I Love You, Baby Burrito by Angela Dominquez

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I Love You, Baby Burrito by Angela Dominquez (9781250231093)

A Latinx family welcomes a new baby in this picture book where Spanish and English mix in the text. The new parents welcome the baby home. They gaze at the perfect little face, touch fingers and toes. The baby is fed after getting a bit fussy, then burped too. It’s eventually time for a siesta, achieved with a clever burrito fold of the blanket that leaves that cute little face showing. The book ends with bedtime and being kissed goodnight.

Perfect for new older siblings who are still toddlers themselves, this book shows what to expect on a baby’s first day. There will be lots of gazing in bliss at the new little face, exploring fingers and toes, and sleeping. The Latinx family bursts with love and warmth on the page, showing how adored and longed for this new baby is. The text is simple and weaves Spanish into the English sentences. A glossary of the Spanish words is included at the end of the book.

The illustrations are simple and full of light. They were done with watercolor, colored pencil and Photoshop. The quiet greens and blues carry from the cover through the entire book, creating a unified vision.

A lovely glimpse of a baby’s first day. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Roaring Brook Press.

Ten Beautiful Things by Molly Beth Griffin

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Ten Beautiful Things by Molly Beth Griffin, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga (9781580899369)

Lily was traveling with her Gram to Gram’s house in Iowa where Lily was going to live now. Gram suggested that on the long drive they discover ten beautiful things. Lily looked out the window but couldn’t find a single beautiful thing. Just then, the sun broke the horizon, and Lily had found her first beautiful thing. As they traveled, Lily’s stomach would hurt and she would feel very sad, but before she could get too sad, another beautiful thing would appear. There was a wind farm, a creek, even a decaying old barn. The smell of the muddy earth was one that Lily discovered and picked. Towards the end of their journey, a thunderstorm broke over them, filling up the entire space, and definitely making itself number 9. Then they were at Gram’s house. What would be number 10? Gram knew just the thing.

Griffin’s writing is deeply empathetic to Lily and the changes happening in her life. Lily’s emotions about the change are right at the surface, causing her stomach to ache and for her to sometimes withdraw. Gram is the perfect response to that, feeding her crackers and carefully building a relationship as the miles went by. The structure of counting beautiful things creates a way for readers to experience the unique beauty of the Midwest and Iowa in particular. The use of a storm to both symbolize the turmoil of life and also the clearing of the air is especially well done.

The illustrations are done digitally and with watercolor textures. From the drama of the storm that takes over the pages, filling them with wind, rain and lightning to the dazzle of sun as they reach Gram’s house with a page that glows with hope, this book shows emotions on the page clearly and with real skill.

A quiet book where readers can experience the beauty of nature and the wonder of a new family being built. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Charlesbridge.