A lot of people find chubby little hands one of the cuter features of babies and toddlers.

While endearing, the infant hand seriously lacks dexterity. Hence, the frequent use of teeth and gums to navigate a child’s surroundings.

Although most adults love the idea of kids reading and playing with books at a young age, they often cringe when they see them gumming and drooling on their books or tearing the pages in an effort to turn them. Usually these adults are the ones to get their backs up when they see people dog-earing or folding a book open to save a spot.

I personally love the look of a well-read book. Nothing makes a book look like a good read as much as a worn cover does. It’s kind of like going to the video store and seeing that all the copies of a movie are out. Everyone else thought it looked good … it must be good.

There is a special kind of book out there that can endure the first stages of a child’s development. A board book is printed on hard cardboard. The cardboard is used for the cover as well as the pages, unlike a typical book with cardboard binding and paper pages.

Board books are intended to be more durable for children to read and play with. Although they may still get chewed on by younger children, they won’t get ruined by ripping or crumpling.

While several classic children’s books such as Goodnight Moon have been published in board-book format as well as standard format, some authors target the board-book market.

Sandra Boynton is a popular American humorist, songwriter, children’s author and illustrator who has been on the bestseller list for over 25 years and has published dozens of board books.

Boynton’s titles include Horns to Toes and in Between, Grunt: Pigorian Chant from Snouto Domoinko de Silo, Barnyard Dance!, Barnyard Bath!, But Not the Hippopotamus, Birthday Monsters! and Pajama Time!, to name a few.

These stories all star great cartoon animals and have fun language that has rhythm and rhyme. The focus on basic concepts such as colours, body parts, counting and the bedtime ritual are important themes in a child’s life.

Adults will appreciate the simplicity of these stories.

If you check out www.sandraboynton.com, the author’s personal website, you’ll get a feel for her sense of humor.

The website points out that “in the time it would take you to read War and Peace, you could read every book Boynton has ever written and still have time leftover to, oh, learn Italian or something. Plus, her drawings are generally cuter than Tolstoy’s.”

If you like to stay on top of what’s new, check out Fifteen Animals!, Boynton’s most-recent book. It’s the story of a toddler who has 15 pet animals. He has a cat, a dog, two fish, a hamster, a horse, a piglet, five bunnies, a mouse, a bird and a turtle.

The young boy sings, “I really like animals, I like them a lot. Fifteen animals is what I’ve got. I’ve got fifteen animals. They’re friendly and tame, and I’ve given each one a special name.”

How does a kid remember all the pets’ names? Easily, if you name them all Bob (except for the turtle named Simon Alexander Ragsdale the Third).

You can find Boynton Board Books at Mac’s Fireweed Books and at Coles.

And with the number of books Boynton has in print, you have good odds of finding one at Well-Read Books.

You can also take this author’s books out of the various Yukon public libraries as the collection holds several of her stories.