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by Jabari Asim ; illustrated by Tara Nicole Whitaker

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-288462-6
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Holiday cheer with Baby.

“Baby loves candy canes wrapped in a bow. / Baby loves jingle bells. Baby loves snow.” Asim’s rhyming verse enumerates everything that Baby loves about Christmas: the wreath and its ribbons, the tree with gifts beneath it, a family Christmas carol singalong, making gingerbread “men,” hanging stockings, and, of course, Santa. Whitaker contributes ever-so-slightly retro-tinged illustrations that recall stylings seen in mid-20th-century Little Golden Books. Where this offering departs from those hoary classics is in its joyous depiction of a black, onesie-clad toddler protagonist celebrating the rituals of the holiday within a black nuclear family. Baby and Mommy share ebullient black curls (Mommy’s are loose while Baby’s are confined with a ribbon); Daddy sports a close-cropped beard and a fade. Mommy’s skin is a tad darker than Daddy’s and Baby’s. Little listeners will love spotting the protagonist’s happy tabby kitten in each spread, and black families in particular will appreciate such thoughtful details as a black Nutcracker doll and black Santa among all the poinsettias and garland that bestrew the house. With its gold-foil cover and celebration of commonly depicted Christmas traditions, it blends right in with other offerings produced for the season—and as it does, it stands proudly out.

A sweet and easy book to share with little ones at Christmastime

. (Board book. 1-3)