Books make the best baby gifts, especially when you know it’s not a book that the mom has already been showered with 14 times. And now there’s a whole new kind of board book series just launched that’s aiming not only to freshen up the genre, but maybe even reinvent it.
Xavier Deneux is a wonderful French illustrator who jumped into the baby book game a few years ago. Now he’s out with TouchThinkLearn: Colors and TouchThinkLearn: Opposites, the pages of which feel more like works of art or interactive sculpture, designed encourage kids to engage with the books in a multi-sensory way.
In both books, the opposing pages are 3-dimensional, connecting to each other thematically and literally–so the left page is raised, the right one scooped out, and they fit together when the page shuts.
In Colors, the basics come to live with gorgeous texture and color–purple flowers, brown teddy bears, green leaves with a caterpillar crawling up one side.
In Opposites, which is easily the most engaging book of opposites I’ve seen, the connections are even deeper. Small/big doesn’t just feature something small and something big; but instead a baby bird in a teeny round tree on the right, and on the left, a mama bird in that same scooped out hole that’s nestled in a tree trunk. Heavy/light has fun with an elephant and a cloud, and animal lovers will appreciate caged/free which shows a teary lion in a 3-dimensional cage, opposite one with the bars raised inwhich he’s clearly happier–it certainly made my kids laugh.
I really love the minimalist design, the architectural quality of the pages, and the thoughtfulness that went into the concept on each page. As a set they make a fabulous little baby gift– one that kids will love to read together with you, and play with on their own too.
And as we parents know, there’s a whole lot to be said for that. -Liz
Xavier Deneux’s board books TouchThinkLearn: Colors and TouchThinkLearn: Opposites are available for preorder at our affilaite Amazon, shipping July 23; or find them at your local indie bookseller. Expect two more books on Shapes and Numbers in Spring, 2014.
[images via amy yu gray]