Saturday, June 14, 2008

Look At You: A Baby Body Book


Look At You: A Baby Body Book by Kathy Henderson. Last year, I read Look At You! A Baby Body Book and loved it. I can't believe I never reviewed it. It was one of my favorites, one I'd put among the best of the best of 2007's picture books. It's shocking that I never found the time to review it. This year, the book has been released in board book format. And it's a good thing for several reasons. 1) board books are baby/toddler friendly. 2) It reminded me that I really, really needed to sit down and gush about the book 3) It's a real must-read and a great gift idea for those looking for baby shower gifts! Spring seems to be the time--commercially at least--where the emphasis is on babies, babies, babies. (Looking at the weekly ads, it's hard not to see all the baby stuff on display celebrating spring time.)

Look At You has everything a book needs to be great. It's got rhythm. True honest-to-goodness rhythm. Something that looks easier than it actually is to write. It's just fun--really fun--to read aloud. It's got some rhymes. The natural kind. It doesn't feel forced. It rhymes in some places, but not in all places. No one rhymes all the time. And sometimes a forced rhyme--besides being gimmicky--would ruin the natural rhythm and flow of the text. It just feels natural. Another thing in its favor is that it can easily lead to interaction between parent and child. The book does ask questions in places. But even if it didn't, the illustrations by Paul Howard offer enough that parents could ad lib for some interactive play. Another big bonus is that it is age appropriate. It is a book for babies about babies. It explores baby's world, baby's day, baby's surroundings. It's familiar--eating, bathing, diaper-changing, sleeping, playing, it's all there. Yet another (as if I needed another reason) is that it shows multiple ethnicities, diverse skin tones in the babies and toddlers.

Fingers and toes wiggle.
Eyes, nose, and mouth giggle.
Arms wave, legs kick . . .
Bottoms squirm . . .
And tummies tickle.

Clothes on.
Where's the baby gone?
There he is!
Clothes off!
Where are the baby's toes?
There they are!

Lie
Roll
Sit
Wobble.
Rock
Crawl
Pull
Wobble.
Stand
Wobble.
Sway
Wobble.
Bump!
Step
Walk
Toddle!
I loved everything--and I do mean everything--about Look At You! A Baby Body Book. It's published by Candlewick. And it's a true must-read in my opinion.

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