Anyone who’s taken care of a baby or toddler know that they love to put things into their mouths. And books are certainly no exception. But what are they exactly sucking, chewing and teething on with their board books? Most likely, these books contain laminates, foils and potentially harmful glues—not a great addition to their diet!
Rob Coleman and Allison Manley (husband and wife) are the founders of the award-winning sustainable design firm, Rogue Element, based in Chicago. They share a deep knowledge and strong commitment to environmental issues; when they became parents, it was only natural for them to turn their attention to baby products. There is (thankfully!) a movement afoot to produce products, such as diapers, soaps, clothes, food, and furniture that will keep babies and young children as free of chemicals as possible…but what of books? Not finding any board books that were not created with toxic materials, they set out to create books, themselves, using environmentally-conscious paper, inks and printing processes, and established Squishy Press.
Along with creating non-toxic and safer baby books, their vision included books that would be manufactured in the U.S.A., as well as being beautifully designed and photographed, so they got renowned photographer Steven Gross on board. The results are delightful! Right now, their line consists of two board books for the under-3 set, Silly Faces and Opposites, but more titles will follow, as well as some toys. These books have also proved helpful for older children on the autism spectrum who have trouble recognizing facial expressions.
Their books are available online at www.squishypress.com, Amazon.com, at certain retailers, and from their Chicago office at 4043 N. Ravenswood Avenue, Suite 202. Also check them out on Facebook.
When someone is inspired to create quality products with our children’s and our planet’s health in mind, we should support them so that they—and similar endeavors—will continue to flourish.
This is a fantastic idea! It is certainly something I will keep in mind for gift ideas! Amara is obviously too old for them but I sure remember her books going straight into her mouth!
Yes, I think all babies like to “digest” their reading material! Non-toxic board books seem so logical.
I’m surprised that environmentally friendly toddler books haven’t been developed before. I’ll be checking out Squishy Press 🙂
Hopping over from the #kidlitbloghop
Hi Catherine, thanks for hopping over :-). I know…I’m always wondering why I hadn’t thought of something that seems so right/needed!
Oops! Guilty of letting both of my grandkids chew on books. Definitely going to look into these for the newest one coming early next year. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop!
Those are adorable and it’s so true about babies and books! lol These books look great – thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. 🙂