Baby Love - Rachel Kramer

This coffee table photo book is a collection of baby photos - all under one year old. There are the newest of infants as well as toddlers who can hold themselves up. Along with the photos are a collection of phrases, rhymes and stories about babies throughout history.

Babies are naturally cute, of course, but Rachel has done a great job of making them even more cute. You have babies in blankets, babies in suds, babies dressed up and babies au natural.

A few of the shots are very obviously staged, and I happen to like those the least - those make the babies look like models on a runway. I really like the ones that look like natural babies - like images any mom could have taken of their own darling. I like the ones with the hair askew, the face crinkled, the baby being content in its own baby world. My favorite picture is of the baby with the two-horn hat. The baby's smile seems to say, "I am me!"

I also enjoy the ones where there are several shots of the same infant, showing different facets of their personality. Babies are complex and wonderful, and the sequence-shots really help to demonstrate that.

If I have a complaint about the book (besides the staged photos) it is that some make me a bit nervous about the baby's safety. I realize that there are people off-camera keeping an eye on things, but even so the cover shot concerns me, with the baby in the hard porcelain tub. I can just imagine the soapy tyke slipping and bashing himself. Ditto for the baby on the chair. The hammock one especially worries me. It doesn't give me a sense of "peace" looking at that image.

Still, those are minor complaints in a book that is a lot of fun to read through.

Well recommended.

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