Title: Baby, Baby
# Pages: 20 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5
Why I Chose It: Finding sweet, simple board books for babies is harder than it seems. Many are not well-constructed and do not last through more than a few reads. Others are inadequate for babies’ attention spans: they are either too overwhelming or quickly lose their attention. Baby, Baby seemed to provide an enjoyable reading experience for parents and babies alike, combining a sweet message with simple, yet colorful illustrations of babies.
A sweet, colorful board book that appeals to a baby’s interest in looking at other babies
Babies enjoy books, looking at other babies, and their own flowering abilities. This short rhyming poem combines all three in a sweet and happy way, while introducing babies to God’s love for them. The simple words are paired with colorful images of babies engaging in familiar activities, allowing the book to be used as an introductory concept book as well. And it ends with a reminder that Baby is always loved by God.
What I Thought:
My initial reason for selecting this book was correct: a sweet message and colorful illustrations in a book that wouldn’t fall apart after a few reads. At first, I worried the pages wouldn’t be exciting enough, as the backgrounds are white, each page features a similar illustration (a baby) and the babies and their accessories are the only color. My children all enjoyed this book, however, from the youngest baby to the oldest who is just learning to read. Sometimes simpler truly can be better.
(Note: the publisher’s suggested age range is 2-5. I would say this is one you could read to baby from birth. The sound of your voice saying these simple rhymes will capture your baby’s attention, not to mention he or she will love “flipping” the hard pages.)
Although I was initially disappointed with illustrations, once I took the time to truly consider the efforts behind them, I appreciated them more–so many skin tones, hair types, and personalities were shown in the book. Without explicitly saying “people look and act differently, and that’s okay,” parents can expose their children to diversity and help garner an appreciation for all humans. My children got a kick out of trying to pick out which baby looked like which particular member of our family (With everything from Irish Europeans to Nigerians to Peruvians, it is safe to say my family currently covers quite the spectrum in terms of racial and cultural diversity.)
The cover indicated that the board book was a mirror book, so I expected to see each page mirroring baby’s face back, most likely as the head on the illustrated babies. I was happy to see that this wasn’t the case (slightly creepy) and was pleasantly surprised to see the last page featuring the mirror below the question “who does God love?” It is easy to tell someone God loves them, but finding a way to make it hit home is more difficult. This book gently shows children that they are loved, that they are never too much or too little, that they are learning and growing and still perfect in the Lord’s eyes.
This book is a wonderful addition for baby’s library. It isn’t geared towards a specific gender or race. It does promote a Christian message, but it isn’t overwhelmingly “preachy.” (Though I would be concerned with any book geared towards babies that was!) It is sturdy enough to last through many, many readings (and many, many teeth!), hopefully to the point of taking baby from saying his first words to becoming the one reading aloud to you!