Sunday, February 21, 2021

Review - B Is for Baby

B Is for Baby

by Atinuke
illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
Date: 2019
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 34
Format: e-book
Source: library

Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank, creators of the award-winning Baby Goes to Market, pair up again for a bright and beautiful first book of words.

B is for Baby. B is for Brother. B is for going to see Baba!

One morning after breakfast, Baby's big brother is getting ready to take the basket of bananas all the way to Baba's bungalow in the next village. He'll have to go along the bumpy road, past the baobab trees, birds, and butterflies, and all the way over the bridge. But what he doesn't realize is that his very cute, very curious baby sibling has stowed away on his bicycle. Little ones learning about language will love sounding out the words in this playful, vibrantly illustrated story set in West Africa.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I thought this was going to be an alphabet book, but it's not. Instead, it's an exploration of words that start with "B" that's set in West Africa.

A baby goes with her brother on his bike to visit Baba (their grandfather) and bring him some bananas. The journey is populated with lots of "B" words (including some doozies that even parents might have trouble pronouncing, like "bougainvillea"). The colourful illustrations bring the setting to life.

This is only the second of Atinuke's books that I've read. There are definitely some culture shocks (like, who thinks it's a safe idea to toss a baby in the banana basket on the back of a bike and ride it through baboon-infested areas?) but it's still interesting to see the settings.

Overall, this is a nice title for very young children that really does give plenty of examples of things that start with "B". They'll probably love the cute baby and her ride to Baba's house (even if it does make adults cringe a little).

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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