oh baby!

This week, all week, Orange Marmalade is cooing over babies!

Today’s post has some new titles and old favorites welcoming babies the world over.
Coming up this week I have a superb 2017 picture book written to welcome a newborn son, a 9-month guide for expectant siblings, stories for big brothers and sisters, and a batch of board books for babies to gum to smithereens.

Meanwhile I’m compiling a gallery of books from the Marmalade archives that fit these same categories so you can more easily access them. I’ll have that link for you when it’s ready.

littles and how they grow cover image

Littles and How They Grow, written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by AG Ford
published in 2017 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers

This book is simply a celebration of all that babies bring about when they join our families. The love and the coddling, the sleepers and slings, the walking and waking.

littles and how they grow interior by depucchio and ford

And in the blink of an eye — the growing! It’s an unwaveringly cheerful book to share with new parents, new siblings, new grandparents.

daddy honk honk cover image

Daddy Honk Honk!, written and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
published in 2017 by Dial Books for Young Readers

We’re up in the Arctic tundra here, where a baby goose is accidentally imprinted on an arctic fox! “Daddy Honk Honk!” he proclaims…

…and no matter that this fox does not know the first thing about taking care of babies, this little fella is his for keeps. For better or for worse. In sleeplessness and mischievousness. In raucous playtime and cozy storytime.

daddy honk honk interior by Rosalinde Bonnet

Honestly, this book’s cover did not prepare me for what a gem it is! So full of warmth, tundra affection, and that sneaky way babies have of endearing themselves to you, despite the tremendous learning curve of becoming a parent! Charming, for ages 2 and up.

welcoming babies cover image

Welcoming Babies, written by Margy Burns Knight, illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien
published in 1994 by Tilbury House Publishers

All over the world, deeply cherished customs of welcoming babies into the world have been shaped by various cultures.

welcoming babies illustration by Anne Sibley O'Brien

Join the women singing songs of welcome in Nigeria, witness a Jewish naming ceremony, greet the sun with a newborn Hopi child, and discover many more beloved traditions in this unique, lovely book. It’s out of print, sadly, but such a rewarding find.

ten days and nine nights cover image

Ten Days and Nine Nights: An Adoption Story, written and illustrated by Yumi Heo
published in 2009 by Schwartz & Wade

Count down the days with one big sister as she sends her mama off on an airplane, then busies herself preparing for the arrival of her newly adopted sister.

ten days and nine nights interior by Yumi Heo

Vivid, naive paintings spread gladness onto every page. As a Korean-American, Yumi Heo has written this book especially with Korean adoptees in mind, but it will resonate with anyone awaiting a coming-by-plane sibling.

Another jubilant adoption title, still in print after many years, is…

happy adoption day cover image

Happy Adoption Day!, written by John McCutcheon, illustrated by Julie Paschkis
published in 1996 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

The lyrics to a song by McCutcheon comprise the text here. It’s a festive, three-cheers, song for celebrating adoption anniversaries, adorned by Julie Paschkis’s vibrant, flowing, folk-art illustrations.

happy adoption day interior McCutcheon and Paschkis

“Out of a world so tattered and torn/You came to our house on that wonderful morn/And all of a sudden this family was born!” This song has struck a chord with many adoptive families over the years. If you are ones that celebrate Gotcha Day, this would make a great addition to your library.

rosie and tortoise cover image

Rosie and Tortoise, written by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ron Brooks
published in 1999 by DK Publishing

Finally, this older gem which touches on a circumstance that is so common, but rarely dealt with in children’s books, the birth of a premature baby.

Rosie is alarmed when the baby brother she has been eagerly awaiting is born early. He is so frail, so tiny, that Rosie is afraid to hold him or rock him, fearful she will somehow harm him. Her parents misunderstand at first, thinking she doesn’t like the new baby. When Rosie and her dad have a good chat, and dad tells her a little story about a slow-and-steady tortoise who does just fine in the end, her fears are allayed.

rosie and tortoise interior by Wild and Brooks

One of the babies in the Welcoming Babies book is also premature, but other than that, the new baby books I’ve seen are bouncing with sturdy little ones. It seems helpful, affirming, and comforting for siblings of hospitalized newborns to “see themselves in a book” too. Rosie’s story — again, out of print — is a charming, upbeat one especially for those kids.