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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A winsome interactive picture book with STEM appeal.

EGGS FROM RED HEN FARM

FARM TO TABLE WITH MAZES AND MAPS

Running a farm is hard work, but hard work can be fun!

Ruby and Ned live on a farm and run a business selling eggs. Each of them is good at different things. Ned is skilled with numbers, so he counts the eggs and handles the money at the farmers market. Ruby is better at other tasks, like driving the delivery truck and making deliveries. Readers follow Ruby on her rounds—we see the routes she takes to her various destinations and what she does once she gets there. Ned’s experience at the farmers market is not shown. The book ends with the pair getting home, where they check on their chickens and enjoy the treats the baker made for them with their eggs. This book is fun and interactive, with mazelike road maps offering opportunities for seek-and-finds and a shortest path problem for children to solve. The gouache illustrations are simple and colorful. A cute polka-dot hen who makes quips in speech bubbles adds humor. Map keys with symbols make the seek-and-find activities easier and allow young readers to perhaps see details they may not have noticed otherwise. Ruby is White with blond hair, and Ned has light brown skin and brown hair. Background characters have a variety of skin tones and hair colors. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A winsome interactive picture book with STEM appeal. (Interactive picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4782-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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The makers of Baby University should take Child Development 101, as this entry is best for those long out of diapers.

PANDEMICS FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

Simple graphics and straightforward text introduce little ones to epidemiology.

As in other Baby University offerings, balls are used to illustrate complex topics, here representing people and populations. A disembodied, round head with white skin covered in magnified viruses is shown spreading the disease to other heads with a variety of complexions, from white to dark brown. Next readers see a map of Australia sprinkled with even larger viruses, which spread across the globe. Health-worker heads surveil and trace contacts while the sick circles who are exposed isolate or quarantine. The text provides basic definitions for key concepts, highlighting specialized vocabulary in bright colors (usually red, but in one instance yellow—a poor choice for legibility against the white background). It is a laudable goal to introduce the youngest to this of all topics, but much of the content misses the mark for the intended audience. Youngsters may be confused by the oversized viruses, and the giant swab demonstrating testing is more scary than reassuring. By the same token, there’s not nearly enough attention paid to what children are experiencing every day, like hygiene and distancing. As with many other entries in this series, the book is best suited to preschoolers and early-elementary children—not babies and toddlers.

The makers of Baby University should take Child Development 101, as this entry is best for those long out of diapers. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-3416-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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