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Best & Brightest Board Books of 2020

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This Best & Brightest list was created by Denver Public Library staff to celebrate our favorite recently published board books. Enjoy!

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Baby Up, Baby Down: A First Book Of Opposites.
Birth-Toddler. “Learn about the opposites in Baby’s world in this interactive photographic board book! This bright, playful board book introduces sets of opposites for babies to identify, from up and down to quiet and noisy!” --From the publisher. Cheerful, diverse babies in colorful onesies stand out against a bright white background in this uncluttered concept book. Although this is an exploration of opposites, the book resists a binary view by depicting the same baby for each half of the pair of opposites (one child is shown clean and then, on the facing page, messy.)
I Love My Tutu Too!
Burach, Ross, author, illustrator.
Birth-Preschool. “In this jubilant rhyming romp, a penguin, a bear, a toucan, and even a gnu (who knew?) are all wearing their tutus today. As a parade of other curious critters join the fun — I know a ewe with a new tutu. You do? I do. Woo-hoo! — the number of tutus grows, until they reach ten tutus. Then it's time to dance! Abundant alliteration and rollicking rhythms will have little ones laughing and dancing till they drop — and joyfully learning to count along the way.” --From the publisher. An exuberant penguin leads the cheering section for tutus in this uproarious counting book. Bright, energetic illustrations depict animals of every shape and size rocking their tutus. Combining wordplay and catchy rhymes (even a yodeling gnu in a green tutu), this is one read aloud that will delight grownups as much as toddlers.
Baby Paleontologist
Gehl, Laura, author.
Birth-Preschool. “Baby Paleontologist digs for fossils. With his pickaxe and brush, he discovers plants and animals that lived long, long ago. What stories do fossils tell? What did dinosaurs look like? Find out, with Baby Paleontologist!” --From the publisher. Introduce the youngest readers to nonfiction and build background knowledge with this supportive book, a part of the Baby Scientist series. Each page presents an element of a paleontologist’s work in a setting that will be familiar to young readers. In a few short pages, Gehl distills complex scientific research concepts into text accessible to babies and toddlers.
A Potato On A Bike
Gravel, Elise, author, illustrator.
Birth-Preschool. “Celebrated artist Elise Gravel brings the silly to a new level in A Potato on a Bike, because really, has anyone ever seen a broccoli counting to ten or a sausage reading a book? But wait, how about a...baby being tickled?! Uh-oh, I think the answer for that is—yes way!” --From the publisher. The title of Gravel’s book says everything readers need to know. On each page spread, the silliest of questions elicits a repeated refrain that will engage little ones with a laugh. Cartoon-like, anthropomorphized foods take readers on a wacky journey.
Jonny Lambert's Construction Site.
Lambert, Jonathan, author, illustrator.
Toddler-Preschool. “Turn the pages and lift the flaps to watch the big-wheeled digger shovel and scoop up the rubble with its big metal bucket, see how the long-armed crane stretches up high with a very heavy load, and watch the road roller chug slowly along to flatten the ground. With busy vehicles pushing, pulling, tipping, rumbling, chugging, scooping and beeping, little ones will love learning about what happens on the building site, and joining in to make the noisy digger sounds.” --From the publisher. This book delights with elements designed especially for little ones. Vibrant illustrations set against a sharp white backdrop highlight each construction equipment piece, providing clarity to support vocabulary development. Onomatopoeic machine noises and extra-stiff, easy-to-lift flaps make this book especially engaging for babies and toddlers.
One, Two, Three Dim Sum : A Mandarin-english Counting Book
Lo, Rich, author, illustrator.
Birth-Preschool. “Children and their parents can learn to count to ten in both English and Mandarin in this fun bilingual counting book of food. This book features traditional Chinese food items paired with numbers in both English and Chinese.” --From the publisher. A brilliant, jewel-toned color palette and distinct, easy-to-point-to objects make this counting book accessible and appealing to English and Mandarin readers alike. Each page includes numerals, written words, Chinese characters and Pinyin to provide many entry points into this celebration of Chinese American restaurants.
Play With Clay!
Pinkerton, Jenny, author.
Toddler-Kindergarten. “Follow a colorful blob of modeling dough as it forms a ball, rolls into a snake, coils into a pot and more in this adorable board book! In this charming story, children can learn the simple lesson that change is a constant–and they can learn it through art and play!” --From the publisher. This brightly colored board book introduces maker culture to a toddler audience using photos and clay representations of the book’s text. Children and caregivers will find lots of inspiration for clay modeling in these pages. Simple text and high contrast create a friendly read, while reproducible activities translate easily off the page.
Hey Baby!: A Baby's Day In Doodles
Pippins, Andrea, author.
Birth-Toddler. “Follow a baby throughout the day, from napping to snacking to playing--and everything in between! High contrast, lively illustrations combine with gorgeous, colorful photographs to showcase the warmth and tenderness between a mommy and her baby. This affectionate look at babyhood is sure to appeal to new parents and grandparents, who will recognize their own little one in the pages.” --From the publisher. Pippins takes us on a journey through a baby’s day with single sentence pages, coordinating photographs of her own son and doodles to accompany each action. Engaging pen-and-ink illustrations are an opportunity to spark conversation, and the photos are excellent for modeling. This is a relatable hit for both babies and adults.
Go, Grandma, Go!
Plourde, Lynn, author.
Birth-Preschool. Grandma and Grandpa are on the go in these charming board books! From pushing the stroller, to swinging on the swings, to hiking up a mountain, and from pulling the wagon to splashing in puddles, the grandparents and grandchildren in these books are always having a blast! --Summary provided by DPL Staff Grandma and Grandpa are on the go in these charming board books! From pushing the stroller, to swinging on the swings, to hiking up a mountain, and from pulling the wagon to splashing in puddles, the grandparents and grandchildren in these books are always having a blast!
Go, Grandpa, Go!
Plourde, Lynn, author.
Birth-Preschool. Grandma and Grandpa are on the go in these charming board books! From pushing the stroller, to swinging on the swings, to hiking up a mountain, and from pulling the wagon to splashing in puddles, the grandparents and grandchildren in these books are always having a blast! --Summary provided by DPL Staff Grandma and Grandpa are on the go in these charming board books! From pushing the stroller, to swinging on the swings, to hiking up a mountain, and from pulling the wagon to splashing in puddles, the grandparents and grandchildren in these books are always having a blast!

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