Baby, Sleepy Baby

Baby, Sleepy Baby
Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank
Walker Books

Exuding warmth and tenderness from every one of Angela Brooksbank’s illustrations is this lullaby.

Author Atinuke introduces the entire family on the title page and thereafter we see mother, father, a girl sibling and a grandmother, each of whom is shown cuddling the baby in the sequence of stunningly beautiful spreads that follow.

Although the narrative doesn’t rhyme it is lyrical: ‘Baby, sweet baby, / I’ll call on the winds // and you’ll sail like a ship / through the sky.’ it begins with infant on mother’s lap and big sister sharing the adult’s embrace.

The babe is then passed to Grandmother who bestows a kiss

then cuddles the little one with a fondness that is palpable.

We assume but it’s not certain who speaks on each spread,

although this reviewer suspects it is the person holding the little one: other readers might think differently but picture books can always open to more than one interpretation.

Once each family member has wrapped the baby in love

as well as allowing in turn, the wind, clouds, stars and moon to do likewise, everybody feels so calm and peaceful that sleep comes easily and they drift off to slumberland, with the little one between its mother and father.

Gentle, soothing and utterly gorgeous: what better book than this to give a family with a new baby.