Fiona’s Friends (Dr. John Hutton)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Fiona’s Friends, written by Dr. John Hutton and featuring photographs by the Cincinatti Zoo and Botanical Garden, a sequel to the adorable Fiona’s Feelings starring the internet’s favorite little hippo, Fiona.

Baby Fiona is back, this time with a whole crew of equally adorable young denizens of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. After a quick intro featuring Fiona, the reader then meets ten other species of baby or juvenile animals, including favorites – such as a giraffe and tiger cub – and less familiar creatures such as a takin and an aardvark. Each creature is introduced by name and a short, baby-friendly sentence about their personality. At the end, the text cheerfully points out that all of Fiona’s friends are different and special, just like you!

Oh. My. Cuteness. This was a delightful yet engaging yet adorable romp through some irresistible baby animals, and it was a joy. I really appreciated the inclusion of animals that aren’t in every other baby animal book, like the red panda and a white-feathered baby flamingo; it gave JJ a chance to learn the names of some new animals while also letting her recognize familiar ones. This sequel manages to fix the issues from the first book – all the photos are clear and showcase the animals perfectly, and the rhyming text is bouncy, fun to read, and full of charm. This was just wonderful, and perfect for little ones who love to look at furred, feathered, and of course, Fiona friends. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Next To You: A Book Of Adorableness (Lori Haskins Houran)

Hello, everyone! Our book today is Next To You: A Book Of Adorableness, written by Lori Haskins Houran and illustrated by Sydney Hanson, a sweet and slyly funny book of baby animals who are just… too gosh darn cute.

There are lots of very cute animals. A baby deer learning to stand up. A line of fuzzy little ducklings. A baby pig wearing a teeny, tiny sweater. However, all these animals have some pretty stiff competition lately. Oh, sure, the soft little puppy is adorable, the row of wee possums precious, and well, I mean…. have you SEEN a newborn giraffe? But the fact of the matter is, there one thing that’s got all the most adorable little baby animals in the world beat for adorableness. And, of course, that’s you!

This book is the kind of self-aware, subtle humor that I love in kidlit. The text has a tongue-in-cheek quality that subverts the cutesy-ness of some children’s books while paying homage to it, and it makes it really fun to read aloud. The Golden Books-reminiscent illustrations are exceedingly precious, and are paired perfectly with the sometimes silly but often sincere narrative. The length is great, and JJ really enjoys this one, especially because she can practice identifying animals. This is a surprisingly fun read, and we always enjoy it. Baby Bookworm approved!

Little Bitty Friends (Elizabeth McPike & Patrice Barton)


Summer Reading Day 46: Today’s selection was Little Bitty Friends by Elizabeth McPike & Patrice Barton. It’s a really sweet book about children exploring the world of “little bitty” animals and plants told in rhyme. It’s got cute illustrations and was a great length for JJ, and… well, that’s about it. The book had nothing really objectionable, but it felt very generic for a children’s book, the same story and rhyme scheme you’ve read a hundred times before. Still, it’s very cute. Thumbs up.