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Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Special Day, written by Lola M. Schaefer and illustrated by Jessica Meserve. Hyperion, Hachette. 2012. $18.50 ages 2 and up

"Spencer was a boy.
He was strong -
strong as a

He was fast -
fast as a..."

New baby books are rarely as 'special' as this one! You know there are a lot of them, and new parents are always on the lookout. They won't find many that are as clever and heartwarming. Spencer is a boy who lives for adventure. He is like many in the animal kingdom; loving movement, noise, boasting, laughs, big messes and wild antics. When his parents bring home a new baby, Spencer adds another descriptor to his list...gentle. Spencer is a brother!

I've never seen a book quite like this for those welcoming a new sibling. Young children will love that they have a part to play in the reading, as the author allows them a chance to guess what might be described before turning the page. Thus, he was fast...and a turn of the page reveals but doesn't name the horse. Great descriptive words for budding conversationalists and lots of action as Spencer rolls from one place to the next. This is a charming and heartfelt tale.

So much is told in the digital oil pastel paintings. Before we read one word, we meet the wild and rambunctious Spencer gracing the endpapers with energy, and athleticism. The title page introduces a loving family, parents wrapping son in warmth and gentle kisses (big belly and overnight bag showing). As the car pulls away, Spencer and his babysitter watch and wave. Then, in a series of double page illustrations he spreads his wings and struts his stuff, sharing his world with a host of familiar creatures bent on showing what they do best. Then, it all changes...and Spencer does, too!

Beautiful! This is the perfect gift for a baby shower, or a first gift to the new family.

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