A narrator rhapsodizes about a little one’s potential future.
Beginning with the bookplate (“Hopes and dreams for: ____”), this title has a retro, Golden Books feel. Throughout, colorful artwork captures eye and heart. Smiling people of different ages, abilities, and ethnicities abound in varied settings that include images linked with happiness: musical notes, flowers, birds, sunny beach days, yellow slickers in gentle rain, and fireworks. The text is an adult’s address to a precious baby, beginning with the wonder of holding such a tiny being. “In this body so warm and new, / you hold a history yet to happen.” As Evans mentions different parts of the baby’s body (“These legs / will scramble over / mountains”), the verse vacillates between describing certainties ahead—such as acquiring memories and encountering obstacles—and giving words of encouragement and advice (“I hope you’ll / sink your toes into sand, leaving footprints in those / beads of sunshine”). ASL gestures are included on the page about hands. Though this one is ostensibly aimed at new babies and their caregivers, the most receptive audience will be sleepy small children, read to by grandparents or other family members while the parents busy themselves with the newest member. (Picture book. 3-5) –Kirkus Reviews
In Evans’s heartfelt poem of possibility, a parent imagines what the future may hold for the “small slip of a creature./ Barely the length of my forearm” they are cradling. Focusing page by page on fingers, legs, knees, feet, arms, hair, eyes, ears, mouth, and other physical attributes, the adult narrator catalogs a range of hoped-for experiences that each may represent: “These feet will root/ you to the places/ you’ll call/ home./ I hope you’ll/ sink your toes into sand,/ leaving footprints.” Griffiths’s breezy, bucolic illustrations depict children of varying abilities and skin tones wading, watching fireworks, climbing trees, and smelling flowers, creating a dreamlike mood that centers a caretaker’s hopes and desires. Ages 3–7. –Publishers Weekly