Christmas Countdown: 18 More Sleeps!

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Usborne Touch-Feely: The Nativity, 2008

Yes, dear readers. This exists. Black Star of Bethlehem and all.

But I’ll admit – I do kind of want to pet that sheep. It just looks so fluffy.

The Usborne Touchy-Feely board books are quite popular. I remember that I frequently had to restock these books’ shelves when I worked in the Kids section at #OversizedBookstore. They sold like hot cakes. That said, Wikipedia notes that young children “often tend to be destructive, untrustworthy, and unpredictable,” so maybe the kids just destroyed the books or something without my knowing. I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t think I want to know.

Board books are interesting in that they can come in a bunch of really weird shapes. At first, you think it’s because the publishers believe that making a book a weird shape would make it more attractive to little kids who are, you know, weird themselves. Certainly that’s part of it, but the main reason board books are usually oddly-shaped is so that young children can hold them easily. Interesting, isn’t it, how these books have been made for children to turn the pages themselves? The kid likely can’t read – he/she probably just likes the colours or, in this case, the textures – but board books could be a way of promoting a love of “reading” from an early age.

There hasn’t been a lot of scholarly interest in board books, which is unfortunate. However, there is one article by Kathleen T. Horning available online that provides a pretty good overview of the potentital benefits of, and the issues surrounding, board books. She’s not the best writer in the world, but she knows her stuff. It’s definitely worth a read.

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