April 2, 2012

I Kissed the Baby!

I Kissed the Baby!
By Mary Murphy; illus. by author
No Author Site
0-2 Preschool Candlewick 24 pp.
978-0763621223 Hardcover $12.99

"I saw the baby! Did you see the baby?"

With that we enter I Kissed the Baby!, Mary Murphy's enthusiastic rendering of the excitement surrounding a new arrival. The black and white graphic illustrations are big and easy for young eyes to see. The text bounces enthusiastically around each animal as they ask each other if they've seen the baby, or sung to the baby or kissed the baby. Murphy uses color sparingly, with colors like magenta and orange appearing only at one edge of each page until the new arrival appears - a little yellow duckling smiling up at his mama. When asked by the mouse if she's kissed the baby, the mama duck replies that she has kissed the baby, her own "amazing baby" and that she's "going to do it again!", which she does, sending the duckling into a flurry of happy quacking.

Murphy's sing-song text builds rhythmically to the end, mimicking the black and white illustrations that explode suddenly with pinks and yellows when the mama duck kisses her baby, thus revealing the identity of the new arrival. It's a charming story, one that lends itself to lap reads with a new human baby as it provides plenty of rhythm, visual stimulation and opportunities for kisses along the way. I Kissed the Baby! is also a nice way to engender enthusiasm in a reluctant older sibling or include an already enthusiastic new big brother or sister in the celebratory mood. A good read for an important time, I Kissed the Baby! is a rollicking way to celebrate any new baby, duckling or otherwise.

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