Everybody loves kissing their babies!
Whether it is a tiny mouse father giving a tiny mouse child a peck on the nose or a gigantic mother elephant kissing her baby by touching trunks, every animal parent featured in this book loves his or her child. On the final page, which features an illustration of a female-presenting human parent kissing a baby, the voice shifts to second person, prompting the adult reading to shower the child listening with affection. The book itself is well designed: Each sturdy page is cut into the shape of a different animal, making it fun and easy for small fingers to manipulate, and inviting children to explore the outline and texture of each creature featured in the narrative. Aracil’s soft, smudgy illustrations, rendered in pastel colors, are soothing and cozy, infusing the simple, clean text with a sense of warmth that enhances the read-aloud experience. Laudably, none of the babies are gendered, allowing the readers flexibility in the characters’ gender assignments and giving children the chance to identify with them no matter what their identity. Unfortunately, the same is not true of the parent animals: The author assigns genders via name (mama, papa) and/or pronoun to all of the parents, thereby excluding families that may have different structures and adult caregivers that might have more complex gender identities than what’s depicted on the page. Despite this shortcoming, it remains a delightful, visually interesting read.
A quick and cozy read-aloud perfect for bonding between caregivers and their children. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)