cover image Sweet Baby Coming

Sweet Baby Coming

Eloise Greenfield. HarperCollins Publishers, $5.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-694-00578-9

Though aimed primarily at youngsters anticipating the arrival of a new sibling, these cheerful board books are likely to appeal to any toddler who likes looking at drawings of babies. The narrator of Sweet Baby Coming uses rhyming verse to convey both her excitement and her anxiety about her brother- or sister-to-be: ``Is the baby going to like me? / Will the baby want to stay? / Mommy says our baby loves me more and more each day.'' Gilchrist's delicate but realistic watercolors show an African American youngster touching her mother's stomach, getting a reassuring cuddle, listening for the baby's heartbeat and, finally, greeting her new little brother. In The Baby, Monica Greenfield's brief text describes parts of an infant's busy daily routine: ``The baby sucks her fist. The baby laughs. And the baby eats again.'' And although Gilchrist most often shows the African American infant protagonist with her mother or alone, the book's final spread features her as she is bottle-fed, being held in a pair of masculine arms. Ages 1-4. (Jan.)