Welcome, Baby by B. Reid
Reid, Barbara. Welcome, Baby. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2013. Print.
As with Reid's other books, the focus of Welcome Baby is the author's superb hand-sculpted plasticine illustrations. They are all bright, colourful and contain small charming details such as: framed family photos, the stubble on a new father's unshaven face, and a baby's missing sock and tiny bare foot. The story is addressed to a new baby and presents the joys of welcoming the new arrival into the family. There are images of babies snuggling with Moms and Dads, interacting with grandparents, playing with siblings and friends and enjoying the great outdoors in all four seasons.
The characters are racially diverse and household scenes are very realistic. A father and baby nap in the couch amidst a sea of toys and clothes strewn about the living room carpet. The narrative features a simple rhyme scheme that would appeal to young children. There are usually only 5-7 words per page and it alternates between text and image. The colour of the textual pages alternates between yellow and blue to create interest without overwhelming the images on the opposite side.
The meaning of the text corresponds well to the images and conveys playful metaphors. For example, in one image we see rain and clouds through a large window. In the foreground a baby flashes a joyful smile while holding her father's finger. He is wearing a sports jersey. The text reads: "You will be our sunshine, We'll be your biggest fans." This book is ideal for the nursery or preschool library. It would make a fantastic gift for parents-to-be and could also be read to a sibling before the birth to allow them to share in the excitement and anticipation.
Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Kim Frail
Kim is a Public Services Librarian at the H.T. Coutts Education Library at the University of Alberta. Children’s literature is a big part of her world at work and at home. She also enjoys gardening, renovating and keeping up with her kids.