The stats are in for December, and the most-kept book in Literati’s Club Neo (newborn to 3) was Color Me: Who’s in the Pond?
And we can guess why. It’s a beautifully illustrated bath book that changes color when it’s dropped in water. It’s fun, it’s a novelty, and children love it. But what was really interesting to us was how well Dress Up JoJo did among our members that month. 72% of them kept that book, in which Jojo dresses up as everything from a snowman to a deep-sea diver, and it performed at a higher rate even than Touch the Brightest Star which had been a publishing phenomenon in the States.
Dr. Mark West, an expert in children’s literature at the University of North Carolina, who helped us dive into the data behind the books you decided to keep, told us Dress Up JoJo appeals to younger children’s interest in bright colors and simple illustrations: “Look at how little kids draw people – usually just a head and legs with eyes and a mouth, very often with no bodies,” he said. “So the illustrator [Xavier Deneux] clearly understands how toddlers see the world and caters to that.”
West said the problem with many board books is that young children are too tough on them. “They chew them, they get ripped, tabs get pulled off. But the engineering involved with Dress Up JoJo is fantastic. You couldn’t tear it apart easily. Its sliding mechanisms don’t have tabs and it uses heavy duty paper, so a child would be able to play with it without destroying it.”