March 6, 2012
My First Taggies Book: I Love You
By Kaori Wantanabe; illus. by author
No Author Site
0-1 Cartwheel 6 pp.
978-0439649476 Ragbook $12.99
The text of this felted flannel ragbook is reassuring and warm - "I love Mommy / Mommy loves me / I love Daddy / Daddy loves me / I love you / You love me." The textured, stitched illustrations show a baby bear being cuddled and hugged by its mama and papa bear respectively. Everything about I Love You is tactile - the book is made out of the same soft, snuggly, (machine washable), material as baby blankets and pajamas, while Wantanabe's furry, satiny, cottony illustrations populate the flannel background with a homey inevitabilty, giving a baby lots to touch and feel. The great marketing feature of the Taggies books is the set of satin tags that line the outside edges, ostensibly giving the baby something to chew, though my daughter prefers the manufacturer's tag much more than it's charming counterparts. Still, I Love You is the friendliest of books, literally designed to cuddle, gum and hold, while providing parents with a simple, easy to memorize text that can be easily embellished to suit. While it might be boring to a child over one, it is a perfectly designed friend for infants and pre-walkers. As a first introduction to books, I Love You gives babies a chance to explore different textures and colors while learning to "turn" the fat cloth pages and browse the contents, all while hearing the most comforting words - that "Mommy (and Daddy) loves me".