We’re Happy You’re Here

Orca. Mar. 2024. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459836488.
Baby–All-inclusive in intention, and written mostly for adults with newborns in their care, the sparse text speaks in general terms to babies about the special people who dreamed, planned, prepared, waited, and shared their different strengths to bring that special child into the world. The illustrations team with a diverse cast of families, sometimes in multiple vignettes to a spread, and include single, disabled, and LBGTQIA+ nurturers. With a realistic style and crystalline colors, the pictures convey the happy anticipation of new babies, and, in the closing pages, the welcoming atmosphere of a multifamily backyard cookout. As much as they may enjoy poring over the details in the pictures and the loving tone, the small humans the book is intended for will need a lot of assistance to interpret such things as the woman working in a foster care office, a woman in a lab coat looking into a microscope, two women in a bathroom with a pregnancy test, or a man in the attic holding an old teddy bear.
VERDICT Well-meaning and attractive, this book will find its main audience among adults who appreciate inclusivity and sharing books out loud.

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