Star Bright Books has done a heckuva job with diversity in their board books lately. Last year s My Face Book was particularly well done, showing a child with down syndrome amongst all the other kids. And Babies, Babies! by Debby Slier is unique because without making a big point about it, all the children in this book are African-American. Cradle Me is one of the more interesting titles, featuring different tribes of Native American babies with their own distinct cradle boards. One of these babies could be seen in the previously published board book Global Babies where she looked particularly grumpy. She s not much cheerier here and indeed most of the babies in the book seem kinda dour at first. That s probably a lot to do with how young they are. The back of the book explains each tribe that each child is from, which was good. More to the point, the small fry in my household is gaga over this book. She ll read it on her own if you hand it to her and that, as far as I m concerned, is the mark of a good book. Best of all, it has the Debbie Reese seal of approval. --Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal
It is impossible for me not to have positive feelings when I look at the faces of babies. Debby Slier's Cradle Me had me happily gazing at the faces of babies from eleven different tribal nations in their cradle boards. nside are babies in their cradleboards, smiling, frowning, peeking, touching, crying, yawning, thinking, looking, sleepy, and sleeping. Beneath each of those words is a line for a parent/librarian/teacher to write that word in--perhaps--the Native language of the child the book is being used with. It is a powerful book because the images are photos, not drawings, and because Slier included a two-page spread that specifies each baby's tribal nation.
When you use the book, make sure you use present tense verbs! I recommend it and think you'll enjoy it, too. --Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature
About the Author
Debby Slier has worked as a bookseller and editor and is the author of over 50 children's books. She lives in Massachusetts where she spends much of her time gardening.