In six separate sections, different baby African and/or Asian mammals spend an active day in the wild before nestling down to sleep.
The first section, “Tiger Babies Romp,” shows two “tiger babies” who take a short excursion when their mother temporarily leaves their den. Here and throughout, the text is written with short sentences and repetition: “Tiger noses sniff. / Tiger ears twitch, twitch. / Tiger tails swish, swish, swish. / What’s moving?” After seeing a snake, the tiger babies dash to a tree, then splash into a lake, then encounter a crocodile, then “rumble” back to their den. After they “eat, eat, eat” with Mama, the baby tigers are told, “Good night, baby tigers— / you’ve had a busy day.” The length of the book, as well as the amount of text on many pages, appears to be geared toward preschoolers, but the formulaic, repetitive nature of the text—and its labeling of every animal as a baby—suits it best to toddlers. Each separate story concentrates on a specific aspect of the featured animal—for example, the elephant’s trunk and the poor eyesight of rhinos. Pronouns clearly delineate both giraffe and gorilla babies as female—a commendable effort. The animals are mostly realistic though with anthropomorphized smiles, and they are placed against soft backgrounds—the overall look is generally benign, although the black eyes with white highlights have an occasionally creepy look, particularly on the tigers. Brief “animal facts” round out the book.
Shared one story at a time, this book offers toddlers a first experience with “chapters.” (Picture book. 2-4)