An intriguing concept, but toddlers and preschoolers will need to be closely supervised if it’s to last beyond a single...

SNUGGLE THE BABY

This interactive offering invites little ones to practice taking care of babies, playing with them, feeding them and putting them to bed.

The left-hand pages describe what babies want and need, while the right-hand pages provide opportunities to experiment with caring for babies. The book begins, “Babies love to play! Sometimes babies like peekaboo. Other times babies like to make noise. I like to TICKLE my baby’s belly.” The right-hand page reads simply, “LIKE THIS!” and features a large illustration of a baby with a thin flap that lifts to reveal her belly for tickling. While the opportunities for interaction will engage children, they involve some rather flimsy movable parts and easily lost pieces that are designed to be removed entirely and placed back in their slots, including a bottle for feeding baby and a cutout of baby to tuck in her bed. To boot, the page that asks kids to close baby’s diaper and snap her onesie invites frustration, as it features tabs that won’t stay shut. The illustrations—heavy on blue, pink and yellow and featuring wide-eyed, red-cheeked infants—lend this title the feel of a vintage book of paper dolls, albeit ethnically diverse ones.

An intriguing concept, but toddlers and preschoolers will need to be closely supervised if it’s to last beyond a single reading. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1124-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start...

FAMILIES

“We hope this book…will lead children and their parents to engage in conversation about their families.”

So begins this good-sized book, which is packed with photographs of families of many different sizes, shapes, ages and colors (although most wear casual clothing familiar to most American children). Bold, colorful type announces: “There are all kinds of families.” Engaging photographs throughout complement a simple text that informs readers about differences—such as big vs. small; genders and generations of parents; adoption vs. birth children. Positive similarities follow, as families get together for celebrations and family members help one another out and enjoy activities together. Only childless families are excluded, but that can be forgiven by the book’s noble, stated goal. Kelly adds an endnote to further encourage parents: “Recently, research psychologists have found that children who developed a strong family narrative from speaking with their parents about family history and hearing family stories, both good and bad, exhibited greater self-esteem….” As the photographs’ emotional spectrum covers the tiny range from cheerful to exuberant, it’s an open question whether this will encourage or inhibit truthful family-history revelations. However, the emphatic ending will certainly start a dialogue: “There are many different kinds of families. What about yours?”

Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start conversations. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3053-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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It’s nothing new, but it’s also clearly heartfelt.

LOVE YOU MORE

A love song from parents to their child.

This title will seem quite similar to the many others about parents’ deep love for their children. The text is wholly composed of first-person declarations of parental love, and it’s juxtaposed with illustrations of the child with one or both parents. It’s not always clear who the “I” speaking is, and there are a few pages that instead use “we.” Most sentences begin with “I love you more” phrasing to communicate that nothing could undermine parental love: “I love you more than all the sleepless nights…and all the early, tired mornings.” The accompanying pictures depict the child as a baby with weary parents. Later spreads show the child growing up, and the phrasing shifts away from the challenges of parenting to its joys and to attempts to quantify love: “I love you more than all the blades of grass at the park…and all the soccer that we played.” Throughout, Bell’s illustrations use pastel tones and soft visual texture to depict cozy, wholesome scenes that are largely redundant of the straightforward, warm text. They feature a brown-haired family with a mother, father, and child, who all appear to be white (though the father has skin that’s a shade darker than the others’).

It’s nothing new, but it’s also clearly heartfelt. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0652-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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