♦ Striking in its simplicity and effectiveness, this colorful board book takes into account two fundamental facts. First, babies like to look at faces, particularly the faces of other babies. Second, today’s babies will grow up in a world that is, increasingly, a global neighborhood. This introduces young children to their neighbors throughout the world by providing clear photographs of babies in Guatemala, Thailand, Greenland, Mali, the U.S., India, South Africa, Fiji, Peru, Afghanistan, Malawi, Spain, Iraq, Rwanda, and Bhutan. Like Ajmera’s earlier books connected with the nonprofit organization Global Fund for Children, such as To Be a Kid and Be My Neighbor, this title seeks a broad, inclusive sense of community. Each page features a single child in a photo shown against a rich, solid background color. Appearing phrase by phrase at the bottom of the pages, the book’s complete text reads, “Wherever they live, / wherever they go, / whatever they wear, / whatever they feel, / babies everywhere / are beautiful, / special, / and loved.” Attuned to its audience, the book’s close-ups emphasize the children’s faces and create a feeling of connection between subject and viewer. In an era hewn, board books too often recycle picture book stores intended for older children, here’s one that is just right for babies and toddlers.
—Booklist, starred review