B is for Baby is delectable story begins on the title page where an adorable baby is being cuddled by her mama. The background shows an African village and a boy rocking to music on his headphones. He turns out to be baby’s brother. The adventure starts as baby plays with her toes on the first page with the simple accompanying text – “B is for Baby.” Each page highlights another B word with an accompanying illustration as Baby’s journey takes off. “B is for Basket,” and when baby opens the basket inside are bananas – “B is for Banana.” When baby reaches for a Banana she falls into the basket and the text reads, “B is for Breakfast,” as she peels the banana. Her be-bopping brother comes along, jiving to the music on his headphones, “B is for Brother.” He does not notice Baby in the basket of bananas, which he loads on his bicycle to take to their grandpa. Then “B is for going to see Baba.” Everything along the way that starts with B is highlighted – “Bumpy, Baobab, Big, Butterfly, Bird, Beautiful, Baboon, Bus, Bridge, Bougainvillea, Bungalow,” and at the end of the journey, Baba is surprised and delighted to find baby in the basket of bananas on the back of the bicycle. After a treat of biscuits and a bottled drink, the two siblings return home to Mama’s loving arms. A double-page spread shows in small pictures all the sights along way from the return home. Finally, Mama cuddles her baby again and the text ends with “B is for Baby.”
Starting and ending with the snuggle makes this a pleasing circle story. The illustrations showcase the African landscape filled with colorful sights to savor and investigate. The artist gives her characters expressive faces that transmits their love for each other and pleasure in their journey.
The book’s large size will make it a hit with groups as a read aloud because they will easily be able to view the illustrations. Be sure to give the children lots of time to view the pictures because they are full of humor and details to enjoy. For example, on the two pages which show the bus and the bridge, the bus is stopped from going over the bridge because a herd of goats slowly make their way across. Meanwhile, baby hands out a banana to a child on the bus and children fish in the stream that runs under the bridge. The same author and illustrator have another book set in rural Africa, Baby Goes to Market that features more colorful adventures with another baby. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter PhD, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Washington University, Spokane, WA.
Illustrator: Angela Brooksbank
Publisher: Candlewick Press
PubDate: March 12, 2019
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