puppet Book

Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
Chunky board book
12 pages

Baby’s first exposure to snow can be full of wonder and surprise for both baby and parents. Snow Baby takes you through baby’s experience in the snow, falling from the sky, landing on her face. The book is small and chunky for little hands and little ones will love the velvety soft baby face finger puppet that appears on each page, bring baby to life. The puppet hole is big enough for little fingers to probe too.

Michael Hague’s Treasury of Christmas Carols

by Michael Hague and Kathleen Hague
Sterling Children’s Books
Age 3-8
48 pages

Singing Christmas carols is a favourite pastime for our family during December. We sing along to the radio, music on the iPod, even just singing out of the blue.Michael Hague’s Treasury of Christmas Carols is a wonderful small collection holiday favourites that are easy for children to learn with their repetitive choruses: Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls,, Oh Christmas Tree, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Kids may know the tunes to these songs but not the words. This treasury includes a mix of large type words (without musical score to avoid confusion) and delightful Christmas illustrations of bunnies and cats and ducks enjoying the season.


by Paola Opal
Simply Read Books/Raincoast Books
Board book
24 pages

I’m always drawn to the look of a book first and I love the format for this board book, a tall rectangle versus a standard square board book. Bitsy is part of a new series of board books using simple illustrations with a limited colour palate. I love the story, a beaver family working together to build a damn. Mom and dad are able to cut the wood but Bitsy is not big enough yet to cut down the big pieces needed. A small hole in the damn needs the help of a small Beaver and Bitsy proves that all family members play an important role, each offering their own unique skills that make the family complete. What a wonderful message to give kids. I’m looking forward to reading some of the other books by Paola Opal.

 Animal Baths

by Bob Barner
Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
age 3-8
32 pages

Bath time can be something kids either enjoy or avoid. Animal Baths is a great way to encourage kids to get soapy and preen like a duck, scrub like a bear and other animals. The colourful pages with collage-like illustrations take kids through the cleaning routines of some common (and perhaps not so common) animals. Then it invites kids to get clean, asking which animal they will be in the tub. The last two pages take the animal attributes talked about in the earlier pages, incorporating them into your child’s bath routine. A fun story for reluctant bathers and bath lovers alike.

 The Crown On Your Head

by Nancy Tillman
Feiwel and FriendsRaincoast Books
age 5-8
32 pages
Most books I come across are stories designed with kids in mind; stories we read for our children’s enjoyment. The Crown on Your Head is a story just as much for mom and dad and for kids (though I think it might even be a little more for the parents). We know as parents how special our kids are and that we see them destined for great things. This story tries to explain this feeling to kids, by talking about their invisible crown of magnificence. Unlike a traditional crown, like in the monarchy, that makes someone better than everyone else, this crown exists on everyone’s head, their special soul or ora. My 5-year old enjoyed the story but I took it more to heart I think, making me a little teary as a read it. I also love the note at the end of the book about how kids can reaffirm to themselves that their crown is indeed there, even if they can’t see it. A wonderful bedtime story or great for those growing and transition stages your kids go through.

I want to thank Katie from Sterling Children’s Books and Crystal from Raincoast Books for my review copies.
Carrie Anne is a contributing writer on No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , and is the Managing Partner and Editor-in-Chief at EverythingMom.com.

New Books !

by Carrie Anne

Row, Row, Row Your Boat: A Teddy Bear Sing-Along Book
By David Ellwand
Silver Dolphin (Raincoast Books)
Board book
Age 0-3

Kids will love singing along to this large format board book showing stuffed teddy’s recreating the the scenes song in the famous childhood rhyme. For added fun there is a musical score that can be played along with each page, just press down on the speaker button found on the front page. I love that you can control whether you want to play the music or not versus it playing automatically on each page though I’m sure your child will want to play the song over and over (and over) again.

Hide and Seek Animals
DK Canada
Picture Book
Age 3-5

Search and find books can be a lot of fun for kids but many can be too complicated for little ones offering very intricate pictures to look at. This Hide and Seek Animals contains a collage of animals with a photo list of the animals to look for. Kids will enjoy searching for familiar animals like a dog as well as finding unique animals such as the Greenland shark. The images are photographs and although the picture contains a collection of animals to look at, they are large and not obstructed. The search and find exercise is more about animal recognition than finding something hidden. This is a great book to do together or to give your child to explore on their own for quiet time.

While You Are Sleeping
By Durga Bernhard
Picture Book
Age 3-8

If you’ve ever traveled to a different timezone or have family and friends in a different part of the world, you may have already talked about timezones with your child. While You Are Sleeping is a great way to illustrate this without getting all technical about the different times. This cute lift the flap book starts off with a mother and child reading a story one evening while on the other side of the world another child is getting dressed for the morning. Each picture has a map image worked into the illustration, showing where the activity is taking place (reading in Alaska, getting dressed in Nigeria). Lift the flap and it turns into a clock showing the time. There are very little words in this book. The concept of different times is illustrated wonderfully through images, maps and the little clock flaps. Not only does this address time, it also touches on geography and customs. The inside covers also have a map of the world with the timezones marked and a little illustration showing all the places you visited in the story. This was a fun book with beautiful illustrations that transporter us around the world.

Splish – Splash
Boxer Books/Sterling Publishing
By Nicola Smee
Picture Book
Age 3-5

Join Mr. Horse along with Cat, Dog, Pig and Duck in this fun adventure on the sea. As they row their little boat the waves get bigger — splish, splash — until everyone is knocked out of the boat. Not to worry, Mr. Horse brings everyone safely to shore only for all the friends to head back out to sea again. The large text and illustrations make this book seem bigger than life. You can almost feel the waves sloshing around on the pages. The playful use of text size as the waves get bigger adds to this feeling and the anticipation of what’s to come. This is just a fun book to read out loud with lots of repetitive words and cute characters.

I want to thank Crystal from Raincoast Books, Katie from Sterling Publishing, Donna from Charlesbridge and Chris from DK Canada for my review copies.


Carrie Anne is a contributing writer on No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , and is the Managing Partner and Editor-in-Chief at EverythingMom.com.