Childrens’ Books of the Week: Leslie Patricelli Board Books

Yummy YUCKY
Big LITTLE
Quiet LOUD
No NO Yes YES
all written and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli

We got the first three of these books when Henry was a baby, and we were all immediately smitten with them. The illustrations are hilarious: this little baby, with a diaper and funny little baby nipples, who acts out various opposites for you. I personally like the wordplay in Yummy YUCKY (Burgers are yummy, boogers are yucky. Sandwiches are yummy, sand is yucky.). Henry always loved the sound effects in Quiet LOUD, and I still remember little baby Henry daintily saying, “Ah-choo!” at the “sniffles are quiet/sneezes are loud” page. Eli has always been partial to Big LITTLE mostly because he thinks the word “binky” in the end-of-book list of “more little things” is the funniest word he has ever heard. The whole reading of that book is essentially to get to that “binky” punchline, for Eli.

And now we’ve gotten No NO Yes YES from the library, and it might be my favorite. The baby does something wrong (“No NO”), like eating dog food, and then does the right thing (“Yes YES”), like eating a banana while the dog eats its own food. The “No NO” things are pretty great: clocking a playmate in the head with a toy hammer (“thunk”), cutting your own hair, ripping up a magazine.

Oh, and before I forget, there was a funny moment once when my mom was reading Eli Yummy YUCKY and having him say the “yummy” and “yucky” parts, and she said, “Mommy’s cookies are…” and he dutifully said, “Yummy!” and then she said, “Mommy’s coffee is…” and he looked briefly confused, and then smiled and said, “Yummy!” sure that that was the right answer. Because it’s true: the boy loves coffee.



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