BABYMOON by Hayley Barrett


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 0 - 3
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Two new parents spend the first days after baby’s arrival on their “babymoon.”

The opening spread draws the eye from the verso, on which is pictured a rickety home with interesting details, to the tone-setting lines of text on the recto: “The house is hushed. The lights are low. / We’re basking in a newborn glow.” Rhyming couplets spur the page turns, celebrating various aspects of life with a tender newborn. On “a sweet, secluded afternoon,” the lighter-skinned father lies sleeping with the swaddled baby. The brown-skinned mother, framed by long, puffy hair, washes baby, with “Soothing water and warm embrace / of tentative and awkward grace.” Then they are “reassuring, building trust” in a beautiful breastfeeding scene. Martinez-Neal’s distinctive illustrations feature soft, hazy lines that convey a dreamlike quality. The muted colors of the clothing and surroundings, along with the ample use of white space, let the family’s skin tones shine with a reddish glow that can be interpreted as a blush of happiness. More an encouragement to new parents to savor the moment than a book for babies, this heartfelt offering successfully captures the feelings one wants to remember about this precious time (and leaves out the not-so-pleasant moments).

Expect this lovely gift for new parents to live by the rocking chair, helping families discover their own “babymoons.” (Picture book. 6 mos.-3, adult)

Pub Date: April 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8852-3
Page count: 33pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2019


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