The apartment block loomed cold and quiet.
The same people had lived there a long time.
They did not know each other and they
never spoke – not even to say hello.
No one speaks to anyone in the apartment block. They go about their business separately and in as quietly as possible. Then a baby arrives in the apartment block. The baby is not quiet, not a bit, no matter how his mother tries. He cries. And cries. Until one day he finds the pots and pans. The crying stops and the music begins. One by one, the other occupants of the floor join in. Together they create music. And a community. Illustrations are loose outline filled with colour, often set in white. End papers offer music in the park – two versions.
The apartment block is a collection of separate people who seldom interact – until the baby arrives. The solution to the baby’s crying is music and accidentally at first, then intentionally, it brings the individuals of the block together as a community. Young readers will love the notion that music can be made with whatever is at hand – or foot. Kinder and early years teachers can use this story to introduce music to their classrooms. Young readers will also enjoy looking at the difference between the front end-papers and the rear end-papers, and finding all the apartment-dwellers. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.
Baby Band, Diane Jackson Hill ill Giuseppe Poli
New Frontier Publishing 2017
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller
I love you…
more than the prickliest tickle…
This delightful offering for the very young, and their mothers, is an absolute delight. The text is simple, only a few sentences in total, with a list of ways the child narrator loves his/her mum, and how affirming that is:
Because I know
with you beside me
I can do anything.
The illustrations are large photographs of various animals, chiefly of an adult with one or more young, showing affection (such as a giraffe kissing another), or in action. The text and illustrations are on white backgrounds, adding to the simplicity and making the overall product a gentle whole perfect for cuddle time or bedtime reading.
Hey Mum, I Love You is a lovely complement to Hey Baby, but each stands alone.
Hey Mum, I Love You, by Corinne Fenton
Black Dog, 2014
Available from good bookstores or online.
Never doubt just how special you are.
What a delightful first picture book this is. Speaking directly to a new born baby, this love letter reminds the child that there is nobody quite like him/her in simple text which will withstand multiple re readings and is short enough that even a wriggler will be able to last through its entirety.
The text is supported by beautiful baby animal photographs which will captivate young viewers and also delight adult readers. There are kittens, elephants, zebras, monkeys, even fish and, in the final to photos, a baby.
Whilst the title and the term ‘newborn’ baby in the text suggest the key target audience is newborns, older children will also enjoy the message of uniqueness and unconditional love, and the lively photo illustrations will also delight them.
Hey Baby! would make a perfect gift for a baby shower or newborn.
Hey Baby! by Corinne Fenton
Black DOg, 2012
Available from good bookstores or online. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.