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Joni Halabi
Sweet Little You
Joni Halabi, author

Picture Book; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

A mother with a dream of having a child makes her wish come true by having a baby on her own. Tenderly written with beautiful painterly illustrations, Sweet Little You is a loving and unique story about a different path to becoming a family, showing that creating a cherished family doesn’t always involve two parents.
DC Canada Education Publishing

More and more children’s books these days show different types of families: gay parents, multicultural, biracial, single parent, adoptive, divorced… but, like author Joni Halabi realized, far fewer are about single mothers by choice who conceive using a donor.

What did she do to fill this void? She wrote and published Sweet Little You (2022), a heartfelt letter to a new baby inspired by her own child whom she chose to have alone. The simple rhyme explains in child-friendly terms how the expectant mother made a plan and got the parts she needed to create new life—then, she promises her newborn baby unconditional love and support through any adventure.

Illustrator Lisa Wee accompanies the verses with birds, flowers, and greenery to parallel the child’s and nature’s development. First, the fruit and flowers grow. Then comes the baby, growing inside and outside the heart-shaped womb. Lisa’s whimsical style and beautiful, bright colours make for a serene ambience with just a touch of magic, highlighting the best parts of pregnancy and early parenthood.

After welcoming the baby, the author-illustrator team work in harmony to show the reader, young or old, that this family of two is perfectly whole. Joni’s story is one we need in our bookshelves to promote diverse family structures and foster acceptance of single-parent families.

Jazzy Book Reviews

Sweet Little You is an adorable children's book that showcases a different type of family. It's written in an easy to read way, but is also a good way to open conversation with young readers about how some families don't always look the same as others. It's also a wonderful story that will resonate with all mothers, but especially single moms. The illustrations are lovely and really bring the story to life, and I think, overall, it's a story young readers will enjoy and want to talk about, regardless of how they came to be. This is a book I would highly recommend to all parents.
5 stars!

Reader's Favorite

Sweet Little You by Joni Halabi is an inspirational children’s picture book about a mother sharing her journey of donor-assisted reproduction in a way that a child might be able to understand. The narration is a lovely rhyme that simplifies what it meant for her to have the baby and the family they’ve created together. There is a happiness that washes over you as you read this story and you find yourself in awe of this family of two.

Joni Halabi’s Sweet Little You is a treasured and unique look into the personal world of a single-parent family via a donor. Undoubtedly there are few children’s picture books such as this available today. At the end of the book, the author establishes that it was one of the reasons she wanted to write Sweet Little You so their family could be seen. Soft, cherubic faces reach up at you from the pages created by illustrator Lisa Wee, which tug at your emotions just as well as the words they are coupled with. The colors green, pink, and yellow bring to mind spring and summer and give a happy effect. Sweet Little You is the perfect way to introduce a child to how they came to be in the world with words full of a mother’s love. There aren’t many things that are truly needed other than the love and support of a parent.

Reedsy Discovery

There should not be a defined picture of what a family should look like. Families, like humans, come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Sweet Little You by Joni Halabi "shares a unique story of a mother with a dream of having a child who makes her wish come true by having a baby on her own."  


I will be recommended Sweet Little You by Joni Halabi to my fellow parents and the local library. I encourage anyone reading my review to share this story with your bundle of joy, no matter how they were conceived. Maybe consider gifting a copy to an expecting mother.