Friday, February 12, 2010

A Snuggle and a (Light) Lesson

Just by observing babies and toddlers, we can see how much they absorb through their eyes, nose, and fingers. They want to taste and touch everything. (That’s why board books are perfect at this age – if they wind up in your baby’s mouth, the pages can handle it.)

Four board books by husband-and-wife team Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben—Daddy Cuddles; Mommy Loves; Daddy Kisses; and Mommy Hugs—encourage cuddling and tickling between you and your toddler listener as your child learns about other animals and their young. Many of the creatures will already be familiar to babies and toddlers, but some of the animals’ behavior may not be—the fact that male penguins keep their young warm by tucking them under their bellies and between their legs, or that elephants show affection by intertwining their trunks. These scenes reassure young children by showing them a range of different animals that love their babies, while also introducing them to new words--like the koala’s “joey”—and also new environments through illustrations of the Antarctic or the Serengeti plains.

The impressionistic brushstrokes in the artwork keep the mood playful; this is no science lesson. Still, your youngsters will delight in being able to name and point to young animals who, just like them, have someone older and wiser looking out for them and giving them an encouraging squeeze, tickle, or offering a trunk to intertwine with theirs…


  1. Hi Jenny,

    I've awarded you the Prolific Blogger Award here:

    I really enjoy how thoughtful your posts are, and always check out your book recommendations. Thanks for sharing your insights with the world!


  2. Rebecca, I'm honored! What a wonderful way to start the weekend! Thank you so much -- I love the idea of an award that creates a community and appreciate that you've invited me into it.