A rhyming description of many ways that animals, and people, carry and protect their young.
The text distinguishes itself by including references to a broad diversity of animals ranging from those the theme demands—a kangaroo with a joey in her pouch, for instance—to some less-expected ones, such as a manatee whose baby swims close beside her, nuzzling below her fin to nurse. On the other hand, the rhymes feel quite forced at times, which undermines the book’s success, as in the spread about the emperor penguin: “The mother lays a single egg. / Then she goes out to sea. / The father warms it on his feet. / How can this really be?” Accompanying expository text on facing pages provides factual information that serves the book well, though its staid presence underscores the bouncy, rhyming text’s flaws. The realistic art style better suits the expository text and is at turns compelling (the penguin scene is a high point) and overworked (the alligator spread leaves little rest for the eye). The animal spreads are framed with opening and closing pages of text and art depicting racially diverse human parents carrying and caring for their little ones. Backmatter includes a matching game, further information about the animals, curricular connections, and print and internet resources.
A comforting, informative read even if the rhyme gets a bit carried away. (Informational picture book. 3-6)