Clear, direct and anatomically correct; an excellent entryway for the many anticipated questions about childbirth.

WHAT'S IN THERE?

ALL ABOUT BEFORE YOU WERE BORN

From the Let's Talk About You and Me series

The third installment in the Let’s Talk About You and Me series finds Harris back where adults expect to find her—discussing the human body for the youngest set.

Gus and Nellie’s mom is having a baby. The sibling pair from Who Has What? (2011) and Who’s in My Family? (2012) could not be more excited. But of course they have plenty of questions, too. Harris admirably begins by stressing that the baby is not growing inside mommy’s tummy but in her uterus. (“The uterus is just below a girl’s or woman’s tummy and is very soft and stretchy.”) Each spread represents a month of the pregnancy, but the passage of time is subtly hidden within Westcott’s cheery illustrations, rather than as a defined calendar counting down the days. Mommy can also be seen to be growing larger, with the fetus varying in size from a pencil-point dot to a watermelon. Amid the simple facts of development, Harris includes extra tidbits aimed squarely at the curiosities of child readers—the baby starts out with a tail! It pees a little inside the womb! However, the mention of how the baby was actually made is kept purely at a cellular level; adults may welcome the freedom to fill in that gap as they see fit.

Clear, direct and anatomically correct; an excellent entryway for the many anticipated questions about childbirth. (Informational picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3630-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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