cover image Hello, Baby!

Hello, Baby!

Mem Fox, , illus. by Steve Jenkins. . S&S/Beach Lane, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-8513-6

Like her Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes , Fox's newest has all the marks of a lap-sit classic. In mellifluous motherese, the narrator poses a series of playful questions to a baby: “Are you a monkey with clever toes?/ Perhaps you're a porcupine, twitching its nose.” After 11 more such guesses (featuring such animal faves as the gecko, the hippo and the warthog), the narrator finally gets it right: “Wait, let me guess—Are you my treasure? The answer is... Yes!” While Fox is cooing as only she can, Jenkins (What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? ) works his usual magic with cut paper. In many of his large-scale closeups—the images spill across and off the spreads—his subjects' big, expressive eyes seem locked in a gaze with the reader. Ingeniously stylized shapes (like the coils of gray paper that form an elephant's trunk) combine with sumptuous detailing that brings alive the parade of scales, fur and feathers. Ages 3–5. (May)