cover image Wild About You!

Wild About You!

Judy Sierra, illus. by Marc Brown. Knopf, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-307-93178-8

Sierra and Brown return to Springfield Zoo in this baby-themed follow-up to Wild About Books and ZooZical. Sierra’s couplets are as sharp and witty as ever, with a distinct Seussian vibe. Watching other animals with their offspring, a tree kangaroo and a panda couple announce that they want babies, too. When a rescue worker arrives with an endangered egg, the tree kangaroo volunteers to hatch it, and the pandas adopt a small orange kitten. The other animals pitch in to help the adoptive parents, proving that “It takes a whole zoo” to raise a baby. Working in the same angular, heavily patterned style of the previous books, Brown offers active yet comforting spreads of the animals with their children (one scene invites readers to find the zoo babies that have wandered off). Sierra hints at parenthood’s more trying moments, yet what resonates loudest is unconditional love: “Penguins don’t fly. Penguins never sing sweetly,” says the tree kangaroo to the newborn chick. “But that doesn’t matter. I love you completely!” Furthermore, the mixed-species adoptions quietly affirm the value of families in all their varieties. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)