"While the publishing industry is still scraping through the digital revolution, children’s books have remained relatively untouched. Most parents are sticking to print for their young children even when there are e-book versions or apps available, and videos like the once ubiquitous “Baby Einstein,” founded in 1997 as a fast-track to infant genius, have fallen out of fashion.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that television should be avoided for children younger than 2 years old, and studies have suggested that babies and toddlers receive much greater benefit from real interactions than from experiences involving video screens.
“ 'There has been a proliferation of focus on early childhood development on the education side,' said John Mendelson, the sales director at Candlewick Press, 'as well as on the retail side.'
"Board books, traditionally for newborns to 3-year-olds, have always been a smaller and somewhat neglected category in the publishing business, compared with the larger and more expensive hardcover picture books designed for children of reading age.
But board books may be catching up. Libraries that used to shun the genre are now buying them from publishers. Bookstores are making more room for board books on their shelves. And while a board book might have once been too insubstantial a gift to bring to a child’s birthday party, the newer, highly stylized versions (that can run up to $15) would easily pass muster.
“ 'A board book was little more than a teething ring,' said Christopher Franceschelli, who directs Handprint Books, an imprint of Chronicle Books. 'I think as picture books have developed in the last 20 years, parents, librarians, teachers have thought, ‘Why should board books be any less than their older siblings?’ '
"In 2012, Abrams Books, the art-book publisher, created a new imprint, Abrams Appleseed, to focus on books for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Since then, it has published high-end books like “Pantone: Color Puzzles,” released this month, which uses intricate drawings and puzzle pieces to teach children the differences between colors like peacock blue and nighttime blue" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/books/a-library-of-classics-edited-for-the-teething-set.html?hp, accessed 10-27-2013).