Review of Come to me, My Chickadee!

This large format board book with its thin card pages and rounded edges is perfect for babies from around six months and upwards. Against white backgrounds Carol Thompson depicts toddlers at different points in the day from waking up in their cot to being tucked up at bedtime. In between we see them carried in a sling, running, climbing, dancing, falling over – deftly and convincingly depicted with Thompson’s vibrantly expressive line and use of colour which suggest the weight of little bodies, their jerky gait and unselfconscious abandonment to the curiosity and pleasure of new experience. The adult presence is there but unobtrusively so – grown up hands reach down to help balance, to hold tight, to tickle and play.
The adult presence is also powerfully there in the lyrically rhyming and playful text which is a lullaby-style love song incorporating pet names and endearments from different languages and cultures. Thus,
‘Come to me, my Black-eyed Pea.
Sugar Plum, my sweet Picknee.’
has a toddler enthusiastically running to his parent, arms out to be lifted up, while,
‘Peep-o Sweet-pea,
Where are you?
Peachy Poppet,
Petit Chou?’
has a toddler looking straight at the reader/parent and playing peek-a-boo.
The decorative endpapers with their stylised flowers are covering with endearments in different languages (wee bisim, mon lapin, schatz, cosita, honey, bambino etc). A delightful production, full of love and affection and beautifully illustrated.

Rosemary Stones, Books for Keeps. 1st March 2011

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