Last year Julie Bosman wrote an article for the New York Times about big changes for the humble, previously overlooked board book. Bosman, who noted that the board book was "once designed to be chewed as much as read," quoted Ginee Seo, children's publishing director at Chronicle Books on the changes. Seo noted that we are "in this era of mass good design for everybody. You're seeing good design at Target; you can buy Jonathan Adler at Barnes & Noble. You're nost willing to accept the cheesy clip are on a board book." Seo's quote is especially appropriate since Chronicle, followed in the past year by AbramsAppleseed, has been leading the way now for years with board books that exhibit attention to design and content that makes their books small, sturdy works of art and worth every penny. One way to guarantee visually stunning board books is to publish books created by graphic designers like Michael Arndt, author of Cat Says Meow and Other an-i-mal-poeia, Janik Coat, creator of HIPPOPPOSITES and Lorena Siminovich. Siminovich is the author of more than 25 picture and board books and is also the founder of petit collage, which offers a line of modern décor and playthings "anchored by good design and a mid-century influence." Her work is really cool and I wish it had been around when my daughter was little!
With You Are My Baby Ocean and You Are My Baby Garden, Simonivich's wonderful illustrations are perfectly matched with the brilliant design of the book itself - and the "baby" (in more ways than one) book within. A simple sentence about what the baby does or where the baby does it ("You play in the swaying seaweed," or "You climb on a sparkling web") are finished by opening the baby book, each sentence of which begins, "You are my baby, little . . ." (spiderling, seahorse, fry, hatchling, kit.)
Besides being infinitely visually appealing, I have no doubt that babies and toddlers will endlessly enjoy the two-books-in-one design, turning pages and, when they are old enough, matching parents and babies. I can't wait to see more from Lorena Siminovich and Chronicle Books!
Source: Review Copies