When You Take a Step (Bethanie Deeney Murguia)

Hello, friends! Our book today is When You Take a Step by Bethanie Deeney Murguia, a thoughtful title on the incredible worlds we can discover by way of our very own feet.

When you take a step, you take control of your destiny. You can discover new worlds of knowledge, of friendship, of nature and community. You can forge trails, or walk in the history of those that came before. You can make change for many, or realize something new about yourself. There’s a whole lot of wonder to be found in the great wide world, and it begins with one single step… so, where will you go first?

Inspiring if slightly vague. Murguia’s sparse text and minimal illustrations, which are largely grayscale with pops of pinkish-red, do cover a wealth of opportunities that can be found simply by having the motivation to pursue them; in this, the title serves as a very gentle inspiration to go out and explore the world. However, it’s possible that the theme is a little too gentle, as it flits from thought to thought without lending visual or textual weight to each concept it introduces. For instance, Murguia does well to include those with different ambulatory means (such as wheelchairs or walkers), but only in crowd scenes, when those with unique “steps” could have been featured more prominently to make a statement on inclusive mobility. Pursuit of knowledge, appreciation of the natural world, and civil disobedience are all given similar treatment: cursorily touched on, but not explored to an extent that makes a true impact on the reader. This leaves the final product as uplifting, even encouraging, but not particularly rousing or motivational. The soft art is quite lovely, but similarly lacks a dynamic impact. Otherwise, the length is fine for storytime, and JJ did enjoy the soothing flow of the well-constructed text. Overall, absolutely worth a read, but best as a springboard for conversation on self-motivation rather than a contained lesson – Baby Bookworm approved.

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

Cockatoo, Too (Bethanie Deeney Murguia)

Hello friends! Our book today is Cockatoo, Too by Bethanie Deeney Murguia. This is a very fun and silly wordplay story: cockatoos, two cockatoos, cockatoos in tutus, toucans in tutus doing a can-can, and so on!

This was a cute book. The wordplay fun was great, and even managed to teach the proper use of too/two/to within it (which a language-lover like myself can always appreciate). The art is adorable, and I loved how it all took place in one setting, with the background changing slightly as the story utilized it. My only very small complaint is that because the language is repetitive, JJ got bored pretty quickly. However, she adored the drawings, and I feel like other baby bookworms would probably love this one! So Baby Bookworm approved!