Good Morning Baby by Cheryl Willis Hudson, Illustrated by George Ford.
Cartwheel, Scholastic, 1992.
Board book, 10 pages.
A little girl starts her day.
Most of the diverse board books we’ve found have been somewhere between mediocre and excellent. This one certainly tries, but can’t overcome unrealistic illustrations.
If you’re familiar with infants or toddlers, you might have found the cover image a bit… off. Sadly, the interior is just as bad if not worse. The perspective on the second page is way off, making the image look fairly creepy. Although the little girl featured is still in a regular crib, she’s then pictured sitting alone of top of the toilet, using the towel bar to keep from falling!
In the first picture (waking up after sleeping), her hair is up in a puff tied with a bow. She’s then shown brushing her hair, and in the next, getting dressed picture her hair is up exactly the same way as the waking up picture. This is unrealistic in that a child that age would be independently doing her hair (but then have trouble putting on a shirt). Plus as a parent if a kid is dressing themselves at that age, I would do the cute hairstyle after she’s dressed, not before when it’s likely to get squashed as she tries to put her head through the shirt.
Perspective is again off on the next picture where baby is eating breakfast in a high chair (once again giving the lie to the bathroom illustration). Finally, on the last spread, a male caregiver picks baby up and is carrying her and all her things off to start the day.
While I’m sure this was welcomed back in the early 90s, when diverse board books were in even shorter supply than they are today, I can’t help but wonder if the illustrator had any experience drawing children or even just being around a child before.
Hudson’s rhyming text is okay, and with a different illustrator this book could have worked. But as it stands I cannot recommend this book to anyone. This is the first in a series, but it’s the only one we’ll be reading.
Winter 2020 Update: We had a little boy over who was absolutely enthralled with this book and wanted to read it again and again. I was happy to give it to him. Just goes to show, every book its reader, every reader their book!