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BABY LOVE by Sandra Magsamen


by Sandra Magsamen ; illustrated by Sandra Magsamen

Pub Date: April 30th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-24320-8
Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

This mirror-centered board book puts the focus quite literally on baby and mothers’ love.

A circular cutout going almost all the way through this board book allows the mirror at the back to be seen on each page. The left side of each spread asks what “mommy” animals say to their babies, and the right side answers with a punny phrase. The mirrors, which appear on each recto, are framed by an animal torso so that looking in puts a reader’s face on the body. The puns are cute enough; the “mommy elephant” says, for instance, “I love you a ton!” The book misses an opportunity to introduce readers to new vocabulary words (using “baby elephant” rather than “elephant calf”) and includes some unnecessary redundancies (“baby puppy,” for example). The illustrations echo many of Magsamen’s other, similarly styled books, outlined in dashes and made to look quiltlike. The front cover features an eye-catching but otherwise pointless heart-shaped flap with a heart cutout. Nevertheless, it’s still a sweet question and response that’s sure to suck in moms who are always eager to tell their babies how loved they are. And what better time than with a book in hand?

Not every element of this one is perfect, but for providing mothers with an opportunity to say, “I love you,” to their little ones in a sweet way, it succeeds.

(Board book. 6 mos.-1)