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IF YOU WERE MY BABY by Fran Hodgkins


A Wildlife Lullabye

by Fran Hodgkins & illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-58469-074-7
Publisher: Dawn Publications

Gentle teaching, snuggling and playtime moments between wildlife mothers and their children are the highlight of Hodgkins’s offering. “If you were my baby beaver, I would show you how to build well, using branches, mud, and hard work.” A mother bat would snuggle her baby upside down, while a duck mom would paddle ahead of her ducklings, leading them. The final spread celebrates the fact that, “YOU are my baby,” and we can delight in nature’s wonders together. While meant to be a lullaby, not all of the animals’ interactions are sleep-inducing, nor is there a tune. Regardless, if the goal is to introduce a love of nature, this will do it. The illustrations are beautifully detailed and yet softly muted at the same time. The animals are center-stage, perfect for the youngest listeners. This is similar to Kate McMullan’s If You Were My Bunny (2003). Where this one is without the accompanying lullabies of the other, it makes up for it with the art. (Picture book. 2-7)