Friday 27 October 2023

These Little Feet

These Little Feet by Hayley Rawsthorne &Briony Stewart (Allen & Unwin) PB HB RRP $19.99 978176069017

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

This is Hayley Rawsthrone’s first book. She lives in Orange. Briony Stewart is a bestselling and award-winning illustrator and writer from WA. Their book is such a joyful celebration of the love, hope and dreams we hold for our little ones. It tenderly shares what new parents wish for their little one as they grow.

Hayley Rawsthorne has created the same heart feelings as Ten Little Fingers and Toes and Kissed by the Moon. Her words are lyrical and warm. The opening sentences of this book are simply divine. These little feet so tiny and new. The places they’ll go, the dances they’ll do. A parent’s dreams and hopes for their little babe are felt in every word.

The voice of this book is so strong and lyrical. I adore the use of patterning as you move through the book. There is a repeat refrain that is slightly changed from feet to hands, eyes, ears, mouth to the most adorable one of all - This little one, so perfect and mine. This is what a parent will want to say to their own baby. It calls to be memorised and repeated. The text is light yet powerful and impactful. This book pulls on a heart to be read again and again.

Briony Stewart is a perfect pairing for this text. From the moment you see the cover there is a feeling that this book is special. The baby and mother and their eye contact and the gentle kissing of the little toes shows love. On the cover the baby is holding a daisy, and the soft purple endpapers feature daisies, balls of wool and all sorts of babies hiding in daisy leaves. There is an oval created for special little footprints of a baby to be printed. The soft colours and vignettes capture a new baby but also the images for the future as the child grows and explores and more. I love that the mum’s and babies change in the different spreads. And it is not just mum’s that are celebrated dads are too. Even a grandmother. Oh my, this book is a heart song to parental love and all those wishes held for new little ones. 

This is a timeless picture book for children 3-8 years that showcases all those good feels a new baby brings. I can see this book being a gift at baby showers or when a baby arrives. It sings as a read aloud and has such market appeal. Often new parents want to read to their baby but are not sure what. This book is such a joy that new parents will treasure it on their nursery shelves.

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