Tarpley pays homage to babies and the miraculous ways in which they inspire love.
When they first enter the world, their toes are wriggly and nibbly and kissable. They begin to crawl and take those first steps of exploration. Now they learn to be masters of their world as those toes take them running, hopping, skipping and jumping, not to mention skating and pedaling into all the experiences of a happy childhood. The verses move as quickly as the babies, bouncing along in quatrains in ABCB rhyme, in a somewhat singsong meter that is pleasing to young ears. Brown’s tender illustrations, rendered in cut paper, gouache and colored paper, are textured and colorful. They call forth love and joy in their expressive depiction of babies and young children in all their glory and in all manner of action, instantly recognizable and universal. This is a work obviously designed to be read aloud to the littlest of listeners. The final verses are also a call to grown-ups to remember and pass along the kisses and for all children to have a loving and carefree childhood. It’s a worthy and noble idea, but tiny listeners may not be able to make that leap of understanding.
Nevertheless, a cozy, sweet cuddle that is just right for bedtime. (Picture book. 1-4)