Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Ciao, Baby! In the park by Carola Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Lauren Tobia

Told from the perspective of an adorable baby with brown skin and slightly curling hair, this is a sweet adventure in the park. Nonna says “ciao!” and Baby gets packed into the back seat of a bike and they’re off. They settle onto the grass on the park - it appears to be early spring, based on the flowers, dandelion clocks, and grass but still chilly as Baby and Nonna are wearing sweaters and boots. They see a squirrel and Baby goes to meet it, “Scrunch, push. Scrunch, scoot.” but the squirrel takes off. Baby waves, “Ciao squirrel!” This doesn’t discourage Baby, who repeats their actions with a grasshopper and pigeon before it’s time to go home

Tobia’s illustrations are charming, showing a green oasis in the grey city and softly realistic drawings of the creatures Baby meets in the park. This has a little more of an urban feel than I usually purchase for my board books, but I love the idea of encouraging caregivers to take their babies outside and it’s nice to have a book with a darker-skinned baby who could easily be Hispanic (I’m guessing not because of the ciao, which I believe is Italian?).

Verdict: A sweet, sturdy board book which would make a good addition to your collection if you want more outdoor board books.
ISBN: 9780763683986; Published 2018 by Candlewick; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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