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|Baby's got the blues|
Author: Shields, Carol Diggory
Get ready for a sad tale of soggy diapers, mushy meals, and sleepin' behind bars that make you cry, too--but more likely will make you giggle!
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.60
Points: .5 Quiz: 165606
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/14)
School Library Journal (02/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2014 “You think babies have it easy?” begins this infant lament. It’s not true: “Sometimes being a baby/ is enough to make you cry.” The song traces the travails of babyhood from diaper issues (“Woke up this morning soggy,/ And that smell kept getting riper”) to coordination (“But every time I try to walk,/ I fall flat on my face”) to bedtime (“But I’m doing time behind these bars—/ Is it a crib or is it a jail?”). Fortunately, it all ends up in big loving snuggle that makes the baby “lose those baby blues.” The text follows the classic bluesy form, including a classic chorus (“B-A-B-Y, baby”), and it’s both funny and accurate in the details of infant frustration (some of which continue well beyond babyhood). The art gives viewers a hook in the form of baby’s older sister, who’s squirming away from the diaper change and zipping around with the freedom that the baby yearns for, thereby cleverly turning the book into a celebration of all the things post-baby kids can do that babies can’t. Figures in the ink, pencil, and digital illustrations have a combination of flow and rotundity that recalls Patricia Polacco at times, though the compositions are cleaner and more rhythmic and the linework crisper. Kids plagued by attention-grabbing new babies will find this a sly and lively reminder of their own superiority and their siblings’ lovability. DS - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2014 K-Gr 2—"You think babies have it easy?" Not according to the tiny narrator who relates the trials and tribulations of being a helpless babe. When the little one wakes up soggy, there's "no way to say,/'Won't somebody change my diaper?'" When confronted with an enticing spread of pizza, macaroni, and stew, all that baby can eat is strained green goop because "I can't even chew." Baby can't run and jump with the older kids and resents spending time in its crib-"or is it jail?" Each of these complaints culminates in a heartrending blues refrain tailored to the situation. Wet-soaked baby sings, "B-A-B-Y,/ baby,/Got those damp old baby blues." Orange-sleeper-clad infant hangs forlornly over the crib bars whining, "B-A-B-Y,/baby,/Got those locked-up/baby blues." No need to feel sorry for this baby. While the guitars in some of the large illustrations rendered in ink and pencil and assembled digitally reinforce the blues theme, the pictures also reveal an attentive mom and an older sister happily looking on. Mom scoops baby out of the crib "with a 'Kitchy-kitchy-koo!' B-A-B-Y, baby,/Don't you know/we all love you?" This is a story that will enable slightly older children to look back and reminisce about bygone days.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2014 Oh baby! It’s not easy being an infant. Shields explains all in a text that reads so bluesy, you could almost sing it: I’d like to eat some pizza, / Macaroni, or beef stew, / But I haven’t got a single tooth, / So I can’t even chew. The amusing text is ramped up several notches by Tobia’s terrific artwork. Reminiscent of Bob Graham’s art (with realistic characters like the tattooed mom) and in a style resembling Helen Oxenbury’s, especially in the look of the children, the pictures are, nonetheless, all her own. Whether full page or vignettes, the delightful pen-and-watercolor artwork focuses in on Baby, who is down in the dumps because he needs a diaper change or has to be a spectator as the older kids play ball. Her neat use of perspective and friendly scenes of family and neighborhood, done in lively colors, with lots of reds and greens and plenty of open space, bring readers right into the story. Finally, the baby blues are drowned in hugs and kisses. What could be happier than that? - Copyright 2014 Booklist.