In the first of this five-title series about a family, Baby is on the go—accompanied by her loving family—in a variety of situations that the youngest reader can identify from close-up clues. An older child will love the guessing game aspect of the book, while the youngest child will be content to "read" the pictures of the adventures of a very little person—just like herself. The stunning photographs capture the daily routines of an attachment parenting family. Baby goes shopping, mails a package, plays in the park, visits the doctor, enjoys a story hour and explores an aquarium. Set in the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington DC, this book combines parenting values with the beautiful settings of a real-life neighborhood.
Look What I See! Where Can I Be? In the Neighborhood
Pages 32 ISBN 978-1-930775-00-8 Dimensions 8.25" x 8.25" Age Range 0-4 Grade Range Language English Publication Date January 2005
"Look What I See! Where Can I Be? In the Neighborhood by Dia L. Michels is a delightful birds-eye view of a baby's world. Every time little one naps, he wakes up in a different place, peering at "unknown" objects--flowers, watermelon seed, or the US postal logo."
-Mothering Magazine, March/April 2002
"Dia L. Michels, author of If My Mom Were a Platypus, shows us a family during every life. The baby, who is worn by Mom or Dad, focuses on a single object. Then the picture zoom s out to show a complete scene. A side game is to find the apple in each picture. Ideal for reading to babies, toddlers and pre-readers. Series titles include: In the Neighborhood, At Home, With My Animal Friends, Visiting China,and At the Synagogue. Features baby wearing, family bed, breastfeeding, and a family comfortable with it all."
-Susy Parker Goins, Natural Family Online, July 2005Natural Family Online, July 2005Read it at: http://www.natural-family.com/books/childrens-book-reviews.htm
"These are two wonderful books [Look What I See! Where Can I Be? In the Neighborhood and If My Mom Were a Platypus] that promote a more attached family set of values. Just good reading! It is nice to see attached parenting and family life portrayed as normal and to have books like these to read to my own children, books that display the tender-hearted way my husband and I are raising them. Just to have books that show baby carrying made me feel very happy to place it on our bookshelf here at home."
-April Almeida. www.BreastfeedingMatters.com, July 2005
"A walk around the neighborhood seen through the eyes of a baby in a sling, this book is illustrated with attractive, glossy photographs, and written with interactive text. Each page presents a new day of the week, with baby waking up from a nap and seeing something: "On Wednesday, I fell asleep in my sling. When I woke up, I saw a fish. Where was I?" On the question page is a picture of a fish. The following double-page spread reveals a photo of baby and mom looking into a big fish tank... at the aquarium! Our children love the rhythm of the words and questions, as well as the photographs and the mystery of finding out where baby has awoken."
"My family grew by one in December. James' arrival prompted me, once again, to try to see the world from a tiny baby's perspective, and reminded me of Dia Michels' Look What I See! Where Can I Be? series of picture books. I shared her In The Neighborhood volume with delight with my first child. When I found that two more books in the series had been published since Tom's birth, I was thrilled. Now available are At Home and With Animal Friends, and two more- In China and At The Synagogue - are due out this year.
The Look What I See books present a wonderful combination of a babies perspective on the world around her, loving family interaction, reassuring rhythm, and repetition, and guessing game. Bold photographs show a family (Dia's, in fact) on the go. Baby falls asleep in one place and wakes up in another thanks to a wagons, baby slings, backpacks, and other forms of baby conveyance. When the baby wakes up she sees something interesting, and the guessing game begins. Days of the week provides basic structure.
"On Friday, I fell asleep in my backpack. When I woke up, I saw flowers. Where was I?" (Turn the page) "At the park."
Each book cover's a weeks worth of adventures and observations. Each day's mystery starts with a small photo of detail, like flowers. When the page is turned, the entire scene is revealed. Photos depict family members together, and Daddy and Siblings are just as involved with Baby as Mom.
The design of the books engages all the family members too. The simple text and photos of Baby will certainly appeal to babies. Toddlers will like the rhythm, repetition, and bright photos. Preschoolers will like the guessing game and searching for the baby doll and apple included in each double-page spread. Older sibling will enjoy how big Brother and Sister play pivotal roles in the stories and the photos. Parents will enjoy watching how the children grow as the book progress. The baby In My Neighborhood is a toddler by the time With Animal Friends was photographed, and Brother and Sister have clearly grown too.
As a nursing mother and a children's literacy specialist, I've noticed that very few children's books depict babies nursing. The "Sunday" page of In The Neighborhoodhas a beautiful and very discreet photo of Dia nursing Baby on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. After careful inspection, I noticed that the With My Animal Friends book shows Dia wearing several different nursing tops. While I think the Look What I See books would make a great gift for any family with a baby, they would be very encouraging to a new nursing mother as well.
The Look What I See books would also be useful in early in early childhood education settings. Their structure and design are ideal for starting discussions with young children, talking about days of the week, and cultivating observation and reasoning skills. To make them even more useful to educators, Dia's company has created activity guides for each book, available online at platypusmedia.com. The guides are great resources for parents and teachers alike.
These beautiful, gentle picture books encourage small children to be aware of the world around them. They depict family members together, caring for each other. They are filled with reassuringly familiar images, yet have some surprises to keep them fun. And top-notch photography and design make these books a pleasure to look at, again and again.
Eileen Hanning is an educational specialist for The Reading Connection and mother of two boys. She is also past president of the DC Chapter and chair of the WNBA Pannell Award for Excellence in Children's Bookselling."
-Eileen Hanning, Educational Specialist for The Reading Connection
"These books give a child the world. The delightful photo-realistic images allow the child to connect what he sees in the book to what he sees in the world. They are the perfect vehicle for the younger child to explore what is in the world, and to establish the concept that there are interesting things wherever they are. Plus, the familiarity within the series allows children to stay excited about their ability to succeed--because they know what to expect. Teachers can feel secure with this product."
-Waduda Henderson, Montessori Directress (primary and elementary), Arlington, VA
"Vibrant photos take a child through different series in their young life. Whether it is through the neighborhood, at home, or out with animal friends, the young reader will enjoy guessing where they are. The pictures move from one specific clue to a large vibrant picture that shows the family interacting with each other. Matching and recognition skills development in the young child can be enhanced with this cute series of books.
This story rates 4 hearts."
-Jane Deskis, March/April 2003, Heartland Reviews
"A baby can wake up in so many interesting places! This baby finds that every wake-up reveals a clue about where the family is visiting.
The first clue is a watermelon with black seeds, inviting the reader to guess that the family is at the market. The next page reveals the baby in a wagon in the middle of a busy neighborhood grocery store. Each day, the baby is carried in a different way (stroller, backpack, sling, etc.) and taken to a new place. The colorful photographs capture a loving family exposing their baby to the world. An extra feature is the hunt for a doll who happens to be hidden in each picture. This is a fun, interactive book for adults and toddlers to share."
-Carol Lynch, Reviewer, Children's Literature
"Join Baby in a unique guessing game as she engages in typical family outings. During the course of a week and through varying means of transportation, Baby keeps waking up in different locations wondering, "Where Can I Be?". Quality photographs isolate objects in Baby's environment and become keys to unlock larger viewpoints. Baby's narrative leads the reader on a quest for answers. Responses range from the market and the park to the aquarium and the post office. Rich visual appeal and repetitive dialogue entertain infants. Some cleverly hidden objects, picture associations, and verbal participation in Baby's dialogue with the reader intrigue and challenge toddlers, too. This book appeals to the 0-3 year-olds. Concepts of part to whole, days of the week, and the security of a family are evident throughout. Set in a Washington, D.C. neighborhood, this first in a series of five realistic fiction books affirms family values, while highlighting the author, known for her advocacy in women's health issues, and her own family as the subjects of the book. An additional bonus of a teacher's guide is available through a given website."
-Michal Callaghan, University of Virginia Center for Children's Books