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HUSH A BYE, BABY by Alyssa Satin Capucilli


From the New Books for Newborns series

by Alyssa Satin Capucilli ; illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5344-0139-6
Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

This third title in the New Books for Newborns series features multiethnic dads getting their infants ready for bed.

Each double-page spread shows a different child with their male parent engaged in bedtime rituals. Four lines of rhyming text, each time starting with the same first line, point out nighttime objects. “Hush a bye, my baby. / Can you hear the owl call? / Time to close your eyes gently / as night starts to fall.” The text is for the most part simple and uses familiar vocabulary, but sometimes scansion falters. Although the hair and skin colors in this book range from pale to rich brown, most of the dad-and-child pairs seem to be racially similar, and no distinctly biracial child is depicted. Illustrations in a soothing pastel palette show a fair-skinned, red-haired dad carrying a tired, fair-skinned, brown-haired baby up the stairs; a dad with brown skin and brown hair holds a similar-looking baby wrapped in a towel; and a dad and child with dark hair and dark skin rock together in a chair, reading a book. Most of the dads are shown to be affectionate but not interactive with their infants. This series is meant for newborns, but the fine-lined, busy, and sometimes conceptually abstract illustrations may be more suitable for toddlers or even young preschoolers.

This multiethnic title is not memorable enough to become a bedtime favorite.

(Board book. 1-3)