Baby Love

With a touching story and illustrations to match, “Baby Love” by Angela DiTerlizzi will strike a chord with parents captivated by the joy a baby brings. This winsome board book is the Baby Buzz Pick for January.

Each month The Missourian features a hardcover book for children birth to age 5. A review of the book appears in the second weekend issue of the newspaper. The reviews are written by Chris Stuckenschneider, Missourian book editor, and Maria Brady-Smith, former parent-educator with the Washington School District. The following review was written by Stuckenschneider:

Smiles will abound when reading “Baby Love,” spare, poetic text by DiTerlizzi, and illustrations by Brooke Boynton Hughes, revealing an ordinary day in the life of a cherished toddler, “Rosy cheeks. Button nose.”

We meet the child playing in the front yard with a garden hose, alongside a cute white dog. The baby’s parents are nearby tending flowers bordering their cottage, a cat lolling lazily on the porch.

With a page-turn we see a messy, muddied baby, but Mommy doesn’t mind. She lifts her child up for a “Sweet kiss.”

A bath is necessary, both parents looking on as baby splashes amidst bubbles, Daddy using a rubber ducky to tease out a smile, “Yes, it must be baby love.” There’s time for play afterwards, and toys once neatly contained are scattered here and there until the toddler finally collapses in a child’s pose on top of his beloved teddy bear.

Mommy’s hands extend to scoop the child up for nighty-night time, Daddy bringing the required toy, “Soft blankie. Snuggly bear.” Then “Lullaby. Rocking chair. Sweet kiss. Warm hug.”

Bedtime routine complete, the parents stand transfixed, watching their little one slumber in a closing spread many a mommy and daddy will identify with.

Sharing this board book with little ones will help them see a baby going through routines like they do, giving them a sense of what comes next in a day. Familial, unconditional love, like the parents show in “Baby Love,” is necessary for growth and development and helps children to become independent.

This sweet book will give the entire family the “feel goods.”