Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Read, Read, Read said the Baby: Little Sleepyhead by Elizabeth McPike, illustrated by Patrice Barton

I'm not usually a fan of sweet and sentimental, especially when it comes to board books, but Barton's delicate watercolors are such a lovely match with the lullaby that I'm happy to have discovered this little book.

The borders of the cover show a picture of a soft, textured fabric that puts one in mind of a baby blanket. The simple rhyming text talks about each body part being tired, "Tired little arms, stretching up so high,/Tired little hands, waving bye, bye, bye." A variety of races and skin colors, as well as adults, are shown - babies with an older sibling, with a grandparent, with a father, even with a dog. Eventually the baby drifts off to sleep alone, clutching a favorite toy.

Barton's softly glowing illustrations show rosy-cheeked babies with plump bottoms and tummies, stretching little hands out to their loving family members. I was a little disappointed that, although she includes babies with a variety of skin color and ethnicity, the children with darker skin are still fairly light. A dark-skinned baby would have been an adorable addition to the collection of sleepy babies.

Verdict: Sweet and simple, a good purchase if you need more bedtime board books, an additional purchase overall.

ISBN: 9780399544842; Published 2016 by G. P. Putnam's Sons; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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