Skip to main content

Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham



Sara Gillingham is yet another designer and art director who continues to bring her talents to the happily expanding world of quality board books. Her most most recent work as an illustrator and author has been for for abramsappleseed, an newer imprint dedicated to engaging children and adults with "artful, beautifully conceived books." As the Design Director for Children's Publishing at Chronicle Books, an early leader in bringing quality board books to the shelves, Gillingham she designed and art directed hundreds of books, including a few of her own you can see below. For abramsappleseed, Gillingham illustrated a wonderful trio of board books by Stephen Krensky celebrating the momentous milestones in the lives of toddlers, I Know A Lot, Now I Am Big! and I Can Do It Myself!




Now Gillingham brings her retro style, wonderful palette and eye for patterns and design to her own book with the interactive Snuggle the Baby. "Feed, tickle, diaper, swaddle, shush, rock, tuck in" could be the subtitle for Snuggle the Baby, a unique doll-meets-book experience. I'm sure you all are familiar with the cloth books that have a baby doll (or teddy bear) that is tethered to the book and can be tucked into various pockets on the pages? Snuggle the Baby is similar to this format, but better! While the cloth books that invite readers to interact with the baby-on-a-string are adorable, how many babies can really fit the doll into the small pockets? With Gillingham's brilliantly conceived book, toddlers can interact in a way that is simpler and easier and ultimately, less frustrating for little people with short fuses...


Besides being invited to take care of the baby in the book, readers are encouraged to do what the babies in Snuggle the Baby are doing as well. The book begins, "Babies love to play! Sometimes babies like peekaboo. Other times babies like to make noise." Next the narrator says, "I like to TICKLE my baby's belly . . . LIKE THIS!" And, as seen in the illustrations above, readers can lift up the baby's shirt and tickle away, most likely while getting tickled by the person they are reading the book with at the same time! Another page lets readers lift the baby's arms and play, "SO BIG!"

"Babies need to eat!" another page tells us. Readers can pop the bottle out of the page and feed the baby! Next comes a diaper change, with a diaper to close and a onesie to "snap" shut. And, as well all know, babies can get cranky. The penultimate page of Snuggle the Baby lets readers fold baby up in a cozy blanket. The swaddled baby is also a pop-out, like the bottle, and, when removed, can be snuggled and rocked then tucked into bed on the last page, a cloth blanket and a velcro closure holding the baby in place snugly.

I realize that I probably didn't have to give you a step-by-step description of Snuggle the Baby, but this book is so completely adorable and fun, every time I open it I get sucked in. I wish Snuggle the Baby had been around when my babies were little!



Sarah Gillingham's other interactive board books are tipped a bit in favor of visual over narrative, but they are so beautifully illustrated, cleverly conceived and fun that I had to mention them here.

In My JungleIn My Ocean
On My LeafIn My Tree
In My DenIn My Forest


Source: Review Copy

Comments

childEngineer said…
This looks really cute! My kids have two interactive cloth books like you describe and as much as they love them, the little ones can't get the bear or baby into the various pockets by themselves.

Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…