At the end of the day, it’s time for the world’s babies to find their ways home.
As the pages turn in Katz’s (Vroom, Vroom, Trucks! 2016, etc.) latest lift-the-flap board book, the sky fades into darkness as smiling human babies discover where baby animals sleep at night. Each animal’s home and family is hidden behind a flap that folds convincingly into the colorful scenery. Many of the animals in the book—including birds, bunnies, squirrels, and ducks—can be found in readers’ backyards. Throughout the story, the sun progressively sets, leading to a final, double-gatefold spread of a diverse group of human babies snuggling with their caregivers in houses tucked beneath a starry, moonlit sky. Katz’s combination of clear, simple language and bold, patterned illustrations render this book enjoyable for young readers to both see and hear. Particularly laudable is Katz’s inclusion of racially diverse characters, including black and Asian babies and their parents, though there’s no obvious evidence of adoptive or multiracial families. The narrative cleverly intertwines developmentally appropriate subjects that young children particularly enjoy, including animals, babies, and bedtime rituals. Unfortunately, some of the flaps are difficult for small hands to manipulate.
Overall, the book’s rhythmic prose, textured visuals, and diverse characters make it an excellent choice for emerging readers. (Board book. 1-4)