Little Poems for Tiny Ears is a sweet and gentle collection of verse for babies, toddlers and parents observing their first milestones. It’s a quiet celebration of things like discovering one’s own toes, learning to walk, count and find all the ways one’s body makes noise. Lin Oliver’s poems are clear and uncomplicated, such as “Hush”: “In her favorite rocking chair / My mama holds me tight. / We rock and sway the hours away / Until we kiss good night.” Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are equally gentle, featuring a multiracial cast of adorable toddlers, stuffed and real pet animals, as well as sunny borders of flowers, stars, birds and confetti. Contented smiles abound.

This is a winning bedtime book. Not overly stimulating, it can settle babies down while getting them used to read-aloud books. Kids who are just learning to read can reminisce about their diaper-changing days and how far they’ve come since way back then. And parents—especially first-time or very young parents—will see that much of what they’re experiencing for the first time with their new charges is perfectly normal and common to all kids. The poems’ gentle humor sometimes seems to address parents as well as younger readers, and it will surely be appreciated.

As if that weren’t enough to recommend it, Little Poems for Tiny Ears has a wrap-around book jacket which, with the addition of one tiny sticker or piece of tape, wraps the book for easy gift-giving. Next baby shower invitation you receive, look no further; this is a winner.


Heather Seggel reads too much and writes all about it in Northern California.

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