Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review in SLJ

Here a review of The Very Tiny Baby in School Library Journal.  I am very pleased with the line I have highlited:

KANTOROVITZ, Sylvie. The Very Tiny Baby. illus. by Sylvie Kantorovitz. 32p. Charlesbridge. Mar. 2014. RTE $14.95. ISBN 9781580894456; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781607346357. LC 2012038697.

K-Gr 2–Jacob’s parents are excited about their expected baby, but the child isn’t so sure he wants to share the limelight. Then when the infant arrives too early and everyone–even grandma–is so preoccupied with its survival that they don’t pay much attention to him, he’s certain that the new baby is a bad idea. When the baby improves and eventually comes home, though, Jacob, assured of his parents’ love, is ready to assume his roles as big brother and helper. The hand-lettered text appears in several framed rectangles of varying sizes on each page. Most rectangles contain ink drawings colored with gouache and pencils. Although text and illustrations have a childlike quality, the story doesn’t gloss over how fragile life is for preemies, the anxieties experienced by family members, and even the complaints, often expressed here through the mouth of his stuffed bear, of a sibling who feels left out. A striking example is the solid black rectangle covering a page on which Jacob declares, “I wish the baby would die.” Pumping of breast milk, hospital visit precautions, and care of preemies are all depicted. This story can provide information and comfort to youngsters experiencing worry about a sibling born prematurely or even for those who are preparing to share parents with a new brother or sister. –Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

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