Love You Head to Toe
Love You Head to Toe
You’re my little hedgehog baby,
When I wipe your bum.
Curled up in a hedgehog ball,
Until the cleanup’s done.
Love You Head to Toe is absolutely delightful. Ashley Barron has a splendid new take on the classic loving-baby book. Barron walks her readers through a very typical day with a baby, such as waking up, eating food, crawling, bouncing, bathing, and cuddling; however, with each stage of the day, the baby is compared to an animal. As I eagerly turned each page, I was charmed by the creative associations between baby and animal.
As ideal reading for caregiver to baby, the text directly addresses baby and introduces concepts like body parts, movements, counting, and activities. Each double-page spread contains a quatrain stanza written with an ABCB rhyming scheme. The illustration of the animal appears on the left-hand page and the true-to-life associated baby scene is on the right-hand page.
Barron’s cut-paper collage artwork is vibrant and yet uses a softer colour palette (e.g. pale yellows, blues, greens, and pinks). She selectively intersperses textured and patterned papers which create dynamic visual elements and give depth and life to the paper collage scenes. Overall, the illustrations are appealing to the eye and realistic in context with ‘baby’ always placed in the focal point.
While the large format of the book is great for looking at the illustrations, my one criticism is that this book might be better off as a sturdy board book. It can be a challenge to sit and read such a large book with an active baby on your knee who is crumpling and gnawing on the thin pages. As a board book, baby would be able to enjoy the physicality of the book as well. That said, as a mom with a young baby, this book was spot on. Without any hesitation, I’ll be adding Love You Head to Toe to our bedtime reading routine.
Dorothea Wilson-Scorgie has completed her MA degree in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and is currently pursuing an online MLIS degree at the University of Alberta. She is a member of the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable steering committee, works at as a teacher-on-call, and resides in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband, their preschooler son, and infant daughter.