I read board books at my lapsit storytime every week, and I’m always looking out for fun, new board books. Ones that I can read to babies and toddlers, and ones that keep it interesting. This past weekend, I came across two board books by Susanne Strasser that fit the bill: So Light, So Heavy, and So Far Up.
Bear sees a tasty cake in the highest window of a tall house. It’s so high up, and Bear is so far down! Maybe some of his animal friends can help. As each animal stacks on top of another, the text repeats, adding a new sound effect, making for some fun interaction with listeners: Boingaboing! Hippity Hop! An unexpected twist takes the story to a sweet ending for all. The artwork is calming – that turquoise background is very relaxing – and the text allows kids to name their animals, while avoiding the “same old song and dance” territory.
Elephant wants to use the teeter-totter, but it won’t tip! Different animals come along to help tip the scales, but it’s no good: they’re so light, and elephant is so heavy. Wait a minute – here comes the child from So Far Up, with another unexpected twist!
Both books introduce and reinforce concepts in an unexpected, amusing way that will get readers and storytellers alike laughing. So Light, So Heavy is also a good choice for a science storytime, when discussing balance (along with Ellen Stoll Walsh’s Balancing Act). I’ll be adding these to my board book shelves, for sure.