A fable of four babies and how they become dearly loved and a family is created.
Four babies mysteriously arrive on an island: one in the mail, two on a ferry, one in a pile of fishing nets. No one knows where they have come from, who their families are, or what to do with them—but the librarian, a black woman, has a few ideas. Readers will be enthralled with this story as they learn who takes care of the babies, what the babies experience, and how the babies grow into children, loved and cared for by the whole community. Bradley’s enchanting illustrations depict a diverse cast, including people of color among the islanders, babies, and toys, and place it in a well-realized island setting. Details delight, from the lobster-trap cradles to the babies’ alphabetical names. Each baby has its own distinct personality, strengths, and experiences. As the babies grow into older children, they ask questions about where they came from and why they do not look like one another. These are relevant and accurate questions that can be used to open dialogues with child readers to introduce deeper and more serious conversations surrounding adoption. While the fantasy plotline of the babies’ arrivals is whimsical, the story is grounded in an emotional reality that will appeal to and delight children.
Charming and lighthearted with broadly applicable messages of love and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-8)