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The Best Board Books of 2019

The Children’s Book Review

So many amazing board books released in 2019! This book list represents some of our favorites—the board books we felt had truly special qualities. All great choices for the youngest readers—they can also double as beginner reader books for kids ready to read on their own—these are our picks for the best board books of 2019. Ready. Set. Read!

Board bookFarm Block

Written by Christopher Franceschelli

Illustrated by Peskimo

Publisher’s Synopsis: Explore life on a farm in this addition to the bestselling Block Book series!

It’s time to plant some crops, harvest the veggies, and make jam to take to the farmer’s market! In this follow-up to Alphablock, Countablock, Dinoblock, Cityblock, Buildablock, and Marvel Alphablock, readers are introduced to what life is like on the farm. Like the previous titles, Farmblock explores a concept—in this case, seasons. From a rooster crowing at the crack of dawn to picking pumpkins for Halloween, there is so much to do all year-round! In keeping with the rest of the series, Farmblock features die-cut pages, gatefolds, and the charming art of British design team Peskimo.

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Ages 0-3 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | October 1, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1419738258

Board book Cerca CloseCerca/Close

Written by Juan Felipe Herrera

Illustrated by Blanca Gómez

Publisher’s Synopsis: Some things are close — cerca. Others are far — lejos. With sweet simplicity, this charming dual-language board book and its companion volume, Lejos/Far, engage young children.

Mi cuarto está cerca de la cocina. My bedroom is close to the kitchen.

As she walks from her kitchen through a daisy-filled yard to the house next door, a little girl notices things that are close to each other — just as the little boy she goes to visit is close to her.

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Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Candlewick | September 17, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0763690625

Hug Me Little BearHug Me: Little Bear

By Chronicle Books

In Little Bear the grown up bear (whose arms the adult reader animates) tells their child all the things that grown up arms can do: “My arms take you dancing to our favorite song,” “My arms give you a lift and catch you when you come back down,” My arms cheer you up with a tickle on the belly,” and so on, as the brightly illustrated pages underscore the sentiments nicely. These end with a declaration that, “But best of all, my arms can tell you how much I love you with a HUG.”

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Ages 0-3 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | February 19, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1452175218

Board bookDream Big

Written and Illustrated by Joyce Wan

Publisher’s Synopsis: A bold, inspiring message for little graduates of today with a heartening homage to female trailblazers of the past from beloved creator Joyce Wan!

Dream your dreams with your eyes wide open and make them come true. Dream big, little one, the world is waiting for you.

In this dreamy oversized board book, little ones will find the courage and strength to achieve anything they want — all by dreaming big! With inspiring illustrations of female trailblazers and icons of history and simple, hopeful text, Joyce Wan creates a moving send-off for graduates of all ages. Included in the back is a simple guide to some of the bold dreamers who came before us who followed their dreams . . . and changed the world.

With a tender message of encouragement and hope, this special board book is a gift to be treasured and shared for years to come.

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Ages 0-3 | Publisher: Cartwheel Books | July 9, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1338338683

Board book Future EngineerFuture Engineer

Written by Lori Alexander

Illustrated by Allison Black

Publisher’s Synopsis: Flip a switch. Turn a gear. Could Baby be an engineer? Find out in this STEM-themed addition to the Future Baby series!

Engineers want to know how things work. And so does Baby!

Does Baby have what it takes to become an engineer? That’s a positive! Discover all the incredible ways that prove Baby already has what it takes to become an engineer in whatever field they choose, be it electrical, mechanical, civil, or more! Includes lots of fun engineer facts to help foster curiosity and empower little ones to keep trying . . . and learning!

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Ages 0-3 | Publisher: Cartwheel Books | September 17, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1338312232

If There Never Was a YouIf There Never Was a You

Written by Amanda Rowe

Illustrated by Olga Skomorokhova

Publisher’s Synopsis: If there never was a you, how empty life would be! Who would make me smile and laugh and keep me company?

Filled with heartwarming messages of love, belonging, and togetherness, If There Never Was a You gently reassures children that the place they hold in their parents’ hearts can never be filled with anything else.

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Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Familius | March 1, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1641701112

A is For AwesomeA Is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World

Written by Eva Chen

Illustrated by Derek Desierto

Publisher’s Synopsis: Why stick with plain old A, B, C when you can have Amelia (Earhart), Malala, Tina (Turner), Ruth(Bader Ginsburg), all the way to eXtraordinary You―and the Zillion of adventures you will go on?

Instagram superstar Eva Chen, author of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes, is back with an alphabet board book depicting feminist icons in A Is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World, featuring spirited illustrations by Derek Desierto.

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Ages 1-3 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | February 5, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1250215994

Pride ColorsPride Colors

Written by Robin Stevenson

Publisher’s Synopsis: Through gentle rhymes and colorful photographs of adorable children, Pride Colors is a celebration of the deep unconditional love of a parent or caregiver for a young child. The profound message of this delightful board book is you are free to be whoever you choose to be; you’ll always be loved.

Celebrated author Robin Stevenson ends her purposeful prose by explaining the meaning behind each color in the Pride flag: red = life, orange = healing, yellow = sunlight, green = nature, blue = peace and harmony, and violet = spirit.

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Ages 1-3 | Publisher: Orca Book Publishers | March 12, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1459820708

You Are LightYou Are Light

Written and Illustrated by Aaron Becker

Publisher’s Synopsis: With a wondrously simple die-cut book, the Caldecott Honor–winning creator of the Journey trilogy brings his talents further into the light.

This is the light that brings the day.

Open this beautiful book to find a graphic yellow sun surrounded by a halo of bright die-cut circles. Now hold the page up to the light and enjoy the transformation as the colors in those circles glow. In an elegant, sparely narrated ode to the phenomenon of light, Aaron Becker follows as light reflects off the earth to warm our faces, draws up the sea to make the rain, feeds all the things that grow, and helps to create all the brilliant wonders of the world, including ourselves.

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Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick Studio | March 26, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1536201154

Board book Frankie\'s Food TruckFrankie’s Food Truck

Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti

Publisher’s Synopsis: Time for lunch! What’s on the menu at Frankie’s? Find out in this lift-the-flap board book based on a best-selling children’s game.

Frankie’s Food Truck serves a different shape of food every day. On Mondays, Frankie serves squares. What kinds of foods are shaped like a square? Lift the flaps to unveil all sorts of tasty treats, learning about shapes and days of the week as you go. From a square piece of toast to a slice of watermelon in the shape of a triangle, readers are invited to see how many shapes and foods they can find on each spread.

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Ages 2-4 | Publisher: Candlewick Entertainment | October 8, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1536206876

For more of the best new board books for kids, follow along with our articles tagged with and .

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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