I cannot remember when the lap-sized board book made its appearance, but I’m sure glad it did. I just love these books. I’m a fan of board books in general. Their ease of use for babies and toddlers is genius as is their practical indestructible format, but I often found regular size board books too small. I hated that the art in them was often missing something of their hardcover counterparts. Then came the lap-sized book, and the art was huge and glorious.
The genius behind the larger board lies in two areas. The first is the art because it can now be showcased in a book that kids can’t rip or get paper cuts reading. Little ones explore the world with their mouths and larger board books allow them a lot of room to chew. The second thing I love about these is parents can sit with a baby in their laps and have a full-sized reading experience without worrying about damaging a book. It is so easy for little hands, surprisingly strong hands, to just scrunch up the pages of a book while they’re being read to. The lap-sized board book allows for close, together reading time without the parent correcting the child about not hurting the book. This is freedom for all involved.
The art is so important in books for babies, whether it’s the contrast of colors or spotting the balloon and the mouse in Good Night, Gorilla or being able to see all the babies in Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. I love seeing little ones poring over a book and taking in the pictures. And just because they’re little doesn’t mean every reading experience should be reduced for safety’s sake.
Lastly, lap-sized board books make great new baby gifts that can be enjoyed by older kids who might think of regular-sized board books as only for babies. All my younger nieces and nephews get this size book now. I eschew hardcovers until kids are at least three or four just because it’s hard to see a book get damaged by a kid being a kid. That’s not fair. And so many great books are now available in the lap size that it’s easy to keep everyone stocked in books.
Oh, and the truly great thing about the lap-sized book is it can be comfortably read with a child in your lap, a chubby hand on your knee and a little one saying, “Again” when you’ve come to the end.