I'M NOT A BABY by Jill McElmurry

I'M NOT A BABY

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Age Range: 4 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Semantics. Leo Leotardi may be the youngest in his family, but he is aging right before our eyes. He's obviously outgrown his be-ribboned bassinet—he wants to eat waffles, wear big-boy pants and go to school. Nobody listens; everyone refers to him, affectionately, as "the baby." When Leo insists, repeatedly, that he is "NOT a baby," his father describes him as a "persnickety . . . splendorous . . . impetuous . . . weisenheimer [sic]." At school, Leo recites Shakespeare soliloquies, while dressed in his ridiculous blue romper, bonnet and booties; delivers the high-school graduation address; and goes off to find work, marriage and a baby of his own. Repeated readings reveal the point: There's a difference between being "THE baby" and being "A baby." Incongruous pairings in the comic gouache illustrations (a wood-fired stove, candlestick-style telephone and gas-lit chandelier cohabit with a laptop computer, electric light bulb and crimson high-top sneakers) remind us that this is nothing new. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 11th, 2006
ISBN: 0375836144
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Random