A lyrical celebration of an ordinary outing and the bonds between loving adult and child.

HAND IN HAND

From the New Books for Newborns series

A young toddler enjoys a day “hand in hand” with a loving, energetic caregiver.

While their relationship is never stated, the Asian-presenting youngster is a diminutive version of the grown-up, right down to the chin-length bobbed hair and bangs. The dyad enjoys a walk through the park, a snack on a park bench, some active play on the playground, and the trip on foot back home, the tired toddler carried by the loving adult. The lovely, rhythmic text is a series of rhymes made up of one to four words per line: “Me / You / We, two / Hand in hand / Through and through.” Murray’s soft art, which has the look and feel of pencil, pen, and ink, projects a cozy warmth despite a mostly cool, pale color scheme. The bond between the duo is palpable. While this offering is part of the New Books for Newborns series, with text reading like a gentle lullaby, the palette, busy compositions, and age of the featured child makes it feel more appropriate for children taking their first steps. Those children will thrill to see the fun they’ll have once they are steady on their feet, playing on the slide, running after a ball, and perching on the playground carousel.

A lyrical celebration of an ordinary outing and the bonds between loving adult and child. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4172-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Sweet—but more for adults than children.

ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD

A doting pair of adult bears follows a baby bear through a busy day.

These fully engaged caregivers are clearly awed by the little cub, starting with “You’re the morning sunshine” and ending with “you sleep so peacefully / beneath the twinkling stars.” In between, the baby bear paints a picture, sings with one adult, tickles with the other, drinks cocoa, takes a walk and flies a kite, rides a bike, and is playfully swung in the air before a bath. Much of the action is communicated only by the pictures. The tender rhyming verses focus on the wonder of familial love. Every other stanza ends with the refrain: “This world of ours is full of love / when you are here with me.” Curiously, although this cub has two present, caregiving adults, the narrative, presumably addressed to the child, uses the first-person singular. The baby bear is presented as gender-neutral, first in orange-and-green polka-dot pajamas and then in blue jeans with a white shirt graced with yellow ducks. Although neither adult bear is gendered in the text, the illustrations use stereotypical cues: One wears a yellow dress decorated with hearts; the other wears a striped shirt (and no trousers). No one can miss that the baby bear is the adults’ little darling.

Sweet—but more for adults than children. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-603-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Cuddle up with this cheery board book to assure your babies that they too are loved.

I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER

Parental love has never been expressed so sweetly and believably.

In this sunny, bright world there is no ambivalence, much less postpartum depression—only positive possibilities. Church offers a model of good parenting, expressing the universal hopes all parents have for their children, that they “see the joy that life can bring.” Her focus is always on the child. The narrator mother is shown only at the very beginning, cuddling her newborn and lifting a sock-clad toddler above her head. On two other pages readers see the mother's hands reaching out to guide and encourage as the baby begins to crawl, stand, and run. The first-person narration might be confusing if the book is shared by a caregiver other than a mother. Toddlers will join in on the reassuring refrain “I will love you forever.” The pants-clad child is shown with tightly curled reddish-brown hair and light brown skin. The mother has a slightly lighter skin tone and straight hair. A faithful brown dog and well-loved teddy bear accompany the child on almost every page.

Cuddle up with this cheery board book to assure your babies that they too are loved. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-94200-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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