cover image Newborn


Kathy Henderson. Dial Books for Young Readers, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2434-1

In gentle lilting verse, Henderson (A Year in the City) imagines the sensory overload a newborn must experience upon joining its new family and new world. Parents, siblings and visiting relatives cuddle and snuggle with the new arrival, introducing the baby to its home. Sister tells the baby about shadows on the wall and the touch of a warm blanket; Mom and Dad sweetly explain such household sounds as ""the tumble of voices, the startle-stop call of the telephone"" and even the ""a-a-a-WHOO-SHOO!"" of Dad's sneeze. In watercolor and pencil scenes, Binch (Amazing Grace) presents an expressive, loving family and a comfortable, flower-filled home. Unfortunately, her somewhat harsh palette and busy patterns can seem at odds with the tender subject matter. On balance, however, this book offers a novel and pleasing way to help children greet a new sibling. Ages 4-8. (May)