That's what I'd do by Jewel

cover image

Ill. Amy June Bates. Simon and Schuster, 2012. Hardback. ISBN: 9781442458130.
This is a beautifully illustrated piece, with the watercolor, gouache, pencil and pastels illustrations lifting the rhyme, which limps along as a story, not flowing very well, but comes into its own as a song.
Mother and baby are pictured in beautiful environments, both indoor and outdoor, with whimsical additions such as hearts, flowers and animals. There are many butterflies to count within the pages, which adds a nice touch, an extra visual focus for the child being read to.
Described by the author as a devotional letter, the book certainly reads that way, at times even a little over the top. I felt that there were opportunities within the illustrations to be more inclusive of diverse parenting practices - for example the mother was pictured feeding the baby with a bottle - however there can be no doubt of the love of the mother for her child in these illustrations.
The content of the story itself is simple and time honoured - if I was a painter, a carpenter, a rabbit, this is what I would do. The mother in the story is clearly besotted with her child, and their relationship which is played out on the pages is a very special one.
I would recommend this book for libraries frequented by new parents of all kinds - there is much about this book which would appeal to mothers in the first flush of baby love.
Freya Lucas