Grab it. Chew it. Throw it, too.
That's what babies like to do.
And pretty pictures! Look, Baby, Look!
At our smart Baby's very first . . .
. . . BOOK!
A baby's first year is full of milestones, from first smiles to first steps, and this book celebrates them all! A clever and bouncy text, vibrant ink-and-collage illustrations and an impossibly cute baby make this the perfect gift book for baby showers, and it even includes a poster on the reverse of the jacket that new parents can use to record their own little ones' spectacular achievements.
Walton and Church encourage readers to think of a new baby's milestones as moments the whole family can celebrate. And indeed, the family depicted here, consisting of two parents and two young siblings, regards every accomplishment by its newest member with the same eager dot eyes and wide smiles. Big Brother can't wait to hold Baby and give the first kiss, while Big Sister tutors the infant on achieving its first peek-a-boo. But without mention of any unpleasant firsts (save for a tepid "first fall"), will real-life siblings be convinced? From the get-go, Walton's (Mr. President Goes to School) rhyming text is unfailingly sweet: "Our little Baby's finally here./ So small, so cute. Our little dear." Church's (Digby Takes Charge) collage and ink illustrations feature generously scaled characterizations and bright, saturated background colors that do their part to make each stepping stone feel like a special occasion, indeed; but for the most part, Church's art lacks the gentle, knowing wit that often adds a little tang to her sweet-natured aesthetic. Up to age 2. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS—A much-loved newborn is brought home to his family and a string of happy milestones follow. Rhyming text, narrated in the family members' shared voice, celebrates a year from first day to first birthday and everything in between. Big brother delivers a first kiss, big sister instigates a first game of peek-a-boo, and eventually two excited parents rejoice as "Baby likes to talk a lot./But understand?/We do not./Until one day,/what's that we heard?/Was that our Baby's very first.../Word!?" Many of the events are developmental (first tooth), though others are not (first book). The big-headed, rosy-cheeked youngster is rendered in bold, bright artwork done in collage and ink. Full-spread colored backgrounds keep the focus on the delightful towhead as he matures into an equally cute tot. As a bonus, the dust jacket indicates places to adhere pictures of one's own newborn reaching each milestone. This is a charming journey through a fast-paced 12 months that parents can share with their own beautiful babies.—Laura Butler, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
Would this book be best as a gift for new parents, a title to prepare an older sibling-to-be or an interactive offering to share with a group of antsy toddlers or preschoolers? The answer is a resounding "Yes!" Walton's latest celebrates the many milestones a baby experiences during his first year. With rollicking verse full of familiar words begging to be read aloud, the narrator builds excitement and allows young readers to successfully guess the end of each rhyme with a dramatic page turn. Who could resist, "A little mouth, a little chin. / And what's that there? A little grin? / It opens up a Baby mile. / See happy Baby's very first... // ...SMILE!" Church ably illustrates the vibrant fun with a style similar to Emma Dodd's in Giles Andreae's I Love You Mommy(2011), using bright, summery hues outlined with strong black lines. The word for each "first" is supersized and exclaimed in bright capitals to further accentuate the delight in Baby's new accomplishments. Readers will enjoy anticipating the first kiss, laugh, crawl, tooth, book, steps and word; they are invited to capture each of these special moments by utilizing the poster on the back of the dust jacket. Even though sweet books on new babyhood abound, this stands out as a fresh addition.(Picture book. 0-4)
Rick Walton became a children's writer because, after trying almost every other career in the book, he finally realized that writing for kids was one of the few things that he both enjoyed and was good at. Since that realization he has had over forty books published, with many more scheduled for publication over the next couple of years. His works include picture books, riddle books, activity books, a collection of poetry, and educational and game software. His books have been featured on the IRA Children's Choice list, on Reading rainbow, and on CBS This Morning.
Rick lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife, Ann, the brains of the household, who also writes for kids, programs computers, masters Rick's website, and does all the home repair that Rick never learned how to do. It was Ann, who grew up in a computer family and who has eight siblings and a father in the computer industry, who dragged Rick kicking and screaming into the computer age. Now Rick doesn't understand how anyone can survive without word-processing programs, e-mail, and their own website.
They have four children, all of whom are learning to love reading, writing, and computers.