Baby days by Alison Lester

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781760111724
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Childhood, Family. Four stories, first published in 1989 are reprinted here in one very tactile book. The plump cover of this child friendly sized book entices the reader to open up and read the pictures and the text. Around the edges of the cover are a handful of different images: carrots, apples, sunflowers, a rainbow, the moon and stars and several animals, framing a picture of mum and her children with their toys in the centre of the page. Children will love to look at all the things presented, and look for them being repeated inside.
Once opening the book, each page is again framed by smaller images, all easily recognised by the younger reader, begging to be pointed at and discussed. The four stories, Bibs and boots, Bumping and bouncing, Crashing and splashing, Happy and sad, reflect activities within the family with warmth and humour. The first talks about the linking of some clothes to particular events and times within the family, while the next two are all about movement, and the last tells us of the range of emotions shown by a new baby in the house until finally everyone is happy to see him in bed.
Each has short rhyming lines which will encourage children to join in when reading aloud, predicting what the next word might be, and trying to tell the line themselves.
Each beautiful page is simply luminous, Lester's recognisable style of illustration demanding attention as the family is shown in all of its variety. It is intimate and at the same time representative of all families, showing the scope of activities and dramas which occur everyday. A lovely book to share.
Fran Knight