SAFE & SOUND by Jean Roussen


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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Colorful illustrations and simple verse describe means of protection for several different kinds of baby animals.

The book begins with several pages of rhyming text that establish that “Many baby animals / (many, but not all)… // …whether very, very big or very, very small… // …would not be safe all on their own / and need some help until they’re grown.” This white page of bold, black text sits opposite an illustration composed of geometric blocks of patterns and colors, framed in white. A russet baby bison stays close to its brown mother in the middle of a clearing, while dark wolf silhouettes and pairs of glowing, yellow eyes can be seen in the woodsy, blue-and-green perimeters. The baby looks completely protected by its large, solid parent. This sense of comfort continues through the book, which shows stylized animals, with round, buttonlike eyes. The rhymes and near rhymes tell of such protections as chipmunks’ burrows, kangaroos’ pouches, and crocodile mothers’ mouths. Not all the rhymes scan perfectly, but the tone and the information are worth the imperfection. The penultimate double-page spread—perfect for bedtime—shows a human mother and father gazing down at their child in bed. Hats off to the creative team: they depict an interracial couple, and the smiling, brown-skinned child is gender-neutral.

Warm and distinctive. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 16th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-911171-28-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2017


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