A multiethnic series of babies and toddlers are dressed up and photographed in various outfits, from a bear to a watermelon.
While not up to Anne Geddes’ level of creativity, the costumes range from the impromptu (a white baby playing with a toy saxophone is a “musician”) through the store-bought (the iconic Halloween pumpkin get-up) to the homemade (a crocheted snail outfit). A simple, one- or two-word caption set in large, black or white type floats at the top of the page. Many of the babies are photographed on white backgrounds, which gives the image a spacious look, but a few look as if they were staged in a photographer’s studio with copious props nearby. Laudably, just over half of the tots appear to be children of color, including “Princess” and “Dinosaur.” One dubious inclusion—“Safari Guide”—presents a toddler with light brown skin in a pith helmet posing with a box camera and a large dog wearing a fake lion’s mane. Given the colonial roots of safari in its modern, Western understanding, this feels like a very poor choice indeed.
While babies will always enjoy seeing images of other tots, the whole project feels like what’s routinely found on social media on or after Oct. 31, with some unfortunate stereotyping to boot. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)