Best Board Books for Toddlers and Dads

Am I the only one who struggles reading some of the crappy books that are published for toddlers? I have bought and received dozens of books as gifts for our boys and I read to them every night at bed time.

The problem is that I found some of them nearly impossible to read just because of the way they are written. Either they are too wordy (kids get bored when pages don’t turn fast enough), or the choice of words is lousy (not enough rhyming). In these cases I actually rewrite the books on the fly in my head and choose words that work better, and/or edit out chunks of text.

Here are my criteria:

  • Short and sweet sentences.
  • Illustrations that my kids like.
  • Flowing rhymes, catchy phrasing, fun to read.
  • Somewhat educational.

Byron Barton is the man when it comes to simple board books that are educational, and Dad/Son friendly. They are so short and sweet that it makes me chuckle. Example: “Here is a train…. with people inside.”
We have several of these and plan on getting them all:
Byron Barton Board Books on Amazon

Margaret Wise Brown is second runner up for me and my boys – she hits the nail on the head with all of the books we have from her. Good morals, easy to read, nice artwork.
Here is Margaret Wise Brown’s author profile on Amazon

Sandra Boynton is probably the most popular author for this genre, but some of her books are definitely better than others. These may be better for Moms & Daughters.

Here are my favorite Boynton books in order of preference:
The Going-To-Bed Book
But Not the Hippopotamus
Horns to Toes and in Between
Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!!
Fifteen Animals!

This one is not Boynton, but is definately one of my favorites, and it is water and tooth proof. Most of the paper board books end up chewed on and destroyed eventually.
Baby Einstein: What Floats?

I got a bunch of titles from this series and they have proven to be very educational for my 3 year old:
My First Abc Board Book (My 1st Board Books)

They are a bit exhausting to read since they are soo packed full of pictures and words, but my boy has learned his entire alphabet and knows what words start with certain letters and what not. Good to have on the bookshelf for sure.

What are your favorite toddler board books?

Posted in Reviews
One comment on “Best Board Books for Toddlers and Dads
  1. Rebecca Binford says:

    My husband is a working class, blue collar guy. The sun rises and sets on Dad for our two year old. We found a book about Dad at our Public Library. I was eager to read and our Son loves it because it’s a bout a “Daddy”. The only problem is the Dad is a breif case toting 1950’s version of a Dad who comes home after dinner is over and the whole family hangs on the phone call proclaiming that ‘Dad’s on the way home’. He arrives after they’ve all finished dinner etc..

    I would love to see a book about a working class dad who’s a firefighter, a police officer, a construction worker, you get the idea.. I feel that the child lit community seems to forget that those of us in our thirties are reading to our kids, would like relevant stories for our families. The bulk of parents out there aren’t brief case toting executives. It’s just boring.

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