Destined to be tucked in with a shower gift to gently reassure anxious new moms that they and their babies will be perfectly...

WELCOME HOME, BABY!

From the New Books for Newborns series

Toddlers will get the message: your birth was eagerly anticipated; you are wanted and loved.

Framed as a tour of the home, each spread describes some part of a domicile and the activities that are at the center of a baby’s life. From the “welcome home” sign and balloons on the front door of a clapboard structure to the adoring gaze of the new, dark-skinned parents on a possibly urban stoop, each baby is welcomed with love. Both children and caregivers are ethnically diverse. The age, skin tone, and amount of hair on the baby’s head vary from spread to spread, creating an inclusive vision of the ideal family. For example, a brown-skinned man with curly hair and beard is shown reading to a slightly lighter-skinned child with straight brown hair. The previous spread shows a red-haired white child playing outside. Another page features a child with East Asian features and just a few wispy black tendrils of hair blowing out one birthday candle. Although the homes depicted seem universally secure and comfortable, the text allows for some elasticity in interpretation. The final spread describes home as “A place where you’ll always find / As much love as we can give.”

Destined to be tucked in with a shower gift to gently reassure anxious new moms that they and their babies will be perfectly happy . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0103-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love.

LEO LOVES DADDY

A fun-loving daddy’s dedication is apparent in this slice-of-life board book.

Leo, a brown-skinned boy with tight curls, full lips, and a broad nose, delights in playing with Daddy, who has equally clearly Black features. Leo wakes up to Daddy tickling his tummy. Then this superinvolved father fixes pancakes, dances, takes Leo on a bike ride, and tends to Leo’s scraped knee. Together they build with blocks, take a bath, and snuggle with a book before bed. Companion title Leo Loves Mommy follows a similar trajectory through the day. Leo builds a blanket fort with couch cushions, practices yoga, and paints with his mother, who also presents Black. After a bike ride, mommy’s lunch “is so flashy”: celery and carrot sticks turned into edible critters with fruit and nuts. The loving devotion of both parents is tangible and genuine, sweet but not cloying. Simple two-line sentences with unobtrusive rhymes across spreads provide descriptions of the activities and add vocabulary. Each spread illustrates one event against a clear solid color background, free of distracting decoration. Together they complete a full picture of a busy toddler’s day and his loving relationship with each parent.

Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-241-2

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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A sweet if uneven expression of parents’ love for babies.

EVERYTHING YOU

A love song to baby.

Rhyming verse expresses animal parents’ love for their little ones and is accompanied by cartoon-style illustrations of animal families rendered in bold colors and rounded forms. The succinct text pairs nicely with the spare art style, which offers uncluttered spreads focused on the parent-and-child interactions. “You’re everything FRESH, / the morning’s first dew,” reads one spread, for example, which is illustrated with a picture of a panda cub standing on top of its prone parent while reaching for a dewdrop falling from a branch. Behind them, a blue background is warmed by a huge, yellow semicircle representing the rising sun. Other animal families occupy other pages, so there’s no sequential storyline to speak of, but the text as a whole is framed by an opening spread depicting crocodile parents waiting for their (very large) egg to hatch, and hatch it does in the closing spread, which reads, “You’re every wish answered, / our hearts, how they grew… / every day countless, / everything you.” While the sentiment here is heartfelt, this use of “every day countless” is one example of several instances when word choices undermine clarity.

A sweet if uneven expression of parents’ love for babies. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30141-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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