Review of Where's Baby?

Where’s Baby?
by Anne Hunter; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Tundra    40 pp.
1/20    978-0-7352-6498-4    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-7352-6499-1    $10.99

“Have you seen Baby, Mama Fox?” Mama Fox feels certain Baby is “somewhere,” and so Papa Fox begins the search, like a game of hide-and-seek. “Ba-by! Are you indoors? Maybe Baby went out.” Fine lines and crosshatching done with ballpoint pen and colored pencil accentuate patterns and detail while small pops of orange in the pale settings allow readers — unlike Papa — to keep up with Baby. Baby follows behind Papa throughout, with the little fox’s entertaining expressions anticipating potential tension as Papa bumbles into amusing or even precarious situations. Papa sticks his head in an old log and finds an annoyed skunk instead of Baby. Papa dips his head in the water and finds an ominous sharp-toothed fish rather than Baby (the animals’ refrain: “I am not your baby”). By the end, Mama kindly suggests Papa try looking behind him. Savvy readers will have noted that Mama Fox and Baby exchanged a wave before this adventure commenced and that everyone was one up on Papa Fox all along. Baby’s final question — “Hi Papa! Can we do that again?” — calls for repeated readings and, fittingly, the endpapers suggest that keeping up with Baby will be a recurring challenge.

From the March/April 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach
Julie Roach

Julie Roach, chair of the 2020 Caldecott Committee, manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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