In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two young girls and a younger boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Global babies

Dear Aunt Debbie,

What a pleasure it was to see you and Bob for Thanksgiving, and to gather around our packed tables with family and friends!

As you saw on Thursday, Will has reached a couple of book milestones: understanding he now has the ability to pull books off of low bookshelves onto the floor, and reaching consciously for board books illustrated with pictures of babies.  He's not quite able to turn the pages yet, but he can open and close a book when I hold it, and pats the faces of babies with great glee.  We've written before about great baby-picture board books: cute baby facesbabies and animalsbabies and food, more babies and food, and baby signs.

Two of Will's favorites which we haven't yet covered are multicultural treasure troves:

Global Babies contains text in English and Spanish, stressing how much babies everywhere are alike, and how all are loved. Global Fund for Children is listed as the author, and the book does have a little bit of a written-by-a-nonprofit, not an author vibe, but the pictures (by Keren Su and Frans Lemmens) are lovely. Each page is labeled with the baby's country of origin, and there's a lot of traditional-looking baby garb. Many skin colors, many expressions, some very sweet sleeping babies.

Then there's My Teeth, by Richard and Michele Steckel. It's another simple premise: each page has a picture of a baby (again labeled with country of origin) smiling to show off an ascending number of teeth, from "No teeth (South Africa)" to "10 teeth (Belize)."  The last two pages are "Bite! (Turkey)" and "Let's brush! (Ireland). Will, who at the moment has three teeth, is impressed.

Sandra Boynton's Doggies is another big favorite -- I'll keep you posted on where we go from here.

Love, Annie

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