Sara Gillingham is an award-winning art director, designer and author of a shelf of great board books. I've reviewed many of her books and I love her style and palette as well as the sweet simplicity of her storytelling. Gillingham's newest books, TRUCKS and FRIENDS are both part of the new Chronicle Books, purveyors of visually stunning art and cook books, superb children's books and fantastic, out-of-the-ordinary board books worth buying. The Busy Baby of the title is a swiveling headpiece in the center of the book where, if you are reading TRUCKS, you will find a happy (or worried) face behind the wheel of a fleet of vehicles. If you have read Gilligham's In My series of board books (see below) you know she is great at setting a story around die cuts. One of my favorite aspects of TRUCKS, besides the ice cream truck at the end, is the little worm driving the tiny ambulance on each page who reminds me of Richard Scarry's excellent Goldbug in the classic Cars and Trucks and Things that Go.
Both TRUCKS and FRIENDS are interactive beyond the swiveling headpiece in the center of the books. The stories engage the reader, asking baby to "stop the truck and fix it," or "make extra big scoops" of ice cream for everyone. In FRIENDS the story asks the reader, "Can you smile at a new friend, Baby?" along with, "Can you help clean up?" and "Can you share?" Encouragements and cheers come with each challenge.
Of course babies will be drawn to the swiveling headpiece, but the colorful illustrations and cute animals will keep their attention and keep them turning pages!
Sarah Gillingham's In My series of board books are so beautifully illustrated, cleverly conceived and just plain fun that I had to mention them here.
Source: Review Copy