Monday, February 26, 2007

Review: If You Were My Baby

I received some books today from Dawn Publications, a small press specializing in positive books about nature for children. This is my favorite:

If You Were My Baby by Fran Hodgkins. Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant.
Dawn, 2007 (978-15469-090-0) $7.95 board

The familiar picture book pairing of adult and baby animals is used here for an easy, unforced introduction to animal habits and habitats. "If you were my baby possum," says the narrator, "I would carry you on my back As you learn your way in the world." "If you were my baby deer, I would help you learn to step lightly And find sweet flowers and tender grasses." Finally, the narrator will help his own baby "climb your own mountains, And delight with you in nature's wonders. But first, I'll tuck you in." The warm yet lighthearted text is well matched by pen & ink and watercolors pictures that maintain a mostly naturalistic air, but give friendly, curious and loving expressions to the animals; touches of cool blues and lavenders add brightness to the browns and greens of furs and forests. (1-4) (Also available in hardcover.)