Monday, November 5, 2012

The Baby That Roared


Simon Puttock; Illustrated by Nadia Shireen 

I'm still guilty of judging books by their cover. This one has a lot of texture, tiny details, and shiny bits, so it's even better in person. It made sense that I was so attracted to those illustrations, once I remembered that Nadia Shireen was behind the irrepressible Good Little Wolf.

Mr. and Mrs. Deer do not have any children of their own. You can tell by their very wide eyes and slight smiles as they watch the other children that they really wish they did. One day they arrive at their little pink cottage to find a baby swaddled up with a note attached asking the Deers to love and cuddle him. Mr. Deer is a bit apprehensive, finding the baby peculiar looking, but his wife starts cuddling immediately. It does seem rather odd that his little antlers appear almost stitched on ....

The new baby cries and cries. Distraught, the Deers consult several of their friends. In succession, the friends come over to help, but mysteriously disappear while the Deers are out of the room. Worse yet, the new baby continues to wail. Finally Granny Bear comes and firmly pats the baby on the back until he lets out a giant BURP. The Deers are astonished when Uncle Duncan, Auntie Agnes and Dr. Fox sail out with the burp. This is no peculiar looking baby .... it's a little monster! Those stitched on antlers were hiding a pair of pointy horns.

Discovered, the monster shoots off into the forest, his tiny forked tail trailing behind him. Mr. and Mrs. Deer are sad to lose their baby, but they soon discover a sweet little kitten to love instead. A blue kitten. With an odd tail, and very artificial looking whiskers.

I love the twisty, intentionally see-through ending. The writing and the illustrations are a perfect match; as a result there are too many clever details to cover. I love how Mr. and Mrs. Deer have big white eyes that resemble ping pong balls, the perfect dual-tone teal fur of Aunt Agnes, and the very nervous expression on the baby's face as Granny Bear totes him around. Only after I had flipped through the book several times did I notice a scheming pair of eyeballs peering at the Deers from a clump of bushes. Ha!

Review copy provided by Nosy Crow.


Blog Template by