A sweet but lightweight portrayal of the ritual of welcoming a new baby.

WELCOME HOME

A racially diverse adoptive extended family welcomes home a new baby.

In rhyming quatrains, the family members successively introduce themselves to a White newborn who is never named or gendered. They include White heterosexual parents, siblings (one Black and two White), two White grandparents, a White aunt, a Black uncle, and two cousins who appear to be mixed-race. As each relation bids the infant welcome, the verse captures their various personalities and reactions, but always, the common thread is utter joy. While the text’s cheerful, singsong cadences are likely to hold children’s interest, the rhymes occasionally scan awkwardly or sound forced. The omniscient narration maintains a somewhat distant perspective throughout the story. Kheiriyeh’s illustrations are rendered in acrylic, oil paint, ink, and oil pastel, with a light pencil line. Collaged hand-painted paper and appliquéd feather details add a touch of inventiveness. The elongated proportions and curved contours of the characters make them feel larger than life; however facial features lack nuance. The bright pinks and blues of the home’s cheerful interiors and of the clan’s clothing both create and challenge gendered associations. Family members and neighbors present a wide range of skin tones, hair textures, and body types.

A sweet but lightweight portrayal of the ritual of welcoming a new baby. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3886-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start...

FAMILIES

“We hope this book…will lead children and their parents to engage in conversation about their families.”

So begins this good-sized book, which is packed with photographs of families of many different sizes, shapes, ages and colors (although most wear casual clothing familiar to most American children). Bold, colorful type announces: “There are all kinds of families.” Engaging photographs throughout complement a simple text that informs readers about differences—such as big vs. small; genders and generations of parents; adoption vs. birth children. Positive similarities follow, as families get together for celebrations and family members help one another out and enjoy activities together. Only childless families are excluded, but that can be forgiven by the book’s noble, stated goal. Kelly adds an endnote to further encourage parents: “Recently, research psychologists have found that children who developed a strong family narrative from speaking with their parents about family history and hearing family stories, both good and bad, exhibited greater self-esteem….” As the photographs’ emotional spectrum covers the tiny range from cheerful to exuberant, it’s an open question whether this will encourage or inhibit truthful family-history revelations. However, the emphatic ending will certainly start a dialogue: “There are many different kinds of families. What about yours?”

Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start conversations. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3053-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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