Art + Design

Modern Children’s Books with Bold + Interactive Design

It’s always exciting to walk by another designer’s desk and see a great-looking book that I didn’t even know Chronicle was publishing. This happened to me recently when I strolled past Production Designer Kevin Armstrong and spied a fresh-off-the-press edition of ABC Word Play. With its custom lettering and funky patterns, it seems fated to be as big a hit with designers as with kids.

That book got me thinking of other recent children’s books that strike a similar chord with fun design and innovative production techniques. These books below make me immediately want to grab a copy to take home—or maybe two, so the kids can wreck one and I can keep the other one pristine.

ABC Word Play

ABC Word Play

ABC Word Play teaches kids the alphabet with chunky punch-out letters; designer Fany Perret’s letterforms are fun and just slightly unexpected. My favorite letter might be the “S,” with its fat curves and delicate terminals. The ultra-bright colors and geometric patterns make it feel utterly unique in the kids category.

All Shook Up! and Who’s There?

All Shook Up and Who's There?

All Shook Up! and Who’s There? are two new kids books by Alain Crozon that also caught my attention. The graphics are bold and the colors are electric, but the best part is the flaps. Each page has unusually shaped flaps that bring the animals to life—donkeys kick, birds fly, and a dog models a very stylish haircut.

Busy Baby Trucks and Busy: Baby Friends

Busy Baby Covers

Busy Baby Friends

Another pair of kids books with a (literal) spin is Busy: Baby Trucks and Busy: Baby Friends. A disk in the center rotates at the baby’s touch, allowing for hours of fascination (trust me). The simple shapes in Sara Gillingham’s graphics have all the charm of midcentury modern illustration, and I love her poppy mix of colors—chartreuse, tomato red, and lime green amp up the visual impact.

All this spinning, flapping and punching makes reading time more interactive for kids. With their electric colors and bold graphics, these books appeal both to parents with an eye for design and the children who love to be hands on!

Allison Weiner

Allison Weiner

Senior Designer at Chronicle Books and weekend crafter.
Allison Weiner

Latest posts by Allison Weiner (see all)



Leave a Comment