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HAND IN HAND

From the New Books for Newborns series

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

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. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Categories:
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FAMILIES BELONG

A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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