This holiday season there is a plethora of colorful board books that are perfect stocking-stuffers or baby gifts. And the character that is perhaps the most prolific this winter is the very hungry caterpillar. He appears in two board books and one small book for very young readers.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Christmas 123” is a counting board book that starts with one Santa Claus. Progressing through the numbers, Eric Carle’s fabulous illustrations include two Christmas trees, three snowmen, four holly leaves, five snowflakes, six Christmas cakes, seven penguins, eight stars, nine reindeer and ten presents. The very hungry caterpillar is on every page, including a surprise on the last page.
“Love From the Very Hungry Caterpillar” is not a board book, but it’s the size of a board book and perfect for reading to a very young child. It’s about all the different ways to say “I love you,” including, “You are the apple of my eye” and “You make the sun shine brighter.” It’s short but very sweet. This little treasure would be perfect for a holiday gift, but this little book would also make a great Valentine’s Day present. Get two — one for now and one to gift in a few months.
The last very hungry caterpillar special appearance this holiday season is in “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” board book and holiday ornament box set. It includes the iconic board book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and an ornament in the shape of an apple with the caterpillar emerging.
Eric Carle has one more holiday book with his board book “Dream Snow.” The cover is beautiful — Santa with a sack on his back walking under a dark blue sky with sparkly snowflakes falling down. The snowflakes are textured and feel rough to the touch. It’s about a farmer with little imagination who has five animals he names One, Two, Three, Four and Five. The story is simple but sweet, as befits a board book for babies. Toddlers will enjoy this, too, especially because of the panels that open to reveal the animals.
Tommy dePaola is not to be left out of the Christmas celebration, and his board book is “My First Christmas.” It’s not really a story but more a collection of sentences about the things that are seen and placed around the house when celebrating Christmas. “This is the wreath that hangs on the door,” and “This is the candle that lights up the window,” are examples of what is in this very basic board book.
“Spot’s Christmas” by Eric Hill shows happy puppy Spot celebrating the holiday with his friends and family by caroling, decorating the Christmas tree, making cookies, leaving them for Santa, and waking up Christmas morning to see that Santa came, ate the cookies, and left gifts.
“Little Santa” by Jon Agee is the board book version of the picture book “Little Santa” which was published two years ago. The clever story has not lost its charm, and children will enjoy the story of how Santa came to live at the North Pole with his elves. It’s a fabulous story about an intrepid, adventurous child (Santa) and his family. While his family just wants to move to Florida — they hate the cold — Santa loves the snow and the excitement of the North Pole. This board book will be loved by young readers as well as readers who enjoyed the picture book.
“Baby Penguins Love Their Mama!” by Melissa Guion is a board book filled with baby penguins who, true to the promise of the title, love their mama. The book goes through all the penguins do throughout the week and all that their mama does for them. It’s illustrated with simple pencil and watercolor figures.
Please note: This article is based on the final board books provided by the publishers for review purposes.
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