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Anyone with a connection to young children is familiar with board books. They are the books marketed specifically for infants and toddler. They are small for little hands to hold, colorful and with fewer pages than regular picture books. And they are very durable, usually with heavy cardboard pages made to withstand the chewing, bending and generally rough handling that comes with the littlest book lovers.

There have been variations of books for young children, going back into the 1800s and earlier. In the later part of the 1800s, black and white pictures started evolving into full color illustrations. Cloth books for very young children were popular in the early 1900s.  However, it was in the 1920s-1950s when the publishing world saw the first huge growth in the publishing of books for children. 

Initially books during this period were aimed at preschoolers. Board books became common, though most were new durable editions of already published titles. However,  experts began to realize that introducing the youngest children to books even before they could read would improve their literacy later. From the 1960s-1980s, authors like Helen Oxenbury, Sandra Boynton and Gyo Fujikawa contributed greatly to the development of the board book as a separate genre.

Today, board books are a large segment of the children's book market. Parents realize the importance of introducing their children to books early. Board books allow even babies a chance to explore books and handle them safely.  Some of the titles produced in the early days of board books, such as Pat the Bunny (1940, Western Publishing) have become classic and are still available today.

Here are the board books I've gathered over the years. Many were well loved by my own children when they were tiny. As you browse, perhaps you will see a few that were favorites in your home. 

                                                                     - Kathy 





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1900s-60s    1970s    1980s    1990s    2000s   2010s


Before 1900  |  1900s  |  1910s  |  1920s  |  1930s  |  1940s  |  1950s  |  1960s  |  1970s  |  1980s  |  1990s  |  2000s  |  2010s 

Board Books   |  Easy Readers   |  Golden Books  |  Other Books  |  Story Collections  |  Magazines


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