a list of…five books welcoming babies with open arms!

“More, More, More,” Said the Baby: 3 Love Stories, written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams

There are three tiny stories about three jolly babies in this book.  The babies are:  Little Guy, Little Pumpkin, and Little Bird.

Little Guy is such a busy fellow, his daddy has to run fast to catch that baby up.  When he does, he gleefully tosses Little Guy high in the air, and swings him around, singing about what a great little guy he is.  He exclaims over Little Guy’s perfect belly button right in the middle of his fat little belly.  And then…Little Guy gets a big , zerbert kiss from Daddy, right in the middle of his belly button!  Well, of course Little Guy laughs and asks for More More More!

Little Pumpkin’s story involves her grandma, and some toes that are good enough to eat!  Little Bird is with her mama. She is a very drowsy little one, with two closed eyes right on either side of her neat little nose, which require kissing.  These three chubbly little people are deliciously adored by their families, and clearly enjoy soaking up all that lovin’!

Vera Williams’ brilliantly-colored pages, delightful, multi-racial families, and joyous, rhythmic, repeating text, adorn a book truly bursting with happy love. Caldecott Honor book from 1991. 

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Babies born in cities or on grassy hillsides, babies born in the frozen arctic or the sandy desert, babies snug in blankets, babies with the sniffles…all of them have something in common here: ten sweet pudgy fingers and ten dear little tiny toes.

In a sweet, simple rhyming story, Mem Fox delights in the perfection of those fingers and toes — objects of much affection for their owners as well, very often, which makes this a perfect book to read over and over to those smallest listeners.  Helen Oxenbury has taken this brief text and brilliantly illustrated it with her most charming, multiethnic babies.  Ahhh!  Adorable!  Black and white and Asian; blonde hair and red hair and inky curls.  Nobody draws babies like Helen.   

Nice little opportunity for kissing a nose on the very last page, as well!  Lovely book by an incredibly talented team.

Mama’s Day, by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Jan Ormerod

“Somewhere there’s a mama lifting baby from a crib…Snapping rompers, looping laces…Brushing crumbs from baby’s bib.”

Verse after verse, this book describes the nurturing activities of mamas all over the world.  Snuggling a baby in a lap.  Watching birds.  Marketing, bathing, reading…  Kissing, soothing, loving those babies.  There is so much common ground, among the different mothers in love with their babies around the globe.

Jan Ormerod has illustrated the quiet verses with dozens and dozens of sweet, multi-racial babies and moms.  Whisper-soft watercolors capture babies playing, dancing, sleeping, snuggling, bellering, nursing, yawning…there is a whole lot to look at here.  It’s a book awash with affection and tenderness.  A very pleasant way to say, “I love you!” to a child.

Welcome, Precious, by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Bryan Collier

This precious baby is being welcomed to a good world by his loving parents.  A world of robin song, and moonlight, and glistening soap bubbles.  A world with silken grass, satiny rose petals, and sand that squishes between the toes.  A world of kisses and hugs and safety in strong arms.  A good world, full of good things to see and hear and taste and touch and learn about.  A world brimming with promise.  All that awaits this cherished little person.  Though just now, resting securely with mom and dad is the task at hand.

Poetic language filled with lovely, sensory details sings out in this book, dedicated to “every long-awaited little one.”  The text is thoughtful, crammed with the deep love and longings of parents for these tiny new people.  Bryan Collier, one of my favorite artists, has blended joy and strength and tenderness and togetherness exquisitely in his watercolor-collages.  I really like this book!

What’s Inside Your Tummy, Mommy? written and illustrated by Abby Cocovini

I had a similar book to this when my kids were little and wow! did they love it!  For curious older siblings, here is a 9-month guide to what’s going on with Tiny One while she is out of view, inside mama’s tummy.

Each two-page spread tells about the growth and development happening in that month.  In Month 2, the baby is as big as a baked bean, and in Month 3, he has fingernails as tiny as grains of sand.  Month 4, baby is hearing, listening to sounds like Mom’s heart thumping, and Mom swallowing her food.  These factual tidbits are presented clearly, tastefully and briefly.  No long-winded explanations.  Just a few interesting bits.

Besides the brief factoids, there is a life-size picture of the baby positioned in mom’s womb, which is sooo exciting to watch grow as you turn the pages!  When the 9 month page is reached, ta da!, a jumbo flap opens up to reveal that wonderful, ready-to-be-born, ready-to-be-welcomed baby!

Delightful, simple, exciting book to help even very young children anticipate the arrival of their baby!

Here are the Amazon links:

“More More More,” Said the Baby (A Caldecott Honor book)
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Mama’s Day
Welcome, Precious
What’s Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?