Board Books

Board books are an excellent way to introduce children to the magical world of reading. They foster interaction between primary caregivers and kids, develop the vocabulary of toddlers, and expand kids' knowledge of the world around them.

Board books have an interesting history. Many believe that during the 1200s to the 1500s, children learned the alphabet with wooden tablets. Another precursor to board books as we know them today was hornbooks. These were wood covered with a thin layer of animal horn, which made them durable and stain-resistant. By the mid-1800s, printing technology had advanced and publishers began printing books specifically for children.

Cloth or rag books became popular, and they were inextricably bound up in the development of classic board books. Published and marketed by Dean & Son publishing house from 1902, rag books were for young children who wear their food and eat their clothes. However, World War II put an end to the publication of cloth books due to the shortage of fabric, and then board books came into their own.

These 100-percent paperboard books have covers and pages that consist of at least two layers of the hard material. Most have lamination or coating to give them extra strength and durability that stand up to the rough handling of infants and toddlers. Children adore books that not only contain text and illustrations, but that also feature fun reading material cut into shapes relevant to the topics. Shape books and those with die-cut holes in the pages often come in the board format, as do volumes that offer tactile stimulation with imitation fur or feathers.

Books constructed of board are also in demand by collectors. For example, Babar books from the de Brunhoff family published in the original French, or delightful rare editions from cat portrait illustrator Lesley Anne Ivory depicting the seasons of the year are fabulous collectible board books. Browse our sellers and buy board books for your children or for your unique collection.