Sweet, endearing words and edibles take center stage in this cloth book for the absolute youngest of readers.
As babies first reach for this book they will be delighted by the touch and sound of the crinkly cover, which sports a puffy, smiling cupcake. The bright, bold, candy-colored illustrations on each page depict a gumdrop, a “sweet pea,” and a “cutie pie,” each accompanied by an equally colorful and appropriately sweet phrase of endearment: “My sticky little gumdrop / My mushy little Sweet Pea / My oven-baked Cutie Pie.” The words and images will be meaningless to babies, but the warmth in readers’ voices and the cuddles they will get from their grown-ups will not be. Wan sums up many a grown-up’s feeling with the statement on the back cover: “Baby, I could just eat you up!” Babies, too, will probably want to eat and munch on the book, and that is just what they should do. This cross between toy and book invites both sensory exploration and initiation into print awareness, with the added advantage that it can be thrown into the wash.
A nice stand-in until little ones are ready for the real thing. (Cloth book. 0-6 mos.)