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Reading to Baby

By Margaret Wild &  Hannah Sommerville

Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

Margaret Wild is the award winning author of many picture books including Jenny Angel (which was inspired by her brother’s death at the age of seven), illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, Fox, illustrated by Ron Brooks and The Very Best of Friends, illustrated by Julie Vivas, all winners of the CBC Picture Book of the Year Award. Hannah Sommerville has illustrated more than ten picture books including Jetty Jumping which won the 2022 CBCA Book of the Year – Early Childhood award.
Reading to Baby is an affirmation of the importance of reading to a child. Four brothers each take on different roles as their baby sister, Dora, grows up –  including  making her laugh, rocking her to sleep, and  blowing bubbles for her. As she gets older these change to teaching her how to throw a ball, jumping puddles with her and playing chasey with her. The activities change and become more complex as Dora grows from baby to toddler to pre-school child.
Of all the brothers Peter is the only one who has read to her from the moment she was born. While the other brothers prepare her and help her navigate the world around her, Peter leads her into a world of imagination filled with wonder and magic.
This is a gentle exploration of the ways that helpful and supportive siblings interact and learn from each other. Hannah Sommerville shows the children enjoying each other’s company, sharing many events that mark a child’s life. The charming illustrations in soft muted colours give an idealised picture of growing up loved in a large family.
Children will enjoy following Dora as she grows and develops into a reader, something that this book encourages every child to become.
Affirm Press 2024
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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