Every season the Canadian Children's Book Centre publishes a magazine called Canadian Children's Book News. The winter issue came out recently and in the "We Recommend" section there is a review of Reaching. The review was written by Senta Ross, a former elementary teacher and teacher-librarian in Kitchener, Ontario. Here it is:
Who knew that the word "reach" could mean so much? At a family gathering, Baby experiences several variations of the word. Mama reaches to hold Baby in the air. Daddy reaches to kiss Baby's nose and give him a tickle. Sister, Grandparents, Aunt, Uncle and Cousins all reach out to Baby in different ways, be it by hugging, rocking, playing or reading. Even the family dog wants in on the action! And then it is Baby's turn to "reach" as he takes his first tentative steps and explores his world with curiosity and a glimmer of independence. At bedtime, however, Baby is once again ensconced in the loving arms of his parents who wistfully reflect that it will only be a matter of time before he is reaching beyond them for the moon and stars. But for now, they are grateful that Baby is still theirs.
Judy Ann Sadler has written a touching tribute to the bonds of family love. Through lilting, rhyming verses, an assortment of affectionate "reaching" interactions between Baby and his relatives are described: "Grandma is reaching / Scoops Baby from Mum / She dips him, they dance / She rocks him, they hum. //Grandpa is reaching / His arms become reins / He plays horsey with Baby / They do it again!"
Susan Mitchell's watercolour illustrations depict the warmth and serenity of an idyllic summer afternoon, where family of different generations revel in the joy of being together with a much-loved toddler. There are many familiar items in the artwork that any young reader would love to look at, be it a balloon, a cake, a puppy or a stuffed toy.
Children and parents will want to reach for Reaching over and over again!
Isn't that sweet?
All the best,