- Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown
Brown, Tameka Fryer Brown Baby Lullaby; illus. by AG Ford. Farrar, 2020 32p Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-374-30752-3 $16.99 R 1-3 yrs
Sturdy, affectionate verse follows a bouncy tyke revving up through the evening playtime, dinner, and bath, concluding with his parents revving the tot back down for bedtime. The form, four-line stanzas ending with an address to or celebration of the baby ("Come, my sweet brown baby"; "Papi's brilliant baby"), is easy for little ears (and tired readers-aloud) to follow. The springy rhyme is sweet without being saccharine ("Hands together as we bless/Food that will wind up a mess"), and touches of Spanish ("Keep some agua in the tub!") and neat phrasing ("Clean and fresh and toddler-chic") add verve. While drafting in the watercolor illustrations is sometimes stiff, the energetic kid has an appropriately impish look that helps add [End Page 203] fizz to the beaming sunniness of the family portrayal. This has high baby shower appeal, but it also has vigor, snap, and charm to suit the actual kid audience.