Ceora Brown LIBR 262A

Materials for Children 0-4

52) There’s Going to Be a Baby by John Burningham

Burningham, John. There’s Going to Be a Baby. Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Candlewick, 2010. 48 pages. ISBN: 978-0-7636-4907-4.

Dual winners of the Kate Greenway Medal, this husband-and wife team unite to create a unique picture book that is part story with text, and part wordless scenes.With illustrations done in ink and colored digitally onto matte paper, the look and feel of the book is vintage. This picture book is great for parents who are expecting their second child, and they want to introduce the idea of a new addition to the family. The young boy imagines what the baby will be when he grows up: A chef, an artist, a gardener, a zookeeper, a sailor, and more. From the young boy’s perspective, the book takes a negative spin on the idea of a baby coming into the family. With phrases: “I don’t think I’d eat anything that was made by the baby,” or “Mommy, can’t you tell the baby to go away? We Don’t really need the baby, do we?” the young boy feels a slight bit of jealousy in the idea of a new addition to the family. The bubble dream sequences are a creative way to express the boy’s imagination of his new sibling in many occupations. Time passes through the seasons, as well as the mother’s growing belly leading to the finale, at the end,when the boy and his grandfather walk off together to meet the new baby. Just then the boy gets excited by saying “We’re going to love the baby, aren’t we? This is a suitable picture book for young children waiting for the baby to arrive.  (Picture book 2-6). No official author/illustrator website.

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51) Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

Lee, Spike & Tonya. Please, Baby, Please. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Aladdin, 2002. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-0689-83457-8.

From Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee and his TV producer wife, and an award winning illustrator, comes a vivid picture book that would be great for a multicultural  storytime. A very energetic and curious toddler gives his mother the run-around as she explores the world around her–playing with food, drawing on walls, eating sand, crying, and splashing bathtub water.  This book expresses the very interactions that a mother has with her toddler. It begins with a tired mother laying on the floor while her child is straddling her, playing horsey, in which she says “Go back to bed, baby, please, baby please.” The artwork is exceptional; it is conducted using dark brown tones with oil paint–thus, creating a soft flesh-tone look. The beautiful detail in the  illustrations of the child, with hair in circular ringlets, that look like Cheerios, big dark brown eyes, and extensively-detailed hands and feet show the facial and bodily expressions of the feelings and thoughts of a toddler during a tantrum. The mother must teach her toddler to share with other children, sit quietly, hold her hand when crossing a street, and even place trash in the trash bin. A small clock image at the left of each “baby, baby, please” phrase keeps track of each  daily routine that the mother encounters with her toddler. From being awake at night, to a messy morning meal, to daytime creativity and expression, to playground activities, to dinner time, to bath time, and finally bedtime–a mother is constantly correcting her child with the repeated phrase “baby, baby, baby please”. This rhythmic text’s will be fun to recite over and over again.  (Picture book 2-5). No author website. The illustrator’s website can be found a http://www.kadirnelson.com/.


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9) Blackout by John Rocco

Rocco, John. (2011). Blackout. New York, NY: Disney Hyperion Books. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-1423121909

On a hot summer night, a family is too busy to play a boardgame with a child. That is, until there is a “BLACKOUT”. Much like, Jeremy Tankard’s “Me Busy”–Rocco’s large picture book emphasises how adults are too busy to spend any quality time with their kids due to  technology. From computer tapping, to stovetop cooking, to on-the-phone chatting, adults are busy, busy, busy.  It takes a blackout to put a freeze on electricity to get the family together to play a board game.  Rocco takes the concept of a graphic novel, and enlargens the strips to fit the large pages of a picture book. A few words sprinkled within the dialouge boxes  help to describe each scene slowly. Every page is detailed with different snapshots of the family, creating a slow motion effect. With a large font size, for easy reading, Blackout is a great picture book for early readers. A bedtime story picture book, indeed. (Picture book 3 and up). Illustrator website can be found at http://www.roccoart.com/

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