Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Little Baby Buttercup by Linda Ashman, illustrated by You Byun

Although I normally don't like yellow/orange/pink color schemes, I did love Byun's Dream Friends. I've also liked Linda Ashman's stories, especially as it looks, from her latest books, as though she is getting a really nice range of diversity in her illustrators. So I was delighted to get a review copy of this sweet and joyful picture book.

A pudgy little child, complete with Shirley Temple sun dress and lacy white shorts, celebrates a lovely summer day. She builds with blocks, explores outside with her mother, helps in the garden, visits the park, and has a treat while they wait for the rain to end. After a happy, busy day, they walk home in the golden glow of the sunset and settle down for a bedtime story and bed.

The toddler's day is not without incident; she has a fall and several messy incidents necessitate a new outfit. However, the overall flavor of this book is sunny, even when it's raining. A sunny smile, happy playing with a diverse group of friends in the park, lots of animal friends, lots of outdoor enjoyment and simple pleasures.

I love Byun's sunny art, even though the color scheme isn't normally my favorite, it just really works with her style. Everything is golden, pink and sunny, especially the walk home in the evening where everything, shiny from the recent rain, seems to glow from the page. The friendly dogs and bright splashes of color will catch the attention of toddlers while harried parents will appreciate a reminder of some of the joys of small children, even if they're not feeling them at the moment!

Verdict: This is just a really strong feel-good story. A diverse cast of children, including the protagonist, a joyful appreciation of everyday treats and trials, and a warm understanding of a toddler's joys. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9780399167638; Published 2015 by Nancy Paulsen/Penguin; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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