Poetic text and evocative images infused with love and warmth welcome a new baby.

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BORN

In dreamy poetry and paintings, this gentle book is a lyrical and loving tribute to an unborn child as she waits to be introduced to the world.

A baby, “floating cozily in her mother’s womb,” hears the “thump-thump” of her mother’s heart, feels the calm safety of floating, and kicks “the edge of her world.” Accompanying this soothing text are images of a baby floating in a wash of colors, surrounded by peaceful but surreal imagery: some flamingos in the distance, a deep blue whale underwater, or the babe herself encased in a translucent chrysalis or seedpod. “Inside this beautiful world she is a vast universe, a small sprouting seed.” But then, something starts happening! The currents lift her toward something exciting, and now there are new noises, new feelings, and new colors. Out in the world, the baby’s outlines gain definition; she cries out and then takes a breath. Finally baby is united with mother on the page and welcomed into the world. “For she is born.” It’s undeniably a lovely book but perhaps more suited for mothers-to-be and new mothers than actual children. Its loving intent is clear, but it carries neither the informational heft of such books as Miranda Paul and Jason Chin’s Nine Months (2019) nor a new-sibling narrative for expectant older sibs.

Poetic text and evocative images infused with love and warmth welcome a new baby. (Picture book. 2-4, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77306-169-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A must-read for mothers of young children (and their kids, too).

MAMA NEEDS A MINUTE

The story shows all of the ways a mother loves and cares for her children while also needing to take care of herself.

Sloan writes what mothers feel: “This mama needs a minute.” There are books that prepare children for their first day of school, potty training, siblings, and many of life’s earliest milestones. In that tradition, Sloan’s book shows kids how mothers can both love and care for them and also need a little space. She writes, “It doesn’t mean I love you less. Sometimes it just means Mama needs to get dressed.” Truer words have never been written. Sloan simultaneously affirms a mother’s love while also deftly explaining that it’s OK for love to need boundaries—for parents, yes, but also for kids. The comics-style illustrations hit home, like the stubble-legged mama trying to snag a minute to shower. This goes beyond ringing chords with adult readers; it also provides concrete examples of when mama needs that minute. The palette includes pinks, greens, and bright blues, and all of the characters have skin of many nonhuman colors; hair is likewise fancifully colored but always straight. Many of the moms have visible tattoos, a refreshingly realistic detail.

A must-read for mothers of young children (and their kids, too). (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5248-5457-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Andrews McMeel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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