A joyful, poetic celebration of tiny moments in babies’ lives.
This isn’t the first picture book to revel in babyhood, but in many ways it’s a refreshing addition to the nursery shelf. Its striking red cover with gold foil display type acts as a visual departure from the pastel pinks, blues, yellows, and greens that dominate all things baby, and its inclusive depiction of three families of different races makes it feel, if not like a first, then like it’s keeping up with the times (though it would’ve been even nicer to see a two-mom or two-dad family included). From the first, Day’s verse has the appeal and feel of an original nursery rhyme: “First cry. / First meal. / First burp. / Warm feel.” Emberley’s accompanying pencil-and-digital illustrations are gorgeously human in their depictions of parents caring for their babies. A few spreads (two of babies in sequences rolling, creeping, and crawling; then the closing birthday party scene) seem like direct references to Marla Frazee’s illustrations in Everywhere Babies, by Susan Meyers (2001). Those familiar with Emberley’s work in Robie Harris’ books about bodies and sexuality will see here, too, his efforts to depict varied body types, along with a realistic, rather than idealized vision of early parenthood. Though the babies are endlessly appealing, their obviously adoring parents are also tired and exasperated sometimes.
An excellent first book for baby—and parents, too. (Picture book. 0-3)