Animal and human babies alike are unsteady on their feet in this rhyming board book.
Photographs of baby animals against an all-white background show them playing, reaching, hopping, and ultimately falling down, saying “uh oh” at each landing. Then it’s Baby’s turn to go and stumble, and finally, a mirrored page asks readers to practice saying the titular phrase. Even when collaged with the occasional prop (a tennis ball, a butterfly), the photographs and page layouts are all very bare bones, leaving little for readers to explore. On the one hand, this makes the words and images easy to focus on; on the other, there’s little reason to linger and look. The black baby on the front cover is also the only baby featured, notable in a field crowded with books about and including only white babies. The text isn’t anything splashy, but its simplicity allows for the rhyming words to stand out, good vocabulary building blocks for young ears to hear aloud. All of the rhyming phrases appear in capital letters, subtly adding emphasis. The use of the phrase “uh oh” is clever given that it is often among a baby’s first spoken words. The mirror at the end encourages smiling, pointing, and, at last, lingering.
Young readers will enjoy the repetition and rhyme of this one even though its format is all too familiar. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)