AND I HAVE YOU by Maggie Smith


A Book of Mothers and Babies
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 4
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A celebration of the mother-child bond.

A title-page illustration shows a light-skinned woman leaning over a sleeping baby, also light-skinned. Only a final picture ever shows other people in the distance; otherwise, the book focuses on these two and the animals around them. The baby’s blue cap serves as the first of several visual cues that it’s a boy, though the text never specifies gender. Instead, words operate symmetrically with pictures to depict first “A cat has her kittens” on the opening verso, then “a dog has her puppies” on the facing recto. Turn the page to see “a sheep has her lamb,” and then the line “and I have you” accompanies a picture of the human mother cuddling the baby. Ensuing pages list more animal mother-and-baby pairings, and each list culminates with a new depiction of the human mother and her child, who is a bit older and more independent in successive spreads. They live on a farm that includes the named animal families and is near the habitats of wild animals that eventually enter the text as well. Repeated refrains affirm that mother and child will always have each other, and there’s certainly nothing in the idyllic, brightly colored watercolor and acrylic paintings to suggest any threat or sadness that could befall them—even the animals smile. The trade edition’s cover has an opening, framed cutout into which personalized mother-and-baby photos may be inserted.

Very sweet but not particularly fresh. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-553-51019-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016


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