Review Blog

Nov 09 2012

Hey Baby by Corinne Fenton

cover image

Black Dog Books (Walker Books Australia), 2012. Hardcover, full colour photographs. ISBN; 978 1 742032 49 8.
(Age : Under 8's) Highly recommended. This book was produced with assistance of the Australian Council for the Arts, and what a piece of good fortune that is, because it's just delightful. The message is just as beautiful as the full colour photographs, which leap off the page and draw the reader right in.
While this is described as a 'love letter to baby', it doesn't feel at any point cliched or cloying (as so many books of its ilk do) - more honest, heartfelt and genuine. The photographs of the animals are bold and sweet, cute and funny, all at the same time, and they add a whole extra layer of meaning and movement to the story.
It would have been easy with a book such as this to fall into the trap of having dappled watercolour illustrations, but the book has shied away from this, and I think this is the key to its success. There is enough going on on each page to keep even the most wriggly toddler enraptured, while you hope that the message of love is sinking in through the wiggles.
This would make a great book for reading before leaving for childcare, preschool or school. I read this with a just starting schooler, on his way out the door, in order to ease some of those 'first days of school' nerves, and it was just perfect for that.
A highly recommended addition to any home or early childhood bookshelf, to be read often to the under 8's.
Freya Lucas

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