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BABY LOVE by Hope Vestergaard


by Hope Vestergaard & illustrated by John Wallace

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-525-46902-8
Publisher: Dutton

A former teacher and nanny, Vestergaard crafts more than 20 odes to babies in her debut for children. Many speak from the siblings’ perspective. “In the Sandbox,” for example, reflects the joys and frustrations of having a new brother or sister: “Baby’s small / I am big / baby sits / While I dig. / Baby dumps / When I fill. / Baby grabs. / Then I spill.” Others, such as “Two of a Kind” (“Not much hair—just like Grandpa”) and “Rockabye” (“In Gram’s arms / Cozy tight . . . In her voice / Such sweet delight”) focus on the special role of grandparents. Most are simple ditties, joyful observations of all things baby. “Diapers,” for example, is just two lines long: “Wiggle waggle to and fro . . . / Sure looks like you want to GO!” Wallace’s (One . . . Two . . . Three . . . Sassafras, p. 1039, etc.) humorous vignette shows a child toddling off while her diapers reveal a bit of bare bottom. Throughout, Wallace illustrates each poem with pastel-hued watercolors; playful borders of ribbon, toys, booties, and other baby accouterments draw poem and picture together. With their musical beat, Vestergaard’s shorter poems (“Fancy Feet” and “Lunch,” for example) are bound to appeal to the youngest listeners. Unfortunately, the rest of this collection is pure pablum. (Poetry. 2-5)