illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal. 32p. Candlewick. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763688523.
Baby-Toddler–Arresting yet cozy illustrations and a spare, poetic text work together in this lovely book that will work well as a baby read-aloud, even if its content may speak more to the parent than the child. A loving couple bring home their new baby and spend their first day(s) together reveling in their love and their new life as they get to know each other. The lyrical text works perfectly in rhyme and meter to create a soothing image of the newness of a first-time family experience. The gentle cadence invites reading aloud at bedtime or in a storytime, but the real draw here are Martinez-Neal's illustrations. They are done in acrylic, colored pencil, and graphite and have a glowing softness to them. The mom is all rounded edges, with medium brown skin and lushly flowing dark hair. Dad and baby have a slightly lighter complexion and are equally appealing. The backgrounds are spare, keeping the focus on the family and their facial expressions, which glow with love. Each parent gets a page to themselves with baby, the mom's spread depicting her gazing lovingly down at her nursing infant. The book draws the viewer into this cozy world of newness and love. While the text is likely to speak more to the parents than the children, the flowing language will work well to soothe both baby and parent.
VERDICT A great gift for new parents, this would make a lovely addition to any library's baby storytime shelves.

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