In his debut children’s book, Fertik offers a tale of baby gangsters that will appeal to many adults.
Fans of classic mysteries are likely to find these Baby Noir stories especially entertaining. The book’s twist-laden plot gently satirizes both the classic noir of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and contemporary child care fads among middle- and upper-class families. After the book’s brooding baby narrator is lured into a big caper by baby mob boss Squeezy the Cheeks, he meets a “knockout” baby redhead with a secret at storytime. Will he be double-crossed by this mystery girl, who’s being followed by an unknown pursuer? Will he survive the menacing Squeezy’s big milk-stealing job despite the threat from the rival Poopypants Gang, led by Harry the Rash? Can he handle his big job at Lactation Class and the mess in his diaper at the same time? The book’s many illustrations of slouching, trench-coated gangster babies are delightful, with a classic style reminiscent of midcentury mystery stories. The dialogue, too, has a decidedly hard-boiled tone that is similar to the 1930s-era gangster-speak of actors James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. The book is also filled to the brim with jokes about modern parenting culture and topics such as breast-feeding, baby yoga and “preppie babies.” Readers who enjoy gentle satire and slyly humorous experiments in children’s literature, will find this genre-bending book a fun read.
A consistently clever children’s book with moxie to spare, aimed at readers of all ages