Board Book Reviews: What Next?

Trying to decide the next course of action for my board book review series.

Way back in early 2017 (actually end of 2016 but the first post went up in 2017), I started reviewing diverse board books.  We had little kids again, and with my newfound passion for diverse literature, I wanted to build a collection that was diverse from the very beginning and do better by our youngest children.

My first priority was books with black children or African-American authors, but it was also important to me that our board books represented the world around us, so pretty soon I was collecting more books so that other groups were represented as well.  Our daily life does not, to my knowledge, include Native Americans, so I wanted to be sure to represent #ownvoices indigenous board books.  A few people have also given us diverse books (either from our wish list or just because they’re awesome).

I also wanted to include both fiction and nonfiction, and have been surprised and very pleased with the amount of diverse nonfiction I was able to find.

In 2017 and 2018, between my own purchases and gifts from others, we collected 47 diverse board books.  Two we found problematic or disliked have since left our family’s collection.  There are probably about 10-15 more that we could easily pass along when I get around to reviewing and culling the collection.

I don’t really have a clear plan or reasoning with this collection.  My #100indigenousbooks project has no time frame (I expect to work on it for the next few years at least) but clear goals: to read 100 books by indigenous authors, of which I will purchase 50 and review at least 25.

My Diverse Disabled booklist also has specific goals: list every book I learn of that has a POC/indigenous character who is also disabled.  Review as many as possible.  Although I’ve bought many books that apply, I also get many of these from the library or as free books.

The board book collection was just a goal of creating a diverse library for our youngest children, which has been accomplished.  Board books are a bit different than anything else I review here.  It seems they don’t get review copies distributed the way other books do, at least I’ve never even been contacted with a board book review request.  Board books aren’t resold as much and it’s a bit questionable to buy a used board book knowing your baby will be chewing it.  I bought one used board book from a reputable local store but still wiped it down well before using.

Board books do get remaindered and discounted, so I’ve found them on discount book websites or at the dollar store.  However, diverse board books tend to be a bit scattered, so it’s harder to find them at all, let alone at a good price.

My wish list includes over 100 diverse board books.  Many are series books – as we found more diverse board books, I decided to only buy one from each series so we could try a wide variety.  However, there are also many stand-alone books I’d love to review and try out with the little ones.

While we have an impressive board book collection, there are still gaps.

  • We don’t own any Hawaiian board books although some interesting ones exist.
  • So far we don’t have any board books specifically representing disability, although I did find and plan to purchase a few.
  • We do not have any African board books or Caribbean ones.
  • I haven’t found South American board books but hope they exist.
  • Same for indigenous Australian board books.
  • I’d like to increase our Hispanic and multilingual board books.
  • Plus we’d love to include Hindu and Sikh representation in our collection.

There are also some series or authors that we’ve really enjoyed and would like to get more books from.

If you are a fan of the board book reviews, know they will continue for at least another year.  I’m not quite sure yet when this will be posted relative to the reviews I have in progress, but I have 20 board books still to be reviewed and in most cases photographed.  (Don’t worry, I’ve still been taking notes on the reactions and relative chew-ability of all the books.)

Out here in the real world, this is my blog and my book collection, so I’m eventually going to do whatever works for my life.  I do track reads, views, likes, and follows, but they aren’t my only concern.  But this time your reader feedback might have a really big influence, because I am undecided about where to go next with this series, other than reviewing, photographing, and culling the collection that we already own.

What do you think?

 

Author: colorfulbookreviews

I work in a library by day and parent the rest of the time. I am passionate about good books representing the full spectrum of human diversity for every age group and reading level. This blog is my attempt to help parents, educators, and librarians find the best children's books authored by or featuring characters of color.

2 thoughts on “Board Book Reviews: What Next?”

  1. I really enjoy the series and I think your blog is always a great resource for people who want to gift little ones books, or parents looking for reading material for their own children. There really aren’t many book review blogs targeted for that age group, and it’s really nice to read them!

    Liked by 1 person

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