I have been remiss in talking about books I love to handsell. I’ve picked out three board books from this year that are really fun to put into customers’ hands.
The first is a Sandra Boynton book, Perfect Piggies! A Book! A Song! A Celebration!. The die-cut pig snout on the cover sets the tone for fun with this humorous book. Raucous rhymes, and dancing pigs fill this board book. What’s great about any Boynton book is the adult appeal in them. The humor tickles kids and adults don’t seem to tire of reading it, over and over again. The art, full of pig tails and bellies, makes me smile every time I show it to customers. Reading a line or two of this book practically guarantees a sale. Also, there are tons of pig collectors who would find the book a lovely addition to their collection.
Another book I just love is Matthew Van Fleet’s Heads. Like his other books, Dog, Cat and Tails, the book is a touch-and-feel book with a pull-the-flap. The art, with lots of exotic animals, is realistic and still cute and full of personality. The rhyme works and actually tells a story. For instance, you see the elephant with flies buzzing around its head, then you pull the flap and see how its ears work to get rid of the flies. And a huge shout-out to Simon & Schuster for making the book sturdy enough that I feel comfortable demonstrating the sturdiness of the flaps to potential customer. Nothing is worse than showing a customer a lift-the-flap book and seeing just how flimsy the flaps are, and both you and the customer know within moments the book will break. I just put books like this back on the shelf and show them something else. Oh, a great thing in Tails is the last page, a fold-out page that names all the animals from the book and shows them in their habitat.
This book isn’t a book, but a new series of books from Workman, called Indestructibles. These books are designed for babies, they are board books without the board. The books are “Chew proof, rip proof, non-toxic and washable.” They are designed to be drooled on, crushed and played with. Now, this innovation wouldn’t really mean much if the books weren’t good, and I’m happy to say, the books are great — 12 titles ranging from classic nursery rhymes like Humpty Dumpty, Hey Diddle Diddle, Mary Had a Little Lamb and other fun titles like Plip-Plop Pond, Creep! Crawl! All the titles are wordless with bold colors and bright art. At $4.95 each, these books make great new baby gifts.
I’ll be moving chronologically through the bookstore with some of my favorites. Next up, picture books!