THE BABY'S CATALOGUE by Janet & Allan Ahlberg Ahlberg
Kirkus Star


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Diverting, inexhaustible, and not for babes only; tiny watercolors of Dads brushing their teeth, powdering baby, pouring coffee; of Moms on the phone, off to work, at the stove; of Brothers and Sisters playing or scrapping; of the intangible (Mornings, Accidents) and the concrete (High Chairs, Carriages, Diapers). More often than hot, the individual pictures are self-contained stories, just waiting to be ""told"" by the onlooking child. (Under Accidents, for instance, a baby is dropping blocks into a goldfish bowl, while another changes the dials on a TV set.) But even the pages of pictures pure-and-simple--like Pets--have their little wrinkles. Thus, the observant child will spot a block in the Goldfish bowl (the baby's block, from the Accidents page); while some unlikely pets, Ants, march across the bottom of the page and start up the margin. Most noteworthy, though, is the tender warmth conveyed--of all kinds of families with babies (and other children too) in all kinds of settings all through the day. We start and end with babies, that is; and move from Moms and Dads and Breakfasts, to Bedtimes and Moms-and-Dads. The Ahlbergs, indeed, have made masterly use of a simple idea.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1983
Publisher: Atlantic/Little, Brown