Review of B Is for Baby

B Is for Baby
by Atinuke; illus. by Angela Brooksbank
Preschool    Candlewick    40 pp.
3/19    978-1-5362-0166-6    $16.99

Atinuke and Brooksbank (Baby Goes to Market) reunite for another tenderly funny slice-of-life story set in an unspecified African village and starring a winsome baby girl, who is dearly loved. This alphabet book sticks with the letter B, with B being for baby, beads (cradled by her mother, the girl gets beads put in her hair), and then an intriguing woven basket with a lid. When the little girl peeks inside, B is for banana and breakfast, as a sequence of pictures shows her overbalancing into the basket and then settling in happily. B is also for Brother, a supremely oblivious and carefree older sibling wearing headphones and grooving to his music as he loads up the basket onto his bicycle, never noticing his baby sister inside. Spacious off-white pages set off the people in the mixed-media illustrations, with shadows to add depth and an almost tactile feel; the style changes to full-bleed pictures as Brother rides along past abundant bougainvillea, birds, and a bus full of interested people. Brooksbank uses warm colors, from the bright beads in Baby’s hair to the green-striped shirt that their Baba (grandfather) is wearing when Brother finally delivers his basket — with a surprise inside. Brava for Baby!

From the May/June 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

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