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BROWN BABY LULLABY by Tameka Fryer Brown Kirkus Star


by Tameka Fryer Brown ; illustrated by A.G. Ford

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-374-30752-3
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A family goes through their evening routine, ending with putting the “sweet brown baby” to bed.

A young black couple plays with their baby on a blanket on a large expanse of grass in front of a white, two-story home. The sun sets and they go inside, where rhyming verses bring the family through playtime with pots to a messy spaghetti dinner in the high chair, followed by a bath, kisses, dancing to Coltrane, a story, and a tuck-in. Spanish words are organically sprinkled throughout the English text—“Look, mi hijo,” and “Vamos, fussy baby”—making this one of few picture books to represent Afro-Latinx families. The mother and father, both dressed in jeans, share the parenting time and duties equally, cooking, cuddling, bathing, and tucking in the baby together. A bright golden glow bathes the indoor scenes in a warm light. Details such as the baby’s one tooth and the one-eye-open peek shared with Papi during grace at dinnertime make Ford’s pictures palpably sweet. Brown’s simple text masters the rhythmic cadence of a classic bedtime book, making this a likely new favorite for many families.

A perfect read-aloud for bedtime.

(Picture book. 1-5)