Kitten on puppy's head

Photo: Traer Scott

"Yes, that is a kitten on my head."
With all those adorable dogs out there—including the 150 shot for Newborn Puppies—a youngster really has to apply himself to stand out. This two-day-old Weimaraner will stop at nothing to be ahhhhhed over, including the patented baby-kitten-as-a-hat move.

Newborn Puppies: Dogs in Their First Three Weeks by Traer Scott (Chronicle Books).
Baby crawling

Photo: Jennifer Causey

"One word: eyelashes."
Everybody knows how to take a cute photo of a cute smile on a cute kid. But it takes a pro to capture the irresistibility of an eyelash or the deliciousness of an elbow dimple. Photographing Your Children shows you how to do it at home. That is, if you actually feel like learning—instead of just flipping through the pictures and cooing like the rest of us.

Photographing Your Children: A Handbook of Style and Instruction by Jen Altman (Chronicle Books).
Mouse deer

Photo: Ray Wiltshire/Paignton Zoo

"Take that, Bambi."
Tininess + huge eyes + spindly legs = number of strange, sappy noises made by grown-ups. Take this math, apply to this teeny-tiny mouse deer mama and teenier-tinier mouse deer baby, and the result is a cacophony of clucking and aws. The bonus: 10 percent of all proceeds of ZooBorns (the book in which this photograph appears) go to support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Conservation Endowment Fund. So smile, lower your blood pressure and help the world—all at the same time.

ZooBorns by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland (Simon & Schuster).
Flying baby

Photo Credit: Rachel Hulin

"I will so grow into my cape!"
What's more delectable than a baby? An airborn baby. (Why do you think all daddies throw their six-months-olds above their heads—over and over?) With the book Flying Henry, the world's first snugglicious superhero comes to life. Faster than a speeding toddler, more powerful than a terrible two without snack or nap, and able to stop bad moods with a single picture.

Flying Henry by Rachel Hulin (powerHouse Books).
Maddie the dog on a swing

Photo: Theron Humphrey

"All I want is a push. Just one push...please?"
Most of us love a coonhound. But all of us love a coonhound on a baby swing and a world where canine-centric whimsy rules, which is in Maddie on Things, as the eponymous dog perches on tires and dons oversized galoshes. Might we suggest a sequel? Maddie, Jr. on Maddie.

Maddie on Things by Theron Humphrey (Chronicle Books).
Baby in black and white

Photo: Sarah Wert

"Wow...I come with my own chin rest!"
A contemplative toddler can turn out even more entrancing than a smiling one. Behind that dreamy expression, she's figuring things out, crucial things like: where, exactly, is the snack cup of Cheerios, what's going to happen once Mom figures out I ate that button, and how long will it take for my parents to fall asleep so I can watch The Godfather again on pay per view?

Photographing Your Children: A Handbook of Style and Instruction by Jen Altman (Chronicle Books).
Underwater dog

Photo: Seth Casteel

"Dad, look! No floatie!"
This cocker spaniel takes the plunge (sorry) in Underwater Dogs—a book chock-full of the cutest, weirdest dog faces never seen by man. Such as what a dog looks like when she's having the best, best, best time ever. Because she doesn't automatically sink in a pool! She can swim! And drink! All at the same time! Even while all the humans are rapidly exiting the water.

Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel (Little, Brown and Company).

Photo: Jessie Pascoe

"I, too, dream of banana-cream pie."
Just about all of us have had a Jane-Goodall-wannabe moment of eye contact with some zoo-bound primate, during which it's clear the monkey (or gorilla, baboon or lemur) has seen deep into our soul. Which must be how this Northern White-Cheeked Gibbon knows that a smidgeon of tongue makes him, impossibly, even more lovable. That...and his dream of fattening desserts that include the name of fruits, without any actual fruit.

ZooBorns by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland (Simon & Schuster).
Puppy yawning

Photo: Traer Scott

"My jaw gets heavy, that's all."
Imagine you're a 21-day-old Italian Spinone puppy. Yes, you're fuzzy, wrinkly and so snow-white your eyelids and mouth-flaps are a delectable pink. Nevertheless, you'd love to get your mitts on a hat or sunglasses. Big, tall humans love babies of any species in adult accessories. But nobody will give you one! The only course of action? A slow, lazy yawn. Take that, big, tall humans! May your hearts soften into puddles of love goo.

Newborn Puppies: Dogs in Their First Three Weeks by Traer Scott (Chronicle Books).
Maddie the dog with a cookie

Photo: Theron Humphrey

"It's a dog-eat-dog world."
Chocolate may be off-limits...or so the vet says. But cookies?

Maddie On Things by Theron Humphrey (Chronicle Books).

Photo: Rachel Hulin

"To the end of the rainbow...and beyond!"
We all know what's going to happen when Flying Henry soars to the end of the optical illusion, just beyond the last puffy cloud behind the mountain. The mean old leprechaun will hand over his pot of gold and stand there with a dopey smile on his face, saying, "Gosh you're cute."

Flying Henry by Rachel Hulin (powerHouse Books).

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