March 8, 2012

More, More, More Said the Baby

More, More, More Said the Baby: Three Love Stories
By Vera B. Williams; illus. by author
No Author Site
0-4 Preschool Greenwillow 32 pp.
978-0688091736 Hardcover $17.99

More, More, More Said the Baby is as joyful a book as the title suggests, and the subtitle, 3 Love Stories, couldn't be more accurate. Williams, who won the Caldecott Honor for her effort, offers babies (and toddlers) and their grown-ups an exuberant celebration of love, play and happiness. More, More, More Said the Baby is effortlessly multigenerational and multicultural. The first "baby", Little Guy, and his daddy are white, the second "baby", Little Pumpkin, is African-American while her grandma is white, and the third "baby", Little Bird, and her mom are Asian-American. Williams makes no effort to point out the differences or similarities in each pair. She simply presents each short narrative in warm, colloquial language ("But Little Guy's Daddy catches that baby up all right") and expertly rhythmic prose ("Just look at you with your ten little toes right on the ends, right on the ends, right on the ends of your two little feet, good enough to eat"), underscoring the universality of the love expressed by each couple. The language can only be described as bubbly, almost leaping off the page in rainbow colors. It's not only fun to read, but it's wonderful hear read aloud. Little ones will be especially taken in by the effortless repetition of sounds, words and patterns in each narrative. Williams illustrations, though expertly rendered, have a spontaneous, active quality to them with wide brush-strokes and bold colors, that further supports the playfulness of the text. While this would be a good book for toddler storytimes, the real strength of More, More, More Said the Baby is the affection and love it unlocks between a baby and her grown-up, making it an especially great read for intimate storytimes at home. I can already hear the giggles of parents and babies playing and snuggling, inspired by the down-to-earth sweetness of Williams' work.

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