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7 Board Books That Teach New Concepts to Toddlers

Dr. Anna C. Iacovetta | The Children’s Book Review | July 24, 2018

Books that teach various concepts are always popular with children (and parents, alike).  Sometimes parents may struggle to find ways to teach certain concepts – whether they are life lessons for the older children or basic learning concepts for the youngsters.  Never fear! Books are always near!

Books are a great supplement for any kind of lesson. The illustrations and simplistic words open new worlds for children.  Below are a select group of newer, outstanding board books that do just that.  Geared toward toddlers, these books uniquely explain various concepts that help youngsters as young as 1 year old with fine motor skills, feelings, sounds, and more!

Fionas FeelingsFiona’s Feelings

Written by Dr. John Hutton

Photographs by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

America’s favorite baby hippo, Fiona is the star of this book as she shows off her different feelings as she explores her new habitat.  A great little book to teach youngsters about how to express their feelings using facial expressions and body language, as they read along.

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Ages 1-3 | Publisher: blue manatee press | 2018 | ISBN: 978-1-936669653

Lines and Triangles and Square Oh MyLines and Triangles and Square, Oh My!

Written by Zoe Burke

Illustrated by Corey Hall

Zoe Burke takes her rhyming game to another level with this creative book about shapes.  She introduces a shape and the lines that make it up, followed by pages that show the shape in the world around us (ie. ballparks, bedrooms, and on trains).  The illustrations are colorful and the thick lines allow children to even use their fingers to follow the lines of each shape.

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Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Pomegranate | 2017 | ISBN: 978-0764978647

What is Soft by Susan KantorWhat is Soft?

Written by Susan Kantor

Illustrated by Erin Barker

This unique concept book helps children tovisualizethe word soft instead of being given a wordy definition. Kantor’s imagery is spot on when describing the adjective, making comparisons to the breeze, feathers, and the “fluffy, white fur” of a bunny.

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Ages 1-3 | Publisher: blue manatee press | 2018 | ISBN: 978-1936669639

Before and AfterBefore & After

Written and Illustrated by Jean Jullien

This literal page turner has children guessing what happens next! The book teaches youngsters the concept ofbefore and afterwith artful double page spreads and simple words.  Jean Jullien’s light-heartedness, with some of the narratives, makes the book that much more fun to read.

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Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Phaidon Press Inc. | 2017 | ISBN: 978-0-714874081

Lets Go BobbyLet’s Go Bobby!

Written by Ruth Wielockx

This larger board book helps children with their finger dexterity as they trace over indented line paths throughout the book and they learn about different modes of transportation with the title character, Bobby the dog. Children can trace the curves of the waves as the boat sails along the sea and follow the loops that an airplane makes in the sky.

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Ages 2-6 | Publisher: Clavis Books | 2017 | ISBN: 978-1-605373614


Written by Mary J.E. Nitti

Illustrated by Beth Georgen Geib

This is a fun, little book that introduces sounds that include “ooo” that little ones find in the world around them.  The unique and colorful illustrations go well with each sound as the train sounds “woo-woo” and someone sneezes “ah-choo.”

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Ages 2-6 | Publisher: Archway Publishing | 2017 | ISBN: 978-1-480847033

Celebrate Going to the DentistCelebrate! Going to the Dentist

Written by Sophia Day

It’s something we all have to do, so why not ease kids into it with this teachable board book that is one of many in a series by Sophia Day.  The story with easy-to read words and sounds follows a little boy as he visits the dentist.  At the end of the book, there are helpful tips for parents to extend the learning.

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Ages 2-6 | Publisher: MVP Kids Media, LLC | 2017 | ISBN: 978-1-684182466

Headers image illustration from What is Soft?(blue manatee press, 2018), written by Susan Kantor and illustrated by Erin Barker.

The article 7 Board Books That Teach New Concepts to Toddlers was written by Anna Iacovetta. For similar articles, follow along with our content tagged with , and .

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Dr. Anna Iacovetta, classroom teacher who taught every grade, K-12 together with undergraduate students. Her passionate interest in children's literature led her to earn a doctorate in Literature for Children and Young Adults from The Ohio State University. Anna is currently a part-time professor and book reviewer who resides in Cleveland, Ohio where she lives with her husband and two young children. Twitter: LiteraryGal82

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