Mama Baby

Chris Raschka. Candlewick, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9060-1
Raschka (The Magic Flute) captures the intimacy between mother and infant with animated watercolors that celebrate imitative play. Mama has a wavy dark pate and expressive eyebrows; Baby has a fluff of golden hair and a rosebud mouth. They face each other horizontally, verso and recto: then the portraits turn sideways so that the two gaze at each other across the gutter, separated by a bright blue stripe. Mama sticks her tongue out, and Baby does, too, as hand-painted words echo their actions. Mama claps; Baby claps. Mama covers her eyes (“Bye-bye”); so does Baby. Then musical notes appear—the phone is ringing, perhaps? The doorbell? Mama vanishes. “Mama?” Baby says, eyes wide. Mama’s side is empty. Distress takes over, and a small mouth opens into a wail until Mama returns, and all is well. With full, heart-shaped lips, huge eyes, rosy cheeks, and heavy outlines, Raschka’s figures carry overtones of folk art, or religious icons. Deceptively simple, this small-scale study highlights the way that this kind of universal play builds trust and warmth between the generations. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 11/14/2019
Release date: 03/17/2020
Genre: Children's
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