Hey Little Baby!
Heather Leigh, illus. by Geneviève Côté. S&S/Beach Lane, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8979-0
“What will you find in this marvelous world?” asks debut author Leigh in this celebration of a new arrival. The answers are defined by proximity—the round-headed, redheaded baby discovers his hands, his feet, his nose, his mouth, and his voice. But each of these breakthroughs points to a host of future possibilities—hands can be used to build a mighty sand castle, feet can carry their owner to school, and a voice can sing around a campfire; with each flash-forward vignette, readers will notice that the protagonist is maturing, reaching adolescence in final pages. Leigh opts for cooing over specificity (“What will you smell with that nose? What will you smell with that darling nose?”), but Côté’s (Ella May and the Wishing Stone) mixed-media sketches easily carry the narrative load. The pleasures she imagines her hero growing into are simple, familiar ones—first love, splashing in puddles, encounters with cute wildlife—and the combination of her sunny palette and graceful black outlining gives each page an openhearted exuberance. And seldom has the mother of a newborn looked so soigné. Ages 2–6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2012