Overall, the book’s rhythmic prose, textured visuals, and diverse characters make it an excellent choice for emerging readers

WHERE IS BABY'S HOME?

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)

Pub Date: Dec. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0088-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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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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