It’s babies, babies, babies all week here on Orange Marmalade!
That’s because there are such a lot of irresistable titles — I just couldn’t pair things down to five. Way too much sweetness going on.
So, it’s babies all week! Books for new moms, new grandparents, new siblings; books peeking in on babies all over the world. All coming up!
There’s Going to be a Baby, by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury published in 2010 by Candlewick Press
No one does babies and toddlers like Helen Oxenbury.
Round faced pudgins with a snicker of belly plumping out of a tee-shirt.
Two dots for eyes that somehow convey gladness, doubt, vexation.
Charming, stocky figures in comfy clothes exploring their world in the care of loving adults. She is one-of-a-kind.
The little fellow in this story has just learned that “there’s going to be a baby” and this sets in motion a whole lot of questions, a few worries, and some wildly-imagined scenarios about the newcomer-to-be.
His brief comments and questions, and Mom’s casual remarks, wend their way through nine months of anticipation. I love the natural quality of their meandering conversation.
I think every pregnant woman would also like this mother’s wardrobe. Seriously cute.
This is a book for everyone to enjoy, ages 2 and up.
The Baby on the Way, by Karen English, illustrated by Sean Qualls published in 2005 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Grandma and Jamal are hanging out, doing a bit of rooftop gardening, when a question whispers its way into Jamal’s unsuspecting mind.
“Grandma… were you ever a little girl?”
Indeed she was. She was even once “the baby on the way.” Just you listen to what that day was like, that day when Grandma was born, Aunt Nannie arriving “with her birthin’ bag full of secret things,” Daddy praying and pacing, and a whole crowd of siblings (Grandma was the tenth baby) tiptoeing in to see their new swaddled-up sister.
Grandma and Jamal share a tender, happy moment, munching fresh garden salad, passing on family history, considering the strangeness of grandmothers as babies and little boys growing into grandfathers.
Sean Qualls is well known for his powerful images, rough hewn textures, bold shapes, plainspoken faces and figures. Sort of an Ezra Jack Keats for older readers feel. I love this book. Share it with ages 4 and up.
So Much! by Trish Cooke, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury published in 1994 by Candlewick Press
Here we go with Helen Oxenbury again!
This time, the text is a-dancin’ and a-jiggeting and a-swishing as one enormously-loved baby is greeted by his happy, extended family. One after another they ring the bell, come on in, and scoop that baby up!
He is squishable! Kissable! Huggable!
Auntie Bibba wants to squeeze him. Uncle Didi wants to smooch him. Everyone loves that baby so much!
The occasion for all this loving and mayhem is a surprise party for Daddy. It’s a zinger of a party, and the baby has such a jolly time bopping and dancing and snuggling…that he finally zonks out in his crib. A tired baby who is loved so, so much.
Infectious merriment, dripping with love, for ages Under-Two and up… and the folks that love them.
Everywhere Babies, by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Marla Frazee published in 2001 by Harcourt
One of my favorite-ever illustrations of babies leads off this book. Just look at it:
Charming, multicultural portraits of babies and their loved ones fill the pages of this dear book, almost 15 years old already! Pages of brief, pleasantly-rhyming text explore ways babies are fed, rocked, carried and loved, and ways babies make noise, play, make friends, move about, and grow.
Marla Frazee’s gorgeous illustrations gradually lead us from those swaddled newborns to a one-year-birthday celebration.
Brilliant. You’ll read it over and over and over with ages One and older.
Here Come the Babies, by Catherine and Laurence Anholt published in 1993 by Candlewick Press
This title’s sort of a cousin to the previous one…
It’s a bit more tutti-fruiti, candy-sprinkles inside, I’d say. No grown-ups. No tender, ahhhhhh, spreads. Just bouncing yellow and cherry red jollification.
Every two pages are a teeny chapter, if you will, with titles like: What do babies look like? What are mealtimes like? What do babies dream of? What’s in a carriage? The playful, rhyming text cheerfully addresses all these questions and more.
The answers are childlike, funny, exuberant, and full of love for babies. I dare you to stay in a grouchy mood while you read this book — for ages One and older.
I’ll have more posts about Older Siblings and their New Babies, Babies Around the World, and one of my favorite Aussie author/illustrators…coming up the rest of this week.