I HEAR; I SEE by Rachel Isadora
Kirkus Star


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Two enchanting depictions of the associations of infancy--what a baby hears and sees--that might come a half-step behind plain pictures of objects (like Hoban's, above) and somewhat before conceptual linkups and first narrative sequences (like Titherington's below). But let us beware of agendas: Isadora's moppet, shown in tender, luminous watercolors, might be any eager, inquisitive, affectionate, laughing child (though she is a beauty)--in whom children can only delight in seeing themselves projected. The text consists, in each instance, of a pair of simple phrases putting a child's thoughts into words or, sometimes, borrowing a child's words. ""I hear footsteps. It's mommy and daddy."" ""I see my blocks. All fall down."" Both books roughly approximate the course of a baby's day, from waking to bedtime; both incorporate a variety of outreach experiences: ""I hear an airplane. I look up."" ""I see a bird. Fly away."" The objects and experiences are indeed nigh-universal; the responses--words, gestures--are empathic too, without being cut-and-dried. A personal favorite: ""I see my bottle. I drink."" The tot, in sleepers, is holding a bottle with one hand, and a comfort-blanket with the other. Her head rests on the arm of an overstuffed chair, her face is pensive. (The quoted reference notwithstanding, there is not a strong parental presence here--just a bit of daddy a couple of times, and once a bit of mommy. Single parents will be grateful.) Altogether, the image of babyhood couldn't be more thoughtful and caring.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1985
ISBN: 688-04061-6
Publisher: Greenwillow