Jo Jo is a babysitter of sorts. She’s also a St. Bernard.
Jo Jo and a brown-skinned baby with black curly hair are playing when a pair of arms snatches the child. On the title page itself, the baby is ensconced in a crib yelling the titular “OUT!” (shown in a speech bubble) as the baby’s pale-skinned dad signals quiet! before leaving dog and baby together in the bedroom. The baby wants out, shouts the word constantly, but Jo Jo can, of course, say only: “Woof.” Jo Jo tries to alert the parents, an interracial couple (the mom is black, with brown skin a few shades darker than the baby’s), downstairs, but all they have to say is a cross “Jo Jo!” and “Out!” What can a concerned dog do but return to the baby? The strong-willed child climbs out of the crib, slides downstairs in a laundry basket, with a terrified Jo Jo riding behind, and their adventures begin. Young children will soon retell the story, remembering the few words in the speech balloons. The bold illustrations, created using dark acrylics, found paper, and Adobe Photoshop, are executed in a mix of graphic panels and double-page spreads. Amusing details include the parents dancing in the dark before the baby and Jo Jo creep into the parents’ bed; the back cover shows all four sleeping peacefully together.
A bouncy nighttime blend of easy graphic novel and almost-wordless picture book. (Picture book. 2-4)