by George Ivanoff - March 14th, 2013
Combine some adorably cute animal photos with some lovely, heartfelt, poetic text. What do you get? Corinne Fenton’s new picture book, Hey Baby!. Actually, it came out late last year… I’m just a little behind the times.
My review copy arrived last year and I immediately read the book to my then three-year-old daughter (now four), Lexi. She loved it! And the book promptly disappeared into her collection. So, when I sat down to write the review… I couldn’t find the book. But a couple of days ago, when I asked Lexi what she wanted as her bed-time story that evening, she came running up to me with Hey Baby!. I read it to her and we enjoyed it all over again. But this time I made sure to take it with me.
Corinne Fenton (author of books such as Flame Stands Waiting and Queenie) has written a delightful message to a newborn baby. It is only two sentences long — but what absolutely perfect sentences they are. Each word is just right. And together they convey such emotion. I defy any parent to read this book and not connect with these words. Writing such a short book is by no means an easy task. Words must be chosen oh so carefully. So hats off to Corinne for the words she chose.
I’m not normally a fan of picture books that throw together a bunch of stock photos. But this book pulls it off. They are well chosen photos. Lexi certainly loved them. She made sure that I didn’t turn the pages too fast, as she wanted to name each of the animals and talk about what they were doing.
My only negative comment is the presentation of four of the photos. Most of the photos, including those on the front and back cover, have the animals on a white background. No distractions — the reader’s attention focussed directly onto the animals. But four of the photos are presented differently, with animals in situ. They are a bit jarring and lack the impact of the other photos. The graphic designer’s choice, perhaps? (OW! My graphic designer wife just hit me.) But this is a minor quibble. It’s still a pretty awesome book.
Okay… now that I’ve finished the review I can give the book back to Lexi.
Catch ya later, George
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