cover image Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Peter McCarty. Henry Holt & Company, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-5953-3

Youngsters can observe, month by month, the first year of a little one's life in this tender tribute to babyhood, designed like a handsome family album. Based on the author's recollections of his own daughter, the soft, finely detailed pencil sketches evoke the realism of black-and-white photographs, deftly capturing every nuance in a series of expressive poses. Baby Suki is a charmer, whether sitting quietly in a bouncy chair observing the world around her, napping under a blanket with hands closed into dimpled fists, playing at the beach or standing with a bit of support. Children will enjoy watching her development as they learn how they themselves matured. McCarty's pared-down prose, as adept as his artwork, chronicles his daughter's changes from a one-day-old infant swaddled tightly in a blanket (""We call her our little burrito"") through a stage at two months when she demands to be held in the air (""With her fat cheeks and pink pajamas, she looks like a flying piglet"") to her first steps as a one-year-old (""Go, Suki, go!""). A prime choice for lap-time read-alouds, this winsome picture book should evoke fond memories from parents while prompting enthusiastic recognition in toddlers. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)