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ROCKIN' BABIES by Jenn Berman


by Jenn Berman, Cynthia Weill, illustrated by Galia Bernstein

Age Range: 1 - 3

Pub Date: June 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4027-7145-3
Publisher: Sterling

Apparently, even babes need to fight for their right to rock.

Toddlers bop to their own beat, complete with skull-and-crossbone onesies and hand signs. Simple sentences set up a repetitive framework for each illustrative punch line as ethnically balanced tots play, eat and travel until eventual slumber. The text tries to maintain a hip tone, while rich, graphically patterned spreads extend expected behaviors. “Rocker babies trash their rooms” shows clothes displaced across the floor; the young culprit gleefully dangles stuffed animals by their paws. There’s deadpan humor for those caregivers all too familiar with little ones’ inevitable messes, predestined, it seems, for the most inopportune times. (An explosive mess of pea-green spew splatters the father’s freshly pressed suit.) A contemporary slant prevents enduring appeal. The latest smart phones click away as a glum tyke endures the fuss while “rockin’ babies are hounded by the paparazzi.” Childhood portraits depict a telling shrine above the wall (look for the ornate frame featuring the tot’s blood-curdling scream.)

It’s the adult managers of those little musicians who will find humorous details here, but as a format geared to toddling rockers, developmental notes fall flat. (Board book. 1-3)