cover image Welcome


Mo Willems. Hyperion, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4847-6746-7

Willems (the Elephant and Piggie series) rolls out the red carpet for a new baby, writing in a voice that’s part preflight safety demonstration (“There will be turbulence”), part waiter’s spiel (“Of our current offerings, I can personally recommend your being right here with me”), and part customer service hotline (“Someone is standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”). Iconographic, high-contrast drawings, rendered in the style of road signage, should hold the attention of very young eyes (as will embedded Mylar mirrors), even if the actual content eludes them. The real audience is new parents, who will revel in having their devotion mirrored back to them and chuckle at the many knowing jokes (“If you have any further questions/ Do not hesitate to call or flail about or scream like a banshee”). And they’ll be grateful that Willems offers a modicum of hope regarding the world that the newborn will inherit: “We are happy to report there are people working day and night on making this a better place to be.” Up to age 2. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (May)