Board Book Review: Hip Hop

Our 14th board book is simple but surprisingly delightful.

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The Hip Hop Board Book by Martin Ander.
Dokument Press, Arsta, Sweden, 2012.
Board book, 22 pages.

“Rap, Breakdance, Graffiti, & DJ:ing – now for the very youngest!  The Hip Hop Board Book is a different, colorful picture book about culture and everyday life with fun and clear pictures for small children.  A charming book with lots of humor and attitude.” ~Back Blurb

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The Hip Hop Board Book by Martin Ander.

I wish I remembered finding this board book.  It’s not brand-new, but hasn’t gotten much buzz – and it’s from Sweden, although the text is in English.  Perhaps Amazon recommended it to me when I was ordering some other hard-to-find board books.

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Board Book Review: Shades of Black

Our 31st board book is a beautiful exploration of the many types of Black skin, hair, and eyes.

Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney, photographs by Myles C. Pinkney.
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, 2006 (originally published as a picture book in 2000).
Nonfictional picture book converted to board book format, 24 pages.

This book that validates the appearance of ALL black children, whether they have dark or light skin and blue or onyx eyes.

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Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney and Myles C. Pinkney.

The catch phrase here is “I am Black.  I am unique.”  These words open and close the book and separate the various sections.

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Board Book Review: Pretty Brown Face

Our 44th board book has a wonderful message for brown-skinned toddlers.

Pretty Brown Face by Andrea and Brian Pinkney.
Red Wagon Books, Harcourt, 1997.
Board book, 16 pages.

A young child discovers the wonders of fir own face.

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This simple but well made book is sure to appeal to a wide variety of families and childcare professionals.  There are only two characters – a small child encountering a mirror and a male caregiver (presumably father, but never named as such).  At first I assumed the child was male, but no pronouns or male references are used, so this book could work nicely for a child of either gender.

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Board Book Review: Story of Rosa Parks

Our thirteenth board book, this simple biography of Rosa Parks proved more engaging and interesting than expected.

The Story of Rosa Parks by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Steven Walker.
WorthyKids/Ideals, Nashville, Tennessee, 2007.
Board book biography, 26 pages.

This deceptively simple biography of Rosa Parks covers all the major events in her life in a manner appropriate for even the youngest children.

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The Story of Rosa Parks by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Steven Walker.

Honestly, I was surprised by this book.  We have several of Pingry’s religious board books, and they are solid additions to the church rotation but not especially moving.

If we teach kids about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. as toddlers, then by grade school they should be ready to learn about Lonnie Johnson, Fannie Lou Hammer, Dave the Potter, Mae Jemison, and more.  Then in middle school they can move on to studying people like Claudette Colvin, Misty Copeland, Ida B. Wells, and John Lewis.  That’s the ideal, right?

This book was purchased for Baby.  I did not expect the older kids to show any interest in it.  However, N picked it up under the guise of “reading to baby” and kept looking at it even after Baby went off for a diaper change.  My new reader wanted to use it for reading practice.  The kids sat through more than one reading of it.

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2017 Favorites – Other

The final 2017 roundup catches all the other categories – graphic novels, authors, and board books.

Yup, I’m not posting this until well into 2018.  In 2017 I reviewed 98 books (plus 10 board books) and so many of them were so good.  It took me a month just to narrow it down this far…  I just love all the books!

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Board Book Review: I Love My Hair

Our eighth board book works to empower girls and is a must-have for young girls with similar hair.

I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illustrated by E. B. Lewis.
Little, Brown, and Company, Hachette Book Group, New York, 1998.
Picture book realistic fiction adapted to board book format, 22 pages.

This is the story of one tenderheaded little girl getting her hair done.  She talks about a variety of styles and reasons she loves her hair, complete with imaginative metaphors and mother-daughter bonding.

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I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.

The first-person story begins with hair combing before bed – a tricky process.  Mama is always gentle, but sometimes it still hurts.

” ‘Mama, stop!’ I cry when I can’t stand the comb tugging at my hair any longer.” page 5.

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Board Book Review: Barack Obama 101

This introduction to Barack Obama is informative enough to hold even an older child’s attention.

Barack Obama 101 by Brad M. Epstein.
Michaelson Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA, 2008.
Informative non-fiction board book, 26 pages.

Barack Obama 101 packs a surprising amount of practical information into a board book, covering both basic facts about the presidency and Obama’s life up to his presidential election.

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Barack Obama 101 by Brad M. Epstein.

Every time I shop at my favorite used bookstore, I take a minute to peruse their used board books.  They never have more than a few shelves, mostly of the same titles, so it doesn’t take long.  And I’ve never purchased any there.  Why look?  I’m determined to create a diverse board book library, which means I can’t turn down a chance to find books that might be out of print and difficult to obtain.

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