Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book Review: Good Night, Baby Animals, You’ve Had a Busy Day by Karen B. Winnick and illustrated by Laura Watkins

Title: Good Night, Baby Animals, You’ve Had a Busy Day
Author: Karen B. Winnick
Illustrator: Laura Watkins

First line: When baby elephants are born, they don't know how to use their trunk. from 'Baby Elephant's Little Trunk'

Review: Unabridged Toddler and I were both completely charmed by this book, which is a collection of six stories about busy baby animals easing their way to sleep.

Featuring animals that all kids seem to be familiar with (even if they've never seen them in real life!), these sweet stories are beautifully illustrated with soft, warm depictions of animal parents and children.

I loved that the stories are gentle and positive without being cloying; there's a rhythm to the text but it doesn't have an irritating rhyme that will echo in your head hours later.

Each story has a different plot -- tigers exploring, an elephant learning to use its trunk, a newborn giraffe trying to eat, an imaginative rhino, a wandering panda, and a playful gorilla -- which makes this a great book for the bedtime read rotation. There are elements in every story that appealed to my two-year-old, like the giraffe nursing, and I appreciated Winnick's and Watkins' understanding of what children find interesting!

Five of the six stories feature only mother and child, while the last story, 'Time to Play, Baby Gorilla', features a mother and father as well as extended "relatives". The concluding pages of the book feature animal facts, which should appeal to older readers (or anyone with trivia-obsessed toddlers, like me!).

You can view sample pages at the publisher's website (and do -- the art is so gorgeous!). At 64-pages, this is a great volume to buy for yourself or gift to parents, and I'm so appreciative we've got this one in our rotation.

Genre: Fiction (Children's / Picture / Animals / Mothers and Babies)
Publisher/Publication Date: Henry Holt and Co. (1/24/17)
Source: The publisher