Stay My Baby

Orca. Sept. 2023. 20p. Board $10.95. ISBN 9781459836150.
Toddler-PreS–For some parents, the speed of childhood is sad or frustrating or confusing. This might be a book for those parents hoping to preserve babyhood. In simple sentences, Button writes the things parents might think while looking at their baby. Over the board book’s few pages, a sentence is placed on one page, with the opposing page showing a full-color photo of a baby. While there is a conversation to have about slowing down the speed of childhood, in light of the pressures children may face to grow up too fast, this title is essentially an adult board book. It serves to sentimentalize babyhood for the benefit of adults. Inclusive photographs of babies and families give this book a beautiful multiverse of babyhood, but the overall theme seems to contradict the inclusive visuals.
VERDICT Being a baby is part of childhood, but this book laments more than celebrates a child’s growth.

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