Milo’s Moonlight Mission (Kathleen M. Blasi)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Milo’s Moonlight Mission, written by Kathleen M. Blasi and illustrated by Petronela Dostalova, a sweet story of mother, son, and space exploration.

For Milo’s crew of two – him as Captain and Mom as Second-in-Command – there are no space missions too daring or difficult. One afternoon, Captain Milo goes searching for his crew, only to find that she is busy with work. Being a good captain, Milo offers to help Mom with her work and with dinner, even though it means no space missions for today. While cleaning up, Milo overhears a news announcement about an early morning meteor storm. He tells his mom, who only replies that they should turn in for the night. Milo wonders if there’s anything else he can do to help, so that Mom will have time for the meteor storm – but little does he know, his faithful Second-in-Command already has a mission planned…

Very sweet. With a slice-of-life story and warm, tender illustrations, this book tells a simple and heartwarming tale of the bond between parent and child. Milo’s instinct to help him mother as much as possible is contextualized beautifully but the subtle visual indications that she is a single mother and Milo is an only child. Between this and the straightforward and affectionate text, readers get a wonderful sense of the bond between Mom and Milo, one that will feel familiar for any close parent-child pair, but especially for smaller single-parent families. The length is great for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed the art and space theming. Overall, a lovely tale, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Let’s Do Everything and Nothing (Julia Kuo)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Let’s Do Everything and Nothing by Julia Kuo, a gorgeous meditation on the simple pleasures of spending time together.

A mother and young daughter embark on a series of adventures together, ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary. Whether climbing mountain peaks, swimming in the ocean’s depths, or simply enjoying a pot of tea at the table, the two are simply happy that their experiences are shared. Each one, big and small, allows for teamwork, conversation, and learning. After all, each moment, big or small, is made better by being together.

Lovely. This sweet and gentle celebration of one-on-one time between parent and child is both humble and profound, blurring the line between epic exploits and everyday moments to emphasize the real importance of either: whom one shares them with. The reader is never sure if the larger-than-life moments are meant to be imaginary or not, to great effect – their grandeur is symbolic of how the smaller moments between loved ones are of equal importance. Kuo’s illustrations and simple text carry this theme perfectly, using identical color palettes for each “big” and “small” moment, and exploring big concepts with an economy of words. There are also some great details authentic to the family’s East Asian heritage, such as shrimp chips on a table or a board book of the Chinese alphabet. The length is perfect for any storytime, and JJ loved this mother-daughter story. Overall, a masterpiece ode to parent and child, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

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

I Love You Just The Way You Are (Rosie Greening)

Hello, friends! Our book today is I Love You Just The Way You Are, written by Rosie Greening and illustrated by James Dillon, a heartwarming look at a parent’s love for their little one.

Using a menagerie of parent-and-child animal duos, the rhyming text draws parallels between the misbehaviors and peculiarities of the young animals and human kids, and explains that no matter what, their parents love them anyway. So while an elephant calf may stomp and trumpet and make lots of noise, or a puppy be messy during mealtimes and play, or a sleepy sloth may be grumpy at wakeup time, in the end, their mommy or daddy doesn’t mind – they love them just the way the are.

Adorable! With large, colorful full-page illustrations, young readers are sure to delight over the cuddly animals and their even cuddlier young. The character design is tailor-made for young bookworms, and little ones will have fun identifying the familiar animals. The rhymes are simple, flow well, and are sweet without being saccharine, making them a joy to read aloud. And of course, the message is timeless and touching. It’s a fine, short length for any age, and JJ and I both liked this one a lot. A great staple for any little one’s bookshelf, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!