A review of You and Me, Baby by Lynn Reiser and Penny Gentieu

Reviewed by Molly Martin

You and Me, Baby
by Lynn Reiser and Penny Gentieu
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Hardcover: 40 pages, October 10, 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0375834011

Lynn Reiser and Penny Gentieu have teamed to produce a lovely work, You and Me, Baby, suitable for gifting young parents, older siblings and the baby him or herself. Magnificent prints of charismatic and engaging babies as well as their parents representing diverse cultures are used to generate an appealing picture book depicting outsized, full page, graphic of a toddler and parent as they interact with smiles, loving glances and the delight of enjoyment of babyhood generally found concerning parents and their children.

“Hey, baby! Look at you, looking at me”, begins the text. Unpretentious words appropriate for reading aloud by parent from earliest days in their child’s life. The first pair depicted are a mom and her little one as they act together while sitting on the floor together. The following duo shows a young dad and his child, Wow, baby! Look at you, waving at me. The fun of entertaining play and warmth of affection are obvious as baby responds to dad’s or mom’s care.

Illustrations showing beaming, happy babies, most showing a brand new tooth or two, resonate with the enormity of responsibility, love and sentiment parents and children are developing as they together inaugurate the life journey upon which they find themselves.

“Now, baby! Look at me, smiling at you, smiling at me, feeding you”, portrays a healthy, happy baby first having her mom offer a spoonful of something tasty and then a shot of mom and baby sharing a cuddle. Continuing the loving interaction between parent and child we read, Ooooh, baby! Look at you, splashing me, splashing you revealing an infant clearly relishing the daily bath; a time most parents treasure as their baby splashes and plays.

“Oh, baby! Look at you, looking at me” brings a towel draped baby just from her bath laughing, enjoying mom’s kisses to the sole of her foot while smiling at her mom. Moms and dads of varied ethnic and racial backgrounds and babies are shown to perfection in this lovely picture book. Each snapshot features an ordinary contact between parent and baby, including smiling, feeding, hugging, playing peek-a-boo; the common repertoire parents and babies have enjoyed for generations. Large full page close-ups are filled with expressions and actions often seen between parents and children.

I like the minimal, repetitive text. Large engaging photos of children appearing as aged few months to about 12 months clearly illustrate the text while helping to promote language development for reader and the babies and children to whom they are reading.

I was sent an arc for review. I found You and Me, Baby to be a large, well-made picture book and am happy to recommend You and Me, Baby as a baby shower possibility for young parents welcoming their first child, as well as a gift possibility for older siblings who are also awaiting the birth of the baby who will become part of their lives as well as that of the parents.