cover image Baby Blessings: A Prayer for the Day You Are Born

Baby Blessings: A Prayer for the Day You Are Born

Deloris Jordan, illus. by James E. Ransome. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-5362-3

In Jordan's (Did I Tell You I Love You Today?) latest, an African-American mother and father express their promises and hopes for their newborn son in the form of a blessing: "You will always be loved with a love that knows no bounds. You will touch the world in your own special way. We pray that you will always be kind." Under their loving and watchful eyes, the boy matures into a kindergartner, and by the book's end, he's also become a big brother (astute readers will notice that the mother's tummy starts growing at the book's midpoint). Ransome's (Sky Boys) rich oil palette adds some emotional heft, helping Jordan's pedestrian sentiments ("Always strive to do you best") feel a little bigger than they actually are. But his vignettes feel predictable and Pollyannish%E2%80%94a butterfly alights near the toddler as his mother looks on as she tends the garden; the parents sit side-by-side on the boy's bed, book in hand, as he gazes out at the night sky%E2%80%94as if they were the "do" examples in an inordinately upbeat parenting book. All ages. (Jan.)