A lovely gift and guide for new parents.

BRIGHT BROWN BABY

A TREASURY

The Pinkneys, prolific creators of books for children, offer a guide for caregivers to affirm their babies’ senses of self-worth.

This treasury has more text directed to caregivers than to children. An introduction headed “Welcome to Joy!” invites caregivers to hold their babies while reading to them and sharing words and pictures that “will hug them tight.” Each of the five sections, with titles such as “Bright Brown Baby,” “Count to Love,” and “Peek-a-You,” begins with a meaningful quote, four from great African American leaders and one from a Sanskrit poem. Then a series of instructions to caregivers (“Get ready to make a big list of blessings”) is followed by illustrations of brown babies with their adults accompanied by short, simple text in the style of board books for babies. (In fact, the separate sections will be released over time as stand-alone board books, with Count to Love! releasing simultaneously.) A final note to parents instructs them to go back through the pages of the treasury and read the quotes aloud to their babies as they take in the images of brown families. Brian Pinkney’s signature swirling curves and saturated colors create a sense of movement in the playful scenes on the book’s pages, while the combination of encouraging text aimed at adults and simple text aimed at babies extends a hand to new parents wanting to tell their little ones how precious they are. The treasury offers a vehicle to carve out the time to do just that.

A lovely gift and guide for new parents. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-545-87229-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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As warm as a hug from Grandma.

I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA

Grandma is the star in dozens of picture books for older children, but seldom is the special bond between a toddler and their grandmother portrayed in a book for very young children.

This sweet, but not saccharine, board book fills that gap. Thankfully, this grandma does not have Alzheimer’s and is not dying. She simply delights in spending time with her cherished grandchild. The narrator, a charming bear cub, is not identified as male or female, which makes it easy for both girls and boys to insert themselves in the story. Each of the six rhyming couplets is spread across double-page spreads: “I love the fun we have each day, / And all the funny things you say.” Even in its small board-book trim size, there is still plenty of room for the winsome watercolors to highlight the familiar yet memorable rituals of a day spent with a loving and patient grandma. Note: “Rory Tyger” is the collective pseudonym for the British artistic team of Richard Greaves, Tracey Simmons, and Gabrielle Murphy. Their illustrations were originally used in Good Night, Sleep Tight by Claire Freedman (2003). In that story, the little bear is resisting bedtime. This reworking is a gentle and conflict-free ode to the special love between little bear and a doting grandma.

As warm as a hug from Grandma. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-524-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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