Billed as the World's Family series, this perky but standard-issue quartet of photo-essays explores relations between parents and offspring all over the globe. Mothers ``wash you and feed you and teach you to cook.'' Fathers ``play songs for you. They take you fishing.'' Alongside this sex-role stereotyping, however, is a generally successful bid for a multicultural overview. Ken Heyman, supplying vivid photos for Baby, Mommy and Daddy, shows families of different races and ethnicities, as an illustrated glossary at the back of each book points out (``This child from Peru... is wrapped in a llama's wool blanket''; ``This Pueblo mother and her little boy make delicious pies for a family party''). In Animals, photos of animals with their young, taken by a variety of photographers, are only serviceablethe compositions aren't especially original and the colors are washed out. Here Morris has varied the format, replacing the straightforward sentences of the other books with pedestrian rhymes (``Kangaroos are very jumpy./ Camels frequently are bumpy''). Each of these titles achieves its modest goal, but leaves no lasting impression. Ages 2-6. (Dec.)
- Susan Fournier
The "World's Family" series contains four books: The Mommy Book, The Daddy book, The Baby Book, and The Animal Book. Each book has a photograph on every page and a simple sentence that leaves the reader to wonder if the author is indeed a child who is just learning to write. The Daddy Book contains multicultural photographs, yet no explanations of the differences between cultures. Furthermore, the books in this series do not teach the reader anything new about the subjects; they simply are full of common generalizations. Each book has an index that gives a small amount of detail about the pictures. The index actually contains more information than the text.
School Library Journal
PreS-KOversized full-color photographs of moms, dads, and babies from many cultures and the animal kingdom illustrate aspects of each category. As usual, Heyman's pictures are current, charming, and involving. Indexes briefly explain something about each one. Some inform: the Pueblo family is baking bread; the boy's hair is cut short because of his religion. But others seem bland: "This modern mom and her son enjoy the zoo together." The Animal Book follows the same pictorial format showing young creatures with their parents. However, the rhymed text seems forced; a pride of lions watch rather than watches; wiggly is supposed to rhyme with slippery; and a giraffe is said to grow up very tall but the picture shows a small animal beside a large one. Let other books stand in for baby animals. The other three, however, will be useful in encouraging children to talk about families.Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA