At 13 months, my youngest is just starting to explore books as more than just the opportunity for an afternoon snack (though there’s still plenty of that going on, too.) At a library visit earlier this week, I came upon Coat’s Hippopposites and brought it home. My thinking was that it was a sturdy board book with simple imagery that my youngest would enjoy, but also taught the concept of opposites, a skill my oldest is learning.
I did not expect that this would be the book for both of them. With primarily black and red illustrations on a page consisting mostly of white space, the book is visually appealing for the 1 yo. The book features a large, simply drawn hippo that is easily found on each page, despite the fact that he may be a different shape, size, or pattern. Over the last several days, he has found and flipped through this book several times of his own accord. This doesn’t happen very often yet, so the fact that he keeps coming back to this book is telling.
Meanwhile, my daughter has also requested Hippopposites twice at bedtime, and numerous times throughout the day. It might not be quite as big of a hit with her if the opposite pairings were merely simple ones she already knows, such as big/small, left/right, in front/behind. But while those pairings are included, other more complex examples are present as well. Opaque/transparent, clear/blurry, positive/negative (playing with the colors of black and white), and the use of the word “light” as an opposite to both “heavy” and “dark”. There’s alot of vocabulary building going on around here!
My children are at the age where it’s generally not possible to find a book that entertains them both at the same time. My oldest enjoys more complex stories, even early reader chapter books, while my youngest is just starting to get what this book thing is about. So finding a book that they will both enjoy, at the same time?