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BABIES IN THE BAYOU by Jim Arnosky Kirkus Star

BABIES IN THE BAYOU

By Jim Arnosky (Author) , Jim Arnosky (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-399-22653-2
Publisher: Putnam

A poetic text and soft acrylics present the various baby animals found in a bayou. Baby alligators “with black and yellow tails / and smiling mouths of sharp white teeth,” baby raccoons “with rings around their tails,” baby turtles “with shells upon their backs / and strong little legs to carry them” and baby ducks “with webs between their toes” form the progression in this deceptively simple, lovely offering. The text doesn’t name the animals at first, allowing children to take their cues from the illustrations and the textual clues, a technique that both encourages readers to interact with the narrative and highlights the lyricism of the language. Visually, the illustrations excel, a filtered green light unifying each scene, perspectives varying in a celebration of the richness of an environment in which the line between air and water seems almost nonexistent. The babies themselves are presented sequentially, each subsequent animal appearing appropriately in context (often as predator and prey) with its preceding one, until cycling back around to the first. No one does this better than Arnosky, and here, he is at his best. (Picture book. 3-7)