Children's Literature

Hot board books–Paola Opal

I am obsessed with this one little collection of mine: board books. It’s not the biggest collection by any means, but I do give it considerable attention, mainly because children take them and put them in their mouths. They’re exploring their world, mmmkay?! In my acquisition, I’ve come across one series that my patrons are going goo-goo ga-ga about. Paola Opal has a series called Simply Small. On average, each book has checked out 18 times in one year. Pretty swell for one little book! Not as popular as Sandra Boynton but pretty darn close.

First published in 2008 with Saffy the giraffe, these books have the most adorable creatures on them with very simple stories. They have an unusual rectangular size for board books (perhaps making them stand out more). The illustrations are very simple, rarely including more than two characters in a story, with bold lines accenting the objects on the page. The colors are soft and pleasant and there is a lot of white space. The stories are a great introduction to a basic story line with characters, plot, a problem, and a solution–all with one or two sentences per page spread. Sound effects are oftentimes included.

My library is part of a consortium of 25 libraries and I was surprised to find that not many libraries had this series. All around, I would highly recommend adding this series to your collection.

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