Celebrate kisses, as gestures of love and friendship, in this bilingual board book, Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses. Baby wants kisses and loves sharing them with her parents, pets, and nature. Readers are introduced to eleven Spanish words, and while the end pages provide an illustrated glossary, readers will have no trouble interpreting their meaning. The rhyme is in English and provides a clue to the Spanish words in the response. For example, with “The sun shines kisses in a golden blue. Besos, sol, besos!” the first rhyme helps define the response, in this case, for the word “Sol.”
Arena’s clever text is paired with bright digital illustrations and her short sentences are framed as a call and response, which in addition to the repetition, add a lyrical quality to the story. Artist Blanca Gomez’s mid-century aesthetics is highlighted in the crisp depiction of baby, friends, and family, as well as the saturated and vivid color palette. The font is contemporary, with the rhyme in black and the refrain changing color to match the illustration. Each illustration spans two full pages and readers’ eyes are drawn to the action, which is offset by the light colored background.