First of a series about the significant relationships in the lives of babies, this chunky, padded board book celebrates Mothers in a simple format that gets right to the heart of the theme without superfluous detail. Reflecting the rise and fall of the day, a gentle start moving towards liveliness, fun and other people then slowly relaxing back into the intimacy of Mother and child settling down for bed at home, the babies go to the seaside and meet up with other Mothers and their children. Whilst I initially balked at the suggestion that Mothers spend their entire lives with their children, not going to work or seeming to have any semblance of a separate identity, we also have to accept that to a very young baby, neither parent is understood to possess an identity independent of its own baby needs. Knowing that this is one of a series means we can hope that future books will focus on nannies, childminders, foster carers and grandparents and especially Dads!
The words are gently rhythmical and soothing making it a great end of the day book where reader and read to can use it to recap and go off piste about their own day. The questioning tone of much of the text ” And this Mummy says, where can that sun hat be?” again allows for the reader to personalise the text and encourages interactivity in suggesting answers to the questions.
Soft colours and gently drawn illustrations (including THE perfect shade of yellow on the cover) make this a book that appeals greatly to adults. It might be a little too subtle for very small babies who gravitate to bolder colours, outlines and graphically distinct facial features. However the illustrations capture perfectly the everyday minutiae of a family day out and it is a book that can grow with a child from the early grabbings of a young baby to the older toddler who can follow a story and expand upon it.
Angie Stevens is the illustrator and is in possession of her own site- Doodlemum and posts a drawing of her family life on her blog every night after her children have gone to sleep, covering everything from holidays to pets, and tantrums to camping.