This babycentric board book features a diverse cast of characters.
Harris is best known for her matter-of-fact and accurate nonfiction (It’s Perfectly Normal, 1994; Who Has What!, 2011; etc.). Her first board book is equally positive, direct, and charming. Although the cover art shows a brown-skinned girl with two poofy pigtails looking up at the titular question, the first double-page spread answers it with a picture of a blond, white boy: “SWEET BABY! NICE BABY!” Is the promised diversity an illusion? Thankfully, no. The next illustrations are of loving pairs—a dark-skinned baby and his “DADA!” are followed by an Asian “MAMA!” “GRAMMA!” is wearing a hijab. In all, 10 different babies, including a set of twins, are shown. The text on each spread is similar, so young children will quickly join in the refrain: “Who? / Who’s that?” The answer is in bright pink uppercase letters. Each right-hand page repeats “Who’s that?” with “BABY AND…” in pink followed by the declarative, “That’s who!” The final spread echoes the first spread, with all the babies identified as “SWEET BABIES! NICE BABIES!” Rosenberg’s illustrations in a springtime palette against white backgrounds are cheery but not saccharine.
The message that they are “SWEET BABIES! NICE BABIES!” is one that many babies will want to hear again and again. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)