Diverse babies clad in animal costumes enjoy learning the alphabet and playing in the outdoors.
This rhyming book with babies dressed as animals is both cute and familiar. In alphabetical order according to the costumes they wear, each baby engages in an activity. “Giraffe baby likes skipping rocks. / Hippo baby likes building with blocks.” The illustrations are sweetly rendered in a mix of line drawing and watercolor in an array of muted colors. Many of the babies interact as the couplets play out, as when the jaguar baby persuades the iguana baby to remain with the group despite the disappointment of a fallen ice cream cone. The full cast of characters can be seen popping in and out in backgrounds, which will prompt children to flip back and forth as the text identifies previously seen babies. This will make for a very engaging and thoughtful storytime read-aloud even if all of the animals aren’t necessarily recognizable to lap-sitters and little learners. The Ulysses butterfly baby and X-ray tetra baby are likely to be new to young readers, for instance, and their concept-forced specificity contrasts with the generic identification of most other babies, such as the dog, turtle, and whale babies. Significantly, the monkey baby is depicted with light skin and sits in a boat with a dark-skinned narwhal baby.
Fans of Anne Geddes’ work in particular will be drawn to this delightful picture book. (Picture book. 2-5)