All of Those Babies

S. & S./Beach Lane. Feb. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781665921442.
PreS-K–Larsen’s (How to Put Your Parents to Bed, etc.) refrain, “For babies are babies, but everyone knows/ that everyone, everyone, everyone GROWS,” is the main theme, but along the way, readers learn that, “Wombats have joeys./ Lambs come from sheep. /Puffins have pufflings, and sandpipers, peeps.” Joyful, rollicking rhymes without a single instance of awkward phrasing make this a glorious read-aloud, and there’s plenty for the adult reader too: Echidnas have puggles! Hawks have eyas! Laberis’s animation-style illustrations are expressive and full of whimsy and movement with animals laughing, frollicking, wobbling, and growing, of course. They are realistic enough to show what each baby animal looks like and give an especially informative view showing animals at many different developmental stages on the refrain pages. Perhaps inevitably, the book ends with human babies who are shown in a variety of skin tones and hair colors, with one particularly charming illustration of a family of three, with brown skin and black hair, and a just-as-winsome horse family.
VERDICT Recommended for curious preschoolers and even early elementary children, for any collection that answers questions about what makes up families.

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