Author(s): Melissa Marr
When I found you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. I held you close so you were warm. The world can seem like a big, bewildering place for new babies-but fortunately their mamas know just how to sooth and comfort them. This beautiful text celebrates the many ways a child is made to feel at home in the world. Through enchanting scenes portraying all kinds of mama animals caring for their little ones, the mother in this story reassures her baby, and young children everywhere, that their caretakers will always love them and keep them safe. The apt comparisons to baby animals and their mothers makes for a book that's both playfully sweet and visually captivating.
This uplifting, gorgeous picture book has the feel of a classic, and its heartwarming premise should make it a family favourite.
-Young children love to pretend they're baby animals--it's an opportunity to explore the world in new ways, while ensuring their nurturers remain close at hand. In novelist Marr's (the Wicked Lovely series) first picture book, a mother plays along, imagining her baby and herself as six different animals as she lovingly tracks its development. 'Then you whimpered and meowed, and I thought you might be a thirsty kitten, ' she says. 'I offered you some milk so you would not be hungry.' White's (Adventures with Barefoot Critters) restrained detailing, smudged colors, and frequent use of circular framings give her watercolors a vintage-looking, pastoral prettiness. It's also fun to see how the mother retains her essential 'momness' regardless of what species she assumes: as a lizard, she wears green pearls and carries an over-the-shoulder bag. With its emphasis on motherly pacifying, this warmhearted story is best suited for younger readers who are still happy to consent to all the tender doting that their caretakers are willing to dish out.---Publishers Weekly -A mother's observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals. 'When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.' Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby's squirming kicks remind her of a 'lost kangaroo'; a lifting of the child's head makes her think of a 'curious lizard'; and the little one's howl seems like that of a 'lonely wolf.' Each of the child's behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows 'You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.' The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets. A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families.---Kirkus Reviews -Using examples from nature in which animals care for their young, a human mother describes how she cares for her own baby. She cites bunnies, who are held close; joeys, who are carried in mom's pouch; lizards, who enjoy a patch of warm sun; wolves, who snuggle cozily in a den; kittens, who drink milk; and piggies, who calm down after a bath. When her own baby smiles, Mom replies, 'You are not a bunny-roolizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.' Marr's soothing text ('When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. I held you close so you were warm') should prove calming for lap-sitting infants just beginning to focus on illustrations. White's watercolor and gouache artwork exhibits a cozy feel, with realistically drawn animals posed against simple, recognizable settings. This makes a good choice for one-on-one sharing or as a baby story-hour selection paired with Mary Murphy's I Kissed the Baby! (2003).---Booklist
Melissa Marr (www.melissamarrbooks.com) writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and been bestsellers in the US (New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal) as well as in various countries overseas. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens and the Graveminder series for adults. Bunny Roo, I Love You is her first picture book. She lives in Virginia with her spouse, children, and many dogs. Teagan White (www.teaganwhite.com) wrote and illustrated Adventures with Barefoot Critters. She is a freelance designer and illustrator from Chicago, now living and working in Minnesota, where she earned her BFA in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 2012. Her clients include Target, Papyrus, Anthropologie, Honda, Nike, Wired magazine, and The Washington Post.