Woke Baby (Mahogany L. Browne)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Woke Baby, written by Mahogany L. Browne and illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, a baby book that aims to empower the youngest of bookworms.

A tiny baby wakes in their crib, peeking open their eye before the sun has even risen (the baby’s gender is kept ambiguous throughout). The narrator muses on each motion of waking the baby goes through, and the promise of power it shows: stretching out with fists raised to represent the strength of a panther, eyes open, wide and bright and seeing; feet kicking through glass ceilings, and hands reaching for what is theirs. Woke Baby is here, with limitless promise and possibility, and ready to take on the world.

I admit, on my first read-through of this book, I didn’t get it – tying the actions of a waking baby to the symbols and mores of social activism seemed a bit of a stretch. However, by the second time, I began to understand. I think a universal concern for parents is bringing a child into the world that seems to have so many problems, so much that is going wrong and so much that needs to be fixed; that baby needs to be protected from. This story challenges both the adult and little one to look at it a different way, positing that our power and capacity for change is innate, that it’s in every movement and gesture from the time we first raise our first, babble our first thoughts, and open our eyes – “woke” to the world around us. It’s a very subtle but ultimately encouraging and empowering message for little ones. The art is kept simple, using a limited color palette and a command of light and shadow to keep the titular baby as the visual focus. The length was fine for teeny tiny bookworms, and JJ enjoyed it as well. A minimalist book that inspires complex consideration, and very nicely done. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth (Oliver Jeffers)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers, a charmingly sweet welcome guide to our planet for the newest arrivals.

Welcome, new person! Here we are; this is Earth, a big globe spinning in a massively bigger universe, and carrying all of human and plant and animal life as we know it. There are pointy, cold mountains, and hot, flat grasslands, and deep, mysterious oceans (though we can talk more about the latter once you’ve learned to swim). There are all kinds of people here, all different shapes and sizes and colors, but all of them people just like you. There are stars and constellations and planets and solar systems in the skies, and car and cities and animals here on earth, and inside your brain? Oh, there’s the potential for even more than all of that combined! It can be a little overwhelming, but we’ll take it step by step as you grow. And if you have any questions, you can always ask me, or other family, or anyone really. We are here, after all – you’re never alone on Planet Earth.

Phenomenal. Jeffers created Here We Are as a gift for his first child, and it shows in the care, humor, and affection that sing from each page. The art is positively lovely: gorgeous, sweeping land-, sea-, and starscapes blended with Jeffers signature quirky details and characters. A spread featuring dozens of animals makes for delightful identification practice; another featuring a tongue-in-cheeky look at the solar system informs and amuses. The text is clever, sweet, and full of wonder at the world around. The length is great, and JJ absolutely loved it. The rare story that little ones can enjoy more and more and they grow, and that encourages us to be curious and kind. Baby Bookworm approved!

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide For New Arrivals (Mo Willems)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide For New Arrivals by Mo Willems, a hilarious and heartwarming book for brand new baby bookworms and the ones that love them.

Welcome! You have officially been born, and are now experiencing life. It’s a big, complicated thing to do, so we hope that this introductory guide will help you navigate some of the major points, such as what you can expect (friends, music, cats, etc) and what is expected of you (sleeping, eating, pooping, more pooping, etc). Occasionally, there may be disappointments, like injustice or spilled ice cream. But there are people working to make this world better for you all the time, and we can share our ice cream. Overall, there will be much to experience; the good, the bad, and the very silly. So, welcome! We’re so glad that you are you, and that you are here, and that we are reading this book together.

This one was adorable and sweet! Using a instruction manual-style layout and his signature tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, Willems has created a story that captures both the lightness and gravity of welcoming an infant into the family and the world. Sections of silly comedy combine moments of earnest honesty and hope to give the book a weight beyond its whimsy, and simple yet bold block illustrations are perfect for the tiniest bookworm’s developing eyesight. The length is perfect, and JJ enjoyed this one a lot. A wonderful book for those welcoming a new addition to the world, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

All Of Baby, Nose To Toes (Victoria Adler)

Hello, friends! Our review today is All Of Baby, Nose To Toes, written by Victoria Adler and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, an adorable rhyming book about little bodies! On each page, a different part of baby is highlighted: ears, nose, belly, etc, followed by a family member who loves that wee little feature! 

This book is adorable! It’s great to read along with baby bookworms, because you can easily compare the fictional baby’s features to the reader’s to help them learn about their bodies. The rhymes are cute and easy to read, and the length is great, plus the illustrations are absolutely precious. We had a lot of fun with this one! Baby Bookworm approved!

Beach Baby (Indestructibles Books) (Kate Merritt)


Hey everybody! We’re going to do our usual book review later, but I wanted to tell you about this awesome book my friend gave me for JJ. As you know, she loves books, but the book lover in me is hesitant to let her loose on some of her books, especially heirlooms or library books because my baby bookworm is, well, a baby.

But for her birthday, our friend Betty gave us an “Indestructibles” book called Beach Baby by Kate Merritt. It’s a short, simple see-and-say book that lists the various things one would find on a day at the beach, but the really special part is the book itself – it really is indestructible! Rip-proof, tear-proof, bite-proof and fully washable, it’s a book that JJ can play with as much (and as hard) as she wants to without having to worry about paper cuts or eating pages, or having to throw away a ruined beloved book. How cool! Thanks, Indestructibles! We highly recommend them to our fellow baby bookworms.