Good Night! and Spoonful! by Benoit Marchon, illustrated by Soledad Bravi
This year, I created a category for board books because I noticed a distinct change in the quality of what was being published and discussed this in an article titled The Changing Face of Board Books. With my own kids, board books were mostly a distraction to be employed on a long car ride, but rarely anything we would sit down and read together. The last year has seen many fantastic picture books published in board book format but also the birth of abramsappleseed, an imprint devoted to fostering "the development of its young readers and engaging them and their adults in artful, beautifully conceived books." In addition to abramsappleseed, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has been publishing some out-of-the-ordinary board books worth buying as well. Earlier this year, I Love to Eat and I Love to Sleep by Amélie Graux, billed as deluxe, trilingual touch-and-feel books with absolutely charming illustrations of babyhood. Taking these fresh new board books into consideration and adding to the list Hippopposites, brilliantly conceived by Janik Coat (also an abramsappleseed title) and I am beginning to think that the French have a collection of picture book authors and illustrators to rival the US and the UK. Good Night! and Spoonful! by Benoit Marchon, illustrated by Soledad Bravi (who, while her entire website is in French, has a VERY cool little animated movie that plays when you enter her site that is worth watching with your kids) cement this belief of mine and join the list of board books worth buying.
Unfortunately, this is the only image I could find from either book, so you will have to take my word for just how fun these books are. Good Night! is a list of endearments as a parent says goodnight to a child, beginning with a sweet little babe in a heart covered romper and the words, "Good night, my love." Good night my sweetheart, my duckling, my little bug and my bunny are among the other endearments, each of which is accompanied by an illustration of the endearment, the hole in the book showing the baby's face peeping through. The final page returns to the baby in the heart covered romper, cheerfully awake and proclaiming, "Again!"
Spoonful! employs the same idea. "Open wide, it's time to eat," the book beings, the die-cut face of the baby in the bib obliging. A spoonful goes to daddy, and to mommy and the doll. To the worm in the dirt, the lady in the picture and the mailman as well until - "Hooray! You ate it all!" I especially love because I can imagine a baby with a spoon trying to feed the baby in the book. The illustrations, as with Good Night! are colorful, engaging and clever and definitely, at $7.99, worth the paper they are printed on. However, if you do buy these books, you might want to buy two copies of each as I am sure they will be read so much they wear out.
Source: Review Copies