Sadler, Judy Ann
Kids Can Press 2011
32 pgs, $16.95
ISBN 13: 978-1-55453-456-2

Age 0-3

Reviewed by Christine F. Smith

Beautifully illustrated, and intended for children birth to three-years-old, Reaching by Judy Ann Sadler is a poetic story of a baby and his family on a sunny afternoon. The illustrations on each page are accompanied by one four-part sentence in rhyming verse describing each member of the family “reaching” for something (“Daddy is reaching To kiss Baby’s nose…”), starting with immediate family members (Mommy, Daddy) and moving to extended family members (Uncle, Great-gran). Some of the “reaching” sounds a bit unnatural (“Sister is reaching Wants in on the huddle”), but when one finally reaches the end of the book, the reaching all seems to make sense, and the story becomes less that of an afternoon gathering and more of the stages of family growth.  The final pages make Reaching a truly adorable story stating, “Soon Baby will reach For the moon and the stars…But not quite yet, Baby For now you’re still ours.”