BABY FACE: A BOOK OF LOVE FOR BABY, by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Diane Goode, Simon & Schuster, $16.99; ages baby/preschool.
The six poems talk to us about events in the life of a growing-up baby. It begins with "Baby Face." As children listen, they can follow along by pointing out the parts on their own face. Other poems deal with baby steps, hair shampoo, carriage rides, teeth and bed. The poems are reminders of those special moments between parents and babies during these developmental stages.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE BABY?, by Rick Walton, illustrated by Paige Miglio, HarperCollins, $16.99; ages 3-6.
Mom and Dad rabbit are having a good time with their little bunny. As children go through the book, they will find the activities are the same for all little babies. This is a good book to use if an addition to the family is expected. Little ones will quickly pick up the repetitive verse as they are reminded that all babies need to be fed, washed and dressed. But best of all, rocked and loved.
WHAT’S INSIDE YOUR TUMMY, MOMMY?, by Abby Cocovini, Henry Holt & Co., $2.95; ages 2-8.
It becomes a curious time when youngsters learn there is going to be an addition to the family. The information here will help everyone, including the siblings, understand baby’s development as well as the changes taking place in mommy. Each page contains a calendar strip to help count down the days and weeks and gives the details of changes for that month. The size of the baby is compared to familiar objects such as a grain of rice, a bean and up to a watermelon and pumpkin. Little ones will learn what is taking place with the baby during each month of the pregnancy and what activity the baby is doing for the first time. The child will be surprised to learn the unborn baby can suck its thumb and hear. They can watch and feel as the baby kicks.
YOU WERE LOVED BEFORE YOU WERE BORN, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Karen Barbour, Blue Sky Press, $16.99; ages 4-8.
Everyone in the family is filled with excitement as they wait for the arrival of a new baby. This story relates how the whole family helped to get things ready. Grandma plants a rose bush that can grow and bloom along with the baby and grandpa brings over a rocking chair for mom to use as she sings to the baby. The family helps paint the baby’s room. Even a cousin brings over some baseball cards to start a collection. Then everyone waits until the day the baby finally arrives. Children may not realize how much anticipation there is while waiting for the new arrival and this is a nice way to share that loving time with them.
MOMMIES, by Kate Spohn, Random House, $4.99; ages baby/preschool.
Board books are great for little hands. This one includes fold-out pages. Simple text, three words to a page, has mommy doing everyday activities with her child. This one will help your little one learn about the seasons of the year as you water flowers, dig into snow, giggle in leaves and blow bubbles. Mom also shops and reads to the little one.
CLOSE TO YOU: HOW ANIMALS BOND, by Kimiko Kajikawa, Henry Holt, $16.95; ages 4-8.
Children of all ages love to see animals with their young ones. They soon realize that some animals show their affection for babies in ways similar to us and some very differently. Twelve different animals are shown, with a paragraph about each in the back of the book. Humans are included with questions regarding how we care for each other. The birth-to-adulthood table will answer questions about the size of the animals when they are born. Children will be surprised to learn the size of a giraffe when it is born. A good book to look through before a trip to the zoo.
MA! THERE’S NOTHING TO DO HERE! A WORD FROM YOUR BABY-IN-WAITING, by Barbara Park, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli, Random House, $15.99; ages 4-8.
This book will not only be enjoyed by families expecting an addition but makes a great gift for a first-time, expectant mother. Baby would really like something to do while waiting—like a few toys or maybe a rubber duck. Baby also wonders if the room is ready with all the necessary supplies. Parents are warned to get their rest now, while they can, because pretty soon, snooze time will be difficult to find.
Judy Belanger is Chicago Parent’s children’s book reviewer and a retired elementary learning resource center teacher with four grandchildren. She continues to substitute in grades K-6.