Numerous studies have shown that the safest way for babies to sleep is in their cribs on their backs. This simple board book attempts to reinforce this important message to prevent sudden unexplained infant death.
The illustrations show a diverse group of infants and adults, both male and female, sharing gentle loving moments—hugging, cuddling, and playing together. A couple of nonrhyming lines of text on each double-page spread mention how much the adults enjoy spending time with their infants. “We’ll dance and sway, my bunny! / Each day is such a joy. // Tummy-time play, my peach. / I love to watch you grow.” Hartung’s calm, colorful illustrations feature mostly neutral facial expressions. The important reminder “In your crib, on your back, my love. / We’ll save the toys for play” comes nearly at the end of the book and depicts a white baby snoozing in proper position and with no blankets, pillows, or other impedimenta in sight. Concluding the book, “Tips for Safe Sleep” offer bullet points on best practices. With no backup information and no context, this book is unlikely to impress upon uninformed caregivers just how important it is to put their babies to bed on their backs. For the age children most at risk for SUID, the illustrations are not eye-catching enough to lead to requests for the book to be read again and again.
Although well-meaning and important, this book neither fulfills its purpose nor broadcasts its message in a way that works for infants and adults. (Board book. 0-1)