A lovely gift and guide for new parents.

BRIGHT BROWN BABY

A TREASURY

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 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love.

LEO LOVES DADDY

A fun-loving daddy’s dedication is apparent in this slice-of-life board book.

Leo, a brown-skinned boy with tight curls, full lips, and a broad nose, delights in playing with Daddy, who has equally clearly Black features. Leo wakes up to Daddy tickling his tummy. Then this superinvolved father fixes pancakes, dances, takes Leo on a bike ride, and tends to Leo’s scraped knee. Together they build with blocks, take a bath, and snuggle with a book before bed. Companion title Leo Loves Mommy follows a similar trajectory through the day. Leo builds a blanket fort with couch cushions, practices yoga, and paints with his mother, who also presents Black. After a bike ride, mommy’s lunch “is so flashy”: celery and carrot sticks turned into edible critters with fruit and nuts. The loving devotion of both parents is tangible and genuine, sweet but not cloying. Simple two-line sentences with unobtrusive rhymes across spreads provide descriptions of the activities and add vocabulary. Each spread illustrates one event against a clear solid color background, free of distracting decoration. Together they complete a full picture of a busy toddler’s day and his loving relationship with each parent.

Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-241-2

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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