Monday, March 16, 2015

‘Where Is Baby?’ (Book Review)

There are many books designed to introduce babies and toddlers to prepositions used to describe spatial relationships (e.g., above, below, in, out). Where Is Baby? by Bonnie Ferrante (Single Drop Publishing, 2014) is not as attractive as most of them. The basic idea – using an actual baby’s photographs to illustrate the concepts – is clever, but the finished product lacks the sort of polish that most shoppers are often looking for in toddler books.

Where most similar books succeed and this one fails is with the pictures. They need to convey clearly what is said in the narrative. When “Baby is peeking around the chair,” the chair is barely shown. Ditto for “behind the door.” “Baby is below the tree” looks like “in front of” and really should be “under.” “Baby is under the hat” should’ve been replaced with “The hat is on Baby.” And unless the reader is introduced to “Baby’s sisters,” there’s no way a child will be able to identify the older girls that way. Not unless the child is the one featured in all of the pictures.

While I do like the feel of the book, the cut-and-paste cover makes it look like a DYI project. Inside, the pictures are nice and large. However, some are not in the best focus, and others are too dark. The selection was probably made from a previous album rather than a planned photo shoot. It’s the sort of book you’d flip through and think, “I can do this.” And I agree. Take your own baby’s photos, and make your own book. You’ll be happier with the result, even if it looks amateurish, and your child will be thrilled.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a First Reads giveaway winner on There was no obligation to write a review.