Popular Board Books for a Wide Age Range
- What: Byron Barton Board Books
- When: Birth to 3 years
- Why: High contrast, big appeal, and affordable
- Where: Amazon
We experienced a recent resurgence in our love for Byron Barton. For the third time, my toddler obsesses over this series with vehicular-based themes. Something about the high contrast, in combination with the appeal of vehicles, has drawn every one of my kids into these board books.
Because we’ve advanced in our reading material with our four and six year olds, I had almost forgotten about this author and his work. We stumbled across one in the local library, and I have pulled out the entire series again. My youngest, at not quite two and half, read nothing else for at least a week solid. I distinctly remember this phase, not only with my own kids, but also my charges at work. I remember their obsessions with the colorful designs and simply sentences.
As an adult, I appreciate the story in each. It makes more for interesting repeated (and repeated and repeated) readings. My kids like the bright colors and simple lines that compose the illustrations. We inevitably stumble upon these books looking for train material, when that phase hits around 15 months or so, thanks to the popular “Trains” book. (You’d be surprised how many train-themed books for preschoolers don’t include the word “train” in the title.)
The words don’t necessarily rhyme, but do have a pleasant rhythm that makes repeated readings bearable.In Trains, for instance, you start with the tracks. Then you get introduced to the passenger train. Although the book covers many other types of trains (freight trains, steam trains, electric trains), the first passenger train appears in almost every illustration in a way that seems feasible. No trains floating in the sky here.
In case your little one obsesses over different vehicles, you can start with Planes, Trucks, Boats, or Machines at Work. From there, feel free to check out My Car, My Bus, My Bike, and My House for further reading material.