Musings on Board Books Spurred by Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Room on the Broom - Axel Scheffler, Julia Donaldson

A perception of board books lingering since my brothers were below three is that they must be tough enough to alleviate teething misery.  


Stiff little pages designed for grubby little hands with dribbles of saliva and snot imbedded with tiny grains of sand.


Just short little stories, just a scant few words for the courageous, to focus longer would mean the listener is contagious.  So the alphabet, yes, and colors and numbers, with a few geometric shapes thrown in to please all the ages.


But lately I've been encountering a different trend.  Full books contained on the board-pages within.  Entire stories full of rhythm and prose with original illustrations featuring witches in capes and cats without clothes.  


Do the little tots listen?  All the way to the end?  To they track the plot contained with in? Do they turn the pages one by one or do they skip to the middle ere they've first begun? Do they pour over the shrunken images or wish they were larger? Do they read these big kid stories in this small-dimension pallor?  Or is it just a gimmick to sell a few more, to get a few more books out of the door?  Or perhaps it's not at all for the tots, instead it's a way for siblings to protect the books they've got?  


Do tell me, if you know, if this is the way board books are meant to go.  


While you're at it, give this one a read.  Room on the Broom you'll fly through like a breeze.  The full book at such a small size--the board book edition was a library hold surprise.  Alex Scheffler's illustrations will make you laugh and when the swamp monster appears passerbyers will think you quite daft.  So give it a read, it's light hearted and fun, a story of helpful deeds that were done.