Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: There's Going to be a Baby by John Burningham

There's Going to Be a Baby

There's Going to be a Baby, published by Candlewick in Sept. 2010
Author: John Burningham
Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury

I was browsing for new books at our Shaker Heights library, and I couldn't believe I hadn't seen this book before. John Burningham has written many great books for children, including a favorite, Hey! Get Off Our Train. Helen Oxenbury is well known for writing and illustrating wonderful picture books and board books for the very young, especially her beloved Tom and Pippo books, for example, Tom and Pippo Go for a Walk.

A collaboration between these two seemed promising, but the true test is to read the book. The cover has a wonderful old-fashioned feel to it, and you simply can't help but fall into the illustrations inside. This is a book rich with illustrations, as a young boy imagines what the baby his mother tells him is coming will be like.

Part of what makes this book different than a number of other books about siblings is that it focuses so much on the imagined baby. The boy asks lots of questions of his mother about what the baby might do or become, but then his imagination takes over. There are pages with no words, but wonderfully warm and comic scenes where the baby cooks pancakes or plants a garden.

I can't recommend this book strongly enough. Small children will delight in it, and parents will be happy to read it again and again.

Five Stars!

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