cover image Baby Face: A Book of Love for Baby

Baby Face: A Book of Love for Baby

Cynthia Rylant, , illus. by Diane Goode. . S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-4909-1

Produced by a winning team, this collection of six poems celebrating universal moments in a baby's life (bathtime, first steps, a ride in the carriage) turns on the “awww” factor. Rylant's rhyming verse offers numerous expressions of love (“Baby lovely,/ Baby sweet,/ Baby so divine./ I love your pretty baby face./ Tell me you are mine”). Each poem has its own “title page”, e.g., “Baby Teeth” or “Baby Bed,” which gives the volume an anthology feel, while a slightly oversize square format makes this an excellent choice for lap sharing. Goode (previously paired with Rylant for When I Was Young in the Mountains ) employs a looser line and simpler figures than usual, offsetting the sentimentality of the poems with buoyant, energetic vignettes. She creates a sense of motion with watercolor spot illustrations that flow between the text on the ample white space. Images of the dynamic multiracial cast, paired with the catchy, cooing text, add up to a can't-miss with parents and grandparents—and their babies. Ages 1-5. (Mar.)