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10 Classic Board Books You Need To Buy Before Your Kid Is Born

The best baby board books serve a couple of purposes. Not only are board books good to read for the youngest babies they are also incredibly durable. And that’s a good thing considering that allowing a kid to chew on the board books is a literacy activity. Yes, really.

Whether it’s a baby book for a boy or a baby book for a girl, baby board books are perfect addition to your gift registry too. But the best board books are the ones that offer classic timeless tales a parent won’t mind reading over and over again.

A classic retelling of the Paul Bunyan story, only this time the steam shovel is the hero, not the villain.

Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel was first published back in 1939, when the nation was apparently more enamoured of heavy machinery than massive blue mutant oxen, but the lesson remains the same throughout: there will always be a newer, bigger, faster version of you coming down the pike, but heart, hard work, and determination can outlast mere technical progress. Clearly, Virginia Lee Burton never saw The Terminator.

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You probably can recite the short and sweet rhythm of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic already.

But if you haven’t read this book a million f–king times, it’s the story of a sleepy rabbit saying goodnight to everything in his great green room, including your kid. Although even a toddler has to ask, why does a bunny need both a comb and brush?

Fatherly IQ
  1. How often do you and your spouse argue over the family budget?
    Rarely. We set it together and stick to it as best we can.
    Sometimes. We try not to, but it’s occasionally unavoidable.
    A lot. It’s a regular source of contention.
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The stocky Harold applies his purple crayon to the task of drawing himself into a moonlit walk.

But it’s not long before he veers off the straight and narrow path he’s made into a crazytown of his own mind. This classic could cause you a slight bit of hesitation considering Harold does appear to be drawing on the walls. But in the end, Harold is the Prince of classic children’s books, considering his purple reign.

Harry is a cute-as-hell dog with a serious issue: he doesn’t like baths. So when he hears one being drawn for him he buries the scrub brush and goes on an adventure in various dirty locations around the city until he’s basically unrecognizable.

First published in 1956, some of the dirty locals may feel a bit antiquated if you’re a N.E.R.D., who’d probably take Harry to get a Lapdance. Dirty dog, indeed.

A Caldecott winner from 1943, The Little House tells a story of a well built abode in the country that’s eventually engulfed by really poor urban planning.

Luckily a great granddaughter of the original builder comes to the rescue in the end. But one thing remains mysterious: while the little house in the story is certainly mighty mighty, there is no mention of it being made out of brick.

Told in striking collage illustrations, the Snowy Day follows a little boy named Peter as he bounds into a snow covered city.

That’s where he makes tracks, packs snowballs and makes a snow angel, which is truly ahead of it’s time considering David Boreanaz wouldn’t be on the scene for another 30 years.

Pat the Bunny is the OG of the touch and feel genre, offering kids a sensory experience in a very loose narrative. Actually it isn’t so much a narrative.

It’s more a list of commands for the kid to interact with the various pages. Said pages are decked out in in things like fake rabbit fur and even sandpaper to mimic your “scratchy face.” So maybe stop shaving with a sharpened rock already.

A sweetly rhyming book with some fine illustrations of an idyllic life in a different era, 1 Is One takes your kid on a journey all the way to 20.

On the way they’ll learn things like what a “heath” is. Also, how people used to serve cherries on white china plates, and how a dude named Tom wrote on his slate (which was probably some counter intuitive column about how 1 isn’t actually “one” but “two”).

You remember The Very Hungry Caterpillar from back when you were a kid.

However, you might not remember the “hole” story. Because, fact is that freaky little caterpillar eats a lot. On the last day he tears through cake, ice cream, a pickle, cheese, salami, a sausage, a cupcake … basically he has a normal evening for a pregnant lady.

This modern classic is a timeless tale of how a dad should absolutely never let his son win at anything. Okay, that’s an exaggeration.

The father and son nutbrown hare team are actually going back and forth over who has the more love. Still it’ll drill the message into your kid that they will never love you more than you love them. And they’ll never be able to beat you at anything. Ever.

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