Baby Be

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534405394.
Baby-Toddler–Qualls’s outstanding textured, mixed-media illustrations perfectly complement McGhee’s rhyming and rhythmic affirmation of all that is baby. A diverse cast of male-presenting caregivers are shown enjoying time with their babies while doing a variety of activities—cooking, dancing, jamming on pots and pans and guitar, and giving high fives. Collage work using a variety of papers, including text-print with an overlay of what look like gelatin plate-printed textures in blues, yellows, pinks, and purples add grit to this joy-filled world while snappy wordplay—“your beats, my treats” and “your grand plié, my petit jeté”—will keep baby’s ears as happy as their eyes. This is a perfect baby/toddler story time read-aloud that lets babies of every race and age know that they are perfect for just being. Tender and loving, without a hint of sappy.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all collections.

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