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BUSY BABIES by Amy Schwartz Kirkus Star


by Amy Schwartz ; illustrated by Amy Schwartz

Pub Date: May 14th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4814-4510-8
Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

A brisk, rhyming text describes the actions of infants and toddling 1- and 2-year-olds, shown in daily activities with their parents, grandparents, and caregivers.

Clean, white backgrounds and a tall, vertically oriented trim accommodate some pages with two to four spot illustrations and a few with full-page views of the entrancing tykes in action. The children and adults include people of different ethnicities and several grandparents or caregivers with gray hair as well as dads and grandpas taking an active role with their little ones. Some children are still babes in arms or just sitting up, but most are walking (or running!) on their own and beginning to exert their independence. All sorts of activities are portrayed: eating and napping, visiting parks and an art museum, and typical toddler mischief such as emptying a wastebasket. The brief text repeats the titular phrase, followed by action phrases describing each activity, with a loose, pleasant rhyme scheme. The tiny tykes themselves have slightly oversized, round heads with teeny dots for eyes, and their adorable outfits include bright colors and patterns as well as one little one in a purple velveteen dress. The final page shows a toddler with a tricycle (but no helmet) and the concluding phrase, “Busy babies / Just like you!” Any child 2 or older will not want to be called a baby (though older siblings might be happy to), but that’s a small quibble in an otherwise captivating story.

A charming look at the lives of little ones, all fortunate to be cherished and cared for by loving adults.

(Picture book. 2-5)