cover image That Special Little Baby

That Special Little Baby

Jane Ann Peddicord, , illus. by Meilo So. . Harcourt, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205430-4

Human babies have been growing up for thousands of years now, but it's still an amazing phenomenon—at least to the babies and their parents. Peddicord (Night Wonders ) marvels at how one baby girl in particular started out “very soft and very new”—why, she “could not walk or even count to two.” Buoyant rhymes describe her impressive feats— she “bobbled in the bubble bath beneath a sudsy do./ That baby splashed and sprayed and played/ and made a floating boat parade”—in between choruses explaining how the baby “grew and grew and GREW!” So (Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats ) proves an ideal partner for Peddicord's jubilant voice. Her infant heroine is as wide-eyed as they come, and kids will find her scenes of pint-size bliss familiar. The illustrator's colors have a gorgeous clarity and vibrancy—the oranges and yellows glow, the reds burst off the page. But even more important, this special little baby looks wonderfully ordinary: a bit lumpy in infancy (in one spread, her diaper is hilariously exaggerated), she becomes full of beans in toddlerhood. Attentive readers will have fun spotting parallels: a spread in which the baby gazes at a kitten precedes a picture in which the now older girl and her father sport painted-on cat faces. Preschoolers will adore seeing themselves become so mature—and so will their parents. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)