Little ones, perhaps new big brothers and sisters, will cuddle with a loving grown-up and find comfort and reassurance here.

BABIES, BABIES EVERYWHERE!

Babies are all around, and if you look carefully you can watch how they grow and change.

Newborns sleep, drink milk, burp, pee, poo, and cry. Very soon they can smile and giggle and wave arms and legs. Then they recognize faces, grasp objects, burble, sit up, and even roll about. Things get messy when they start eating solid food, and watch out as they crawl, then stand while holding on to nearby furniture. Time seems to speed up, and they are saying their first words and toddling, a bit unsteadily at first, babies no more. Double-page spreads filled with Asquith’s playful, exuberant cartoons depict babies and families engaged in actions appropriate to each developmental stage. Families depicted are racially and ethnically diverse and include a pair of twins as well as a multiracial, two-mother family, one of whom uses a wheelchair. (A hijabi mum never takes her scarf off, even inside the home.) Some of the illustrations are framed, some are scattered, and some are seen with all the families involved together in a single setting. Babies or their paraphernalia float across the endpapers and along tops or sides of several pages. Hoffman incorporates British vernacular in direct conversational descriptions of babies’ development, with asides in the form of their sounds and perceived thoughts, as well as their parents’ interactions with them. And oh yes, be sure to pay attention to the fuzzy pink toy elephant who appears in each spread with a comment to highlight babies’ new accomplishments.

Little ones, perhaps new big brothers and sisters, will cuddle with a loving grown-up and find comfort and reassurance here. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-91307-470-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Otter-Barry

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A poetic and beautifully illustrated meditation.

HEALING BREATH

A GUIDED MEDITATION THROUGH NATURE FOR KIDS

This guided meditation begins with a comforting note from the author validating climate anxiety and other concerns.

According to this opening text, the purpose of the book is to help readers cope with worry “about the future of our planet,” which will, in turn, “empower” them to take action. The meditation begins by asking readers to get comfortable and to notice their breathing. The author asks them to observe whether their breath is “short,” “long,” “deep,” or “shallow.” Next, the author compares readers’ breathing to the push and pull of the ocean, an exercise that leads to a more complex visualization of different aspects of nature. Readers are asked to picture themselves on a beach, then floating over a coastline, a grassland, and a jungle. After moving up and up ever higher—so high, in fact, that they are on top of towering mountains—readers are asked to imagine the people on Earth, such as fishermen, herders, and farmers. Finally, readers descend back to the forests, fields, and deserts—then plunge into the center of the Earth, where it is calm and peaceful and possible to just breathe. The book’s illustrations are striking and feature characters with diverse skin tones and hair textures, including one dark-skinned child who wears hijab. The words are lyrical and comforting, and the images that the meditation conjures are both kid friendly and relaxing.

A poetic and beautifully illustrated meditation. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-60868-746-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: New World Library

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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