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BRIGHT BROWN BABY

A TREASURY

A lovely gift and guide for new parents.

The Pinkneys, prolific creators of books for children, offer a guide for caregivers to affirm their babies’ senses of self-worth.

This treasury has more text directed to caregivers than to children. An introduction headed “Welcome to Joy!” invites caregivers to hold their babies while reading to them and sharing words and pictures that “will hug them tight.” Each of the five sections, with titles such as “Bright Brown Baby,” “Count to Love,” and “Peek-a-You,” begins with a meaningful quote, four from great African American leaders and one from a Sanskrit poem. Then a series of instructions to caregivers (“Get ready to make a big list of blessings”) is followed by illustrations of brown babies with their adults accompanied by short, simple text in the style of board books for babies. (In fact, the separate sections will be released over time as stand-alone board books, with Count to Love! releasing simultaneously.) A final note to parents instructs them to go back through the pages of the treasury and read the quotes aloud to their babies as they take in the images of brown families. Brian Pinkney’s signature swirling curves and saturated colors create a sense of movement in the playful scenes on the book’s pages, while the combination of encouraging text aimed at adults and simple text aimed at babies extends a hand to new parents wanting to tell their little ones how precious they are. The treasury offers a vehicle to carve out the time to do just that.

A lovely gift and guide for new parents. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-545-87229-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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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