cover image Littles: And How They Grow

Littles: And How They Grow

Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by AG Ford. Doubleday, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-55526-8

In a warmhearted celebration of early childhood, newborns grow into babies, who become toddlers, and—in a final spread—reach school age. Although these multicultural “littles,” as DiPucchio (Everyone Loves Cupcake) calls them, take some hesitant steps here and there, her rhymes never do: they’re unerringly comforting and spot-on in their cadence and meter: “Littles are cuddled and cradled just right./ On bellies, with blankies, in slings snuggly tight.” Stylistically, the book is a major departure from Ford’s work in picture book biographies such as Hello, I’m Johnny Cash and JFK; like the littles themselves, his delicate cartoon vignettes of family life are playful, tender, and frisky: one little devours a birthday cake by the fistful, another sends soap suds flying while splashing in the bath, and a third sprawls out on a patchwork floor, flanked by its two mothers. DiPucchio’s verse and Ford’s charming artwork combine to create what feels like a scrapbook of treasured childhood moments—moments that adult readers know are all too fleeting. Ages 3–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)