The initial, predictable rhymes of this uneven picture book promise a raindrops-on-roses panoply of favorite baby things: "Baby books and baby toys/ for baby girls and baby boys." While Charlip's (Sleepytime Rhyme) quiet text refers only to babies, the increasingly complex watercolor paintings reassuringly combine babies with their caregivers. Each baby flower, with a baby-faced center, is enveloped in the comforting green leaves of a flower adult. Even inanimate objects come with caregivers two rainbows, two houses, two ring-toss toys. But the playful quality in the illustrations of "baby bunnies, puppies, kittens,/ all in funny hats and mittens," with the animals silhouetted against a clean white background, gives way to more visually scattered and enigmatic paintings as the book progresses. For instance, Charlip surrounds the outlines of empty baby and adult beds with the cluttered images of things seen on previous pages; two spreads later, as the text exhorts the reader to "Go to sleep, my little one./ Sleep and dream now, day is done," the beds surrealistically transform into a sleeping adult and a baby whose egg-shaped body contains these images once again. Unfortunately, Charlip's complicated visual representation of dreaming may be more confusing than comforting to young children; the volume starts off stronger than it finishes. All ages. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the great success of Sleepytime Rhyme grew this new book. Charlip writes, "At readings of Sleepytime Rhyme, children would point to the little figures in each window and call out, 'baby kitten,' 'baby bird,' 'baby cloud,' or 'baby heart,' although these images were not mentioned in the text. After seeing how young children were fascinated by babies, I decided to give them a whole book of their own." The rhyming text is a catalogue of items that intrigue and interest toddlers:their toys, puppies and kittens, tables and chairs, moon and stars. The pastel palette and Charlip's simple, childlike strokes create a child-friendly look. The pages go from a simple layout with plenty of white space, to cluttered and then back to simple as the illustrations go from morning to night. Although toddlers may enjoy pointing out and saying the names of the objects, this somehow lacks the warmth and magic of Sleepytime Rhyme. 2002, Greenwillow/HarperCollins, $15.95. Ages 1 to 4. Reviewer:Sharon Salluzzo
PreS-This book celebrates the world of a preschooler with verve and excitement. The short rhyming couplets center on Wombat, who makes decisions about what he would like to do all day long. Some activities are joyous, bouncy, and exuberant; others are quiet and reflective. Wombat is surrounded by a passel of rabbit, koala, and insect friends that join in the activities. The scenery is beautifully painted, and the composition of the illustrations adds to the whimsy. The small creature travels from forest to ocean to desert, and finally back to his comforting home, where his mother waits for him. Wombat is buoyant and darling, charming and fun. This simple picture book will keep kids hopping as they mimic his activities.-Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
A small, gentle, loving lullaby, in a perfect marriage of text and image. Using watercolor washes to illustrate in the most straightforward fashion his simple text, Charlip (Why I Will Never Ever Ever Ever Have Enough Time to Read This Book, 2000, etc.) rhymes his way into the heart: "Baby hearts . . . / And baby flowers. / Baby clouds / and baby showers." He goes on to baby bunnies and kittens, baby books, tables, and toys, and closes with "Go to sleep now, moon and stars, / Trees and houses, bees and cars. / Go to sleep, my little one. / Sleep and dream now, day is done." A circus pyramid of smiling hearts leads into a marvelous double-page spread of mama sunflowers, thistles, columbines, and bluebells holding their flower babies; each baby cloud and raindrop has a rainbow-hued mama cloud or silver mama raindrop beside it. Cars, trees, birds, books, pets, and stars are all shown in parent/child dyad. The colors are soft but not saccharine, the music of the spare verse is lulling, comforting, and full of solace and reassurance. Dulcet bedtime reading. (Picture book. 2-5)