Board Books

Caution! Road Signs Ahead

by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Chi Birmingham

ISBN: 9780593224328

RISE x Penguin Workshop, 2021

Empower backseat passengers to become informed backseat drivers with this road sign decoder featuring 35 shaped road signs!

From road signs around the neighborhood, like School Crossing” and Playground,” to signs you zoom past on the highway, this hefty reference board book highlights and explains 35 road and highway signs for the youngest readers on the go. The shaped pages make each sign tactilely memorable, and the carefully crafted one-sentence explanations will easily guide young readers as they contextualize the world that zips past their backseat windows.


“Thirty-five road signs explained to toddlers in an extra-thick board book. . . Pages cut in the shapes of the signs both add playful variety and ensure small fingers can turn the thick pages.” ~ Kirkus

“Children will catch on quickly and are likely to memorize the messaging and become sign decoders during long car rides and trips around town.” ~ School Library Journal

It’s like a secret code that we all know – a language we all speak.  So, how fun . . . how absolutely fun . . . to be maybe 2 or 3 or 4 years old . . . and wanting to understand the world around you and make sense out of it . . . and then you get this fabulous key to all things road sign.” ~

“A life skills book that is so fun, kids will flip through the pages over and over again, until the signs are naturally memorized. This durable book is carefully crafted and a perfect treasure for every back-seat passenger.” ~ Celebrate Picture Books

Teaching Resources:

The Twelve Days of Christmas in New England (board book edition)

by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Liza Woodruff

ISBN: 9781454929963

Sterling Children’s Books, 2018

This popular holiday book is now available in a sturdy board edition for very young children. The original text has been simplified to focus on the merry lyrics in this fun take on the classic Christmas song. It’s a happy, festive way for families to celebrate the place where they live.

Welcome to Christmas in New England, where you can enjoy 3 swift sleighs, 4 lobster rolls, 8 skaters carving, and a blue jay in a spruce tree!


“Grace excitedly documents the trip in letters to her parents, and . . . Woodruff’s cartooning adds a cozy note to this festive look at New England’s highlights.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Stay Close to Mama (board book edition)

by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka 

ISBN: 9781484787960

Hyperion Books for Children, 2018.

In the wide, shining world there is so much to see, and Twiga is curious. But Twiga’s tall, tall Mama wants her baby to stay close, stay safe from the dangers that lurk near each irresistible sweet smell and sparkling sight that Twiga finds.

With lyrical text and enchanting illustrations, this story of a mother’s love is perfect for snuggle-with-a-book time.


Written with a storyteller’s ear for cadence and repetition, the text has a sense of immediacy . . . Nicely composed and pleasing in their use of rounded forms and line, the broad double-page illustrations show up well from a distance. A good choice for reading aloud.” ~ Booklist

“Wohnoutka’s large, almost impressionistic paintings grant a rich glimpse of the broad savanna and its denizens.” ~ School Library Journal

“There’s no doubt that readers and their parents will instantly see themselves in this loving but ongoing conflict over the need to explore and the need to protect, and they’ll undoubtedly find the two characters adorable and reassuring.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Awards & Honors:

  • Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club Selection (hardcover edition)
  • Scholastic Firefly Book Clubs Selection (hardcover edition)

Teaching Resources:

Just Like My Papa (board book edition)

by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka 

ISBN: 9781484787953

Hyperion Books for Children, 2017

Kito wants to be just like his papa, the protector of the pride. Throughout a day and night on the savanna, the cub imitates the way his father roars, swings his tail, shakes his head, and pounces. Kito may be too little to catch a wildebeest, but he is brave enough to succeed in his own hunt. Someday he will be King, just like Papa.

With its rhythmic text, dramatic moments on the African plain, and playful times for cub and papa, this book will make a perfect read-aloud for family sharing.


The acrylic illustrations are larger than life and show the expanses of the savannah but remain warm and kid-friendly, especially in the lions’ depth of expression, ranging from curiosity to impatience, from concern to pride. The pacing is superb, with the right amount of drama for the youngest readers yet awash with reassuring paternal love and care for young Kito.” ~ School Library Journal

“The warm and reassuring flow of the text coupled with the dramatic painterly scenes of the African landscape come together for a likable tale just in time for Father’s Day.” ~ Kirkus

“The personification of the lions allows the love between father and son to radiate throughout both the text and the luscious full-page colored illustrations. …The book’s large format and rich, rhythmic language make it a good candidate for reading aloud to a group. At the same time, its quiet nature makes for a good one-on-one sharing, too.” ~ Booklist

Awards & Honors:

  • 2013 Book-of-the-Month Club (hardcover edition)
  • 2013 Reading Rockets Holiday Buying Guide Selection (hardcover edition)

Teaching Resources:

Paintings by Lynne Neuman