cover image We Have a Baby

We Have a Baby

Cathryn Falwell, Kathryn Falwell. Clarion Books, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-62038-0

Falwell ( Feast for 10 ) decks out this understated picture book in nursery-room colors--an appropriate choice, as her story prepares small children for the imminent birth of a sibling. A multiracial family welcomes a new child, the parents explaining to their firstborn what having a baby means to the family: ``We have a baby! A baby to love . . . '' The parents include the older child--for example, the illustration for ``A baby to feed'' shows the infant at the mother's breast, the child curled at her side, sipping from a straw. The cut-paper artwork has the texture of crayon drawings, adding movement to the clean, clear compositions. Both pictures and text extend to the reader the warm, cozy exchanges of these parents and their young. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)