Peg's Reviews > Utterly Lovely One

Utterly Lovely One by Mary Murphy
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's review
May 08, 2012

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bookshelves: for-fun, kids_fiction, picture-books, young-readers, toddlers

A fluffy blue crane introduces her “utterly lovely one” to the other utterly lovely creatures in their habitat. Among them are fancy, fabulous frilled lizard, baby elephant with kind, gentle eyes, careful snail and flashy dragonfly—quiet, loud laughing jungle bird, playful monkeys, and handsome crocodile. Each is special, in its own way. Murphy occasionally drifts from physical characteristics to anthropomorphism with words such as nice or shy. The repetitive text is a bit sweet as it lyrically sings the praises of each animal, but it does convey the mother’s affection for her baby and her fondness for and appreciation of those living around them. Murphy’s perky, pastel illustrations are a combination of ink, watercolor, and digital art. The text has been handlettered by her. Both convey light and movement. Children will enjoy exploring each page, searching for repeating animals and insects. American readers may not be familiar with frilly lizard, numbat, and bush baby, but the illustrations have enough detail to provide a basic understanding. Murphy has created a safe, comfortable place for her baby, a place full of love, wonder and discovery. While this would work best as a one-to-one lap read, complete with hugs and snuggles, it would also work with a small group of toddlers.

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